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Bright & Early Blog

Aug 21 2017

The Shopping Survival Guide That Will Enhance Your Experience!

By: Heather Harris

Posted in: Young Toddler, Toddler, Preschool, Infant, General, B&E Centers

















The Shopping Survival Guide That Will Enhance Your Experience!


Shopping with your little ones sometimes is like mission impossible.  There is a 1 to 10 grading scale on the screaming, crying, whining, begging, trying to jump out of the carriage, throwing things, and saying things that are so mortifying you want to just leave your carriage there full in the store and simply walk right out.  I have not met not one parent who has not gone through this to some degree and all I can say is be prepared because you never know when a meltdown is going to happen and if it does you are going to be ready with these survival tips:


  1. Setting the Expectation-This varies depending on the age group but it is important to let children know what is happening and what you expect of them in regard to their behavior as a way of setting the tone for the shopping trip.  (ex. “Sarah we are going to the grocery store to buy dinner, we are only getting food for dinner and you will get to sit in the fun car carriage and color while Mommy shops”).
  2. Bag of Tricks-Works really well with the younger children that fit in the carriage and is a very important piece to this guide because without it you have to be very creative and a quick thinker.  Some of us naturally have this creativity and some of us may be exhausted from the day and really need the bag of tricks.  The bag of tricks will consist of snacks, beverages, books, stickers, small coloring pads, picture book, favorite doll, comforting blanket, playdough, iPad, YouTube on your cell phone and anything else your child loves that can fit in the carriage.  You will have to make the judgement call on what to give to your child based on their needs, age, and personality but at least you have something for almost every scenario.
  3. Get Your Children Involved-As children get older it is a good time for them go get involved.  Have them help you shop, put things in the bag and in the cart, hold special items, help scan items, and pay the cashier.  Preschoolers love to talk and play games so keep this in mind as they are getting bored and you are starting to lose them.  Play I-Spy, sing their favorite song with them, have them cross the items off your list once you find them and they go in the cart, let them bring in their doll, or give them a sticker for helping.
  4. Get the Wiggles Out-Children need to expend their energy and sometimes from the car into a carriage is difficult for a little one.  Try to if you can to let your child play, run, dance, take deep breaths, stretch, jump etc. before you shop so that energy is not so abundant. 
  5. The Art of Praise-Compliment the good behavior throughout your shopping trip.  The best way to get a child to behave is to have them understand what your expectations are of good behavior.  (ex. “I love when you use your manners”, “You are walking so nicely”, “You are the best helper”, “Great job holding the cereal” etc.).  Children love compliments and stickers!  You can even say “let’s see how many stickers you can earn today” and give them a sticker for every good behavior.  You may need to go to the dollar store and stock up but they will love it.  You can even have them pick their stickers out so they want to earn them. 

Special Tip:  Try at all costs to avoid sugary foods before shopping such as candy, juice, cookies, ice cream, chocolate milk, yogurt, fruit snacks etc.  Even though these are the things children love it will only back fire when they want to squirm out of the carriage or start darting off into the store.  The best snacks are items such as crackers, cheese sticks, puffs, plain milk or water with a splash of juice for flavor if needed, cheerios, and things of that nature. 


Now that you are prepared you can enjoy your shopping experience with your children!


Happy Shopping!

Heather Harris

Bright & Early Blogger     


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