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Shopping With Kids: Parents Share 7 Top Tips To Make It Easier

It’s often hard to avoid taking your kids with you when you go shopping, whether it be the weekly food shop or a weekend dash to find a birthday present.

One pregnant mum shared her own shopping conundrum on Mumsnet, explaining that her two-year-old son can be hard work when they head to the high street. He runs away, refuses to move and tugs at his toddler reins. 

When in shops, he tries to pick everything up and messes around when she’s trying to pay at a counter. In short, it’s not fun at all. 

Parents shared their suggestions on how to make shopping with kids easier:

1. Keep using the pushchair.

Don’t feel bad about using a pushchair if your child is slightly older, as it can make the shopping process a whole lot easier. 

“I used the pushchair ’til she was almost four,” one mum wrote. “I’d encourage her to walk, too, but there were many times I’d bring it just in case and also she’d just refuse to walk sometimes (other times very good at walking). Who cares if it makes shopping easier.”

2. Or a buggy board.

By far the most popular response was to get a buggy board, which is basically just a board on wheels that fits to the back of a pram or buggy. Mums said this would be helpful for parents with a baby and a toddler, as the kids love “riding” on the board.

“They saved my sanity,” one person wrote. Another added: “I would never leave the house without it for my toddler.”

3. Communicate the plan of action.

Does your little one get bored because they don’t know how long the shopping trip will last or when they’ll be able to eat/play/go home?

“I’ve found the thing that works the best is a plan of action and keep telling him what we are doing, why we are going and getting him to remember what we need to buy,” said one mum. “He really enjoys finding things and getting them for me.”

4. Make it into a (sort of) shopping hunt.

Yes, it’s a lot more effort but one idea from a mum is to make a list of things the child needs to find in the shop with pictures and boxes to “tick off” when they have found it. The child’s job is to get everything on the list and make sure they don’t miss anything important. 

To make it more interesting, instead of a list of items, you could draw pictures of things they need to see while out shopping, for example a shopping trolley, a shop worker, public toilets, their favourite shop or an escalator. The aim is to get everything ticked off. 

5. End the trip with something they want to do.

One mum suggested to make sure the child knows after shopping – “if they’re good” – they can go to do something that they enjoy, whether it be going to the park, doing some baking at home or playing with their toys.

“It’s not 100% foolproof but it does work most of the time, when we have a treat for him at the end (usually that doesn’t cost any money) so he has that to look forward to,” she said. 

6. And if all else fails.. do internet shopping.

“Do majority of shopping online,” one person wrote. “Don’t make life harder right now. Ocado, Amazon prime and Tesco groceries, I love them all. I don’t tend to do serious shopping with the kids if I can help it.”

7. Or just go shopping in term-time.

“Shop during school hours, that’s my motto,” one mum shared on Facebook

Do you do anything differently? Get involved in the conversation by sharing your tips on our Facebook page

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