I’m thrilled to welcome Claudia Gonzalez from Grace Filled Mommy to No Guilt Mom! She’s a mom of two VERY little ones and has experienced her fair share of grocery store meltdowns.
If you dread going to the grocery store with your kids because they seem to make grocery shopping 10000x harder, you’re not alone!
In fact, just a few days ago I had to leave the grocery store (before buying anything) because my 1 & 2-year-old just couldn’t handle being in the same cart together.
My 1-year-old sat in the cart’s seat & my 2-year-old in the basket. They kept fighting over who sat where & then screaming at the top of their lungs because apparently, “mommy didn’t listen to them.”
After a few minutes of feeling overwhelmed and knowing I wouldn’t be able to get anything done, I decided it was best for us (as well as everyone at the store) if we just left. Sad but true.
I definitely don’t want you to be in that position and if you have been then it’s time to start thinking creatively on how we can make this trip easier for all of us!
I’ve come up with a few solutions to make that shopping trip not just easier for you, but more fun for your kids!
I know that as moms we go through a lot of stress sometimes & most times it’s just not possible to leave your kids at home so you can go get the groceries in peace.
Well, I’m here to help you!
Here are 5 grocery store games that will make grocery shopping much easier!
1. Bingo at the grocery store
This one is lots of fun! It’s like normal Bingo except they mark the item off as they find it. If your child needs a little more motivation, offer a reward once they have found all the items on the list. Keep it small, like a toy from the 25 cent machine, and set a few ground rules for receiving it. Any tantrums or screaming, and there will be no reward this time.
If you’d like to snag a free printable Bingo board for your kids, you can find it here!
2. Make a list for them
If you’re a list maker like me, then I would highly suggest you make a list for them. If they’re at the age where they can read, make the same list that you make for yourself for them & have them take a marker to cross things off the list.
Kids love to copy what we do & they’ll feel very important crossing things off their list as they get them.
Ask them if they think there’s anything missing on the list. By asking them questions or opinions you’re able to boost their confidence.
3. Kids shop a recipe
Have your child pick out their favorite recipe or a recipe they’d like to give a try. This works especially well if your kids have a love for food & aren’t picky eaters. Even if it’s just once a month they will love this because it will make them feel empowered & in control.
Have them write down the ingredients they’ll need for the recipe before you go to the grocery store. Don’t forget the pen to mark off the items on the list!
If you think they’re able to help in the kitchen, (even in the smallest way, like mixing ingredients for example) let them. It is a great way to build both kitchen skills and increase their confidence.
4. I SPY
We all know & love the game I Spy. Especially when it comes to keeping our kids entertained for a few minutes.
When you’re in the grocery store say things like, “I spy a purple fruit that comes in bunches (grapes)” or “I spy a yellow fruit in the shape of the moon (banana).” Of course whatever you “spy” depends on their age. The older they are, the harder you can “spy.”
Make the game between the two of you, once they have found what you spy, have them spy something for you. I’ve played this multiple times with kids & sometimes it can take them a few minutes before they finally spy something. Great for passing time!
5. Financial Advisor
This one is especially great for kids to practice their math skills.
Have your kids take a calculator (or they can use your phone) & keep track of how much you’re spending. They’ll feel empowered by the simple fact that they’re helping you keep track of the spending.
Tell them your budget. Let’s say you take $100 to the grocery store to spend, they can help you by letting you know when/if you’re about to go past it.
If you tend to go a little off list at times and want to stay more on a budget, this can really help you because your little ones will be watching.
If you’re a couponer, you can also have them subtract the total with the amount the coupon is worth.
A few tips & tricks to help ease the trip-
Try saying that 3 times really fast!
1. Feed them beforehand – The last thing you want is for your child to be hungry & wanting to open everything that comes to their sight. Even for us adults, I’d highly recommend you eat before grocery shopping unless you want to bring the whole store back home with you!
2. Make sure you don’t take them around nap time – Again, I’ve been there & it’s not pretty. They’ll be screaming & crying & the only reason will be because they’re simply tired. Just avoid that situation completely by having them nap beforehand or by going a few hours before nap time.
3. Bring a small snack if you have to – Sometimes a snack can do the trick to help any child calm down.
4. Let them use the kid’s cart – If your grocery store has the fun little kids carts or even the ones that have the little car they can pretend to drive, GET THEM! They love to play pretend & this will help them enjoy grocery shopping so much more! Happy kids=happy mom!
5. If for some reason none of the games or tips above helped you (& I am so sorry if this is you) then try to simply offer them a reward. You know your child best & what will make them (probably) behave. No child is perfect & you will have off days, that’s just part of life.
Don’t forget to grab your FREEBIE HERE!
Do you have any tips, tricks, or games that would help another mom out in the grocery store? Please share it in the comments down below!
Claudia is a stay at home mommy to 2 little boys & runs her blog over at GraceFilledMommy.com. She writes to benefit moms in all areas of life including motherhood, marriage & faith. If you’d like to connect with her you can find her on Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram.