One of my favorite things to do before I had kids was grocery shopping. No, really. I’m not kidding. I loved to plan out meals and go shop for everything I needed. There was something almost therapeutic about it.
Nowadays, things are…. different. My leisurely strolls through the aisles looking for a new food to experiment with turned into speed walking by shelves and grabbing whatever I could get my hands on.
Grocery shopping with little kids can be so hard! I used to get so frustrated, and wonder why on earth my sweet babes turned into wild little monsters as soon as we walked through the door.
One day, it hit me. The most obvious realization I think I’ve ever had. It’s hard for ME to sit still with nothing to do (let alone strapped into a seat), so of course it’s gonna be hard for my little monkeys. I can’t believe it took me so long to figure that out, but it did.
My initial solution was to feed them lollipops and let them play with my phone… but I knew there had to be a better way. And there was! Instead of just dragging my kids along, I let them shop with me! And they love it! Kids are naturally helpful, you just have to go about it the right way.
I found some simple images online, printed them out, and laminated them. I chose foods that we buy frequently, and used pictures of them in the wrapping, so it would look similar at the store.
I hand them the cards and we look for those foods as we shop. I’ll give hints when needed, but they’re actually pretty good at it! (And by they, I mean Sophie. Owen mostly likes to eat the cards… hence the lamination).
It keeps them engaged and involved in the process. Instead of being bored, Sophie is occupied and feels important because she’s helping out. Owen gets to share in the excitement, and cheers and claps when we find something from the cards.
It’s a great system, and I wish I had started using it sooner!