How many times per week do you find yourself at the store with your kids?
We take 2-3 trips to the grocery store a week. Sometimes there are things we like to get at certain stores or I want to make something and need to go pick up the ingredients in a pinch. Then there are always the times my son needs snacks or supply donations for his class at school.
For all the time spent at the grocery store with my kids I don’t want to miss out on some of the valuable lessons I could be teaching them there about shopping, budgeting, planning, and making a grocery list.
There are so many learning opportunities for kids at the store and ways to make your shopping trip more fun for them. The plus side about this is that there will be less time for grocery store melt-downs if your kids are occupied while they are there.
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6 Tips to get Your Kids Involved Grocery Shopping
1. Talk to Them Before Your Shopping Trip
Before we go shopping I like to talk to my son about why we are going to the store and what we are going to get. He often gets bored at the store and sometimes on certain trips I will get him a prize (Yes, I admit to spoiling my kiddos from time to time).
I like him to know what to expect from our shopping trip. Are we shopping for food, baby supplies, clothes.
Sometimes I will talk with Jonas about our budget before we go. I think it’s good to teach kids a little bit about a budget. We don’t go into depth, but I will say something like “We have a specific budget this week so we need to stick to the list.” or “We have a little bit extra to spend this week do you need some new (shoes, clothes, etc.)”.
2. Turn it Into a Bonding Experience
I always try to turn everything into a bonding experience with my kids. Our time with them is so short and what a better time to bond then when you are spending quality time together.
On our way to the store we talk about our day at school and sing songs together. At the store I try to not get distracted and make the most out of my time there with my kids by talking with them and asking about things we see.
3. Give Your Kids a DIY Shopping List
Do you have older kids who are learning to read?
My son is 8 and is turning into a great reader. He is perfectly capable of reading boxes in the store and writing a list.
Giving your kids a list to help out will give them something to do at the store. You can ask them to look for items that you’ve checked and help put them in the cart. Or have them check off things you need as you go along.
I’ve made a printable DIY Kids Shopping List you can take to the store and have your kids help with as you shop along. Or you can have them check things they want or things you need before you go to the store.
4. Talk About the Food You’re Buying
Teach your kids to compare foods at the store. Are there different brands to choose from, different ingredients, different prices? Those are all good things to talk to your kids as you teach and involve them in the grocery shopping!
5. Help at Checkout
Jonas loves to help at Checkout. He helps me unload the cart and put the bags in the cart. If we have coupons sometimes I will have him hold those for me while I unload the cart. This is just another way to get your kids involved and learning to help!
6. It’s Not Over When You Leave The Store
Always remind your kids that it isn’t over when you leave the store. Give your little ones some of the lighter bags to carry in the house. If you have older, more capable children, try letting them carry a little more.
Let your kids help you put things away. This not only makes shopping easier on mom, but teaches them valuable skills for the future.
BONUS! Toddler Tips:
If you have a toddler there are plenty of ways to get them involved too!
Talk to them about the different foods, colors, words, and pictures on packaging that you see at the grocery store. When you put things in the basket or load things in the car explain what you are doing. They may not understand everything, but are always learning and the grocery store is a great place to teach them because there is so much going on.
I also recommend getting a toy shopping cart to have at home. We have the cutest pink one for our daughter Juliana and she knows exactly what it is. She can put her baby dolls in the front and practice shopping with her toys and toy food at home.
How do you get your kids involved at the grocery store? I would love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below!