Going grocery shopping with a preschooler can be quite interesting and sometimes challenging. As the parent of a preschooler, you become quite creative at trying to find ways to make your trip to the grocery store together a productive, yet engaging, encounter. Here are six survival tips for helping to make your and your preschooler’s grocery shopping experience more enjoyable:
Take a potty break prior to beginning your grocery shopping.
Whether your preschooler is potty-trained or in the process of becoming so, he or she will benefit from making a stop at the restroom before beginning shopping. Your preschooler will be happier and less preoccupied during the shopping experience if he or she has an empty bladder.
Make sure that your preschooler is not hungry or sleepy prior to shopping.
Any parent of a preschooler will tell you that grocery shopping with a hungry or sleepy child is not a pleasant experience. Before venturing to the grocery store with your little one, you may want to feed him or her a snack and even make the trip after his or her nap.
Allow your preschooler to help you by pushing the shopping cart.
If your preschooler does not like to sit in the grocery cart, let him or her help you push the cart. Position your child between you and the cart so as to prevent him or her from running off unexpectedly.
Talk with your preschooler about the various grocery items and let him or her place your grocery items in the shopping cart.
Grocery shopping can be an educational time to help your child learn colors, shapes, and counting. Talk with your child about the various colors of the fruits and vegetables. Discuss the shapes of various packages. Have your child help you count how many grocery items that are in your cart.
Unless your grocery items are fragile (i.e. eggs) or not a good idea for a preschooler to handle (i.e. packaged raw meats), you can let your child assist you by placing them into your shopping cart. It is amazing how much fun that preschoolers have in helping to perform simple tasks.
Let your preschooler help you unload your groceries at the checkout.
If you are utilizing a checkout with a cashier present, your preschooler can help you to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt. Be sure and keep a watch to make sure that your preschooler does not try to stick his or her fingers into the sides of the belt.
If you are using a self-checkout, your preschooler can hand you the grocery items as you scan them. If this type of checkout is not crowded, you may even want to allow your child to help you with scanning and bagging your purchases.
Reward your preschooler with a healthy snack or drink upon completing your grocery shopping.
Once you purchase your desired groceries and load them into your vehicle, you may choose to reward your preschooler with a healthy snack or drink for his or her assistance during the shopping trip (this author usually lets her preschooler choose a healthy snack and drink to enjoy in the car after grocery shopping). After working so hard, your preschooler deserves a treat.
When making that next needed grocery shopping visit with your preschooler, keep these six survival tips in mind. They will make the experience more rewarding for both of you.