Taking your toddler out for shopping? Here are some tips that will make it an enjoyable experience.
By Ram Shankar
Taking your toddler to the local supermarket can be an adventurous as well as tiring experience. His attempts to satisfy his natural curiosity about the many interesting things around him can give you a tough time. Here are some simple yet powerful techniques that will make your shopping experience better.
It is OK, and can indeed be fun, to make a quick trip to the neighbourhood supermarket with your toddler tagging along. However, keep those long shopping trips only to yourself. If you have a lot of things to buy, it is better to leave your toddler at home with a caretaker.
Choose that time of the day when your child usually behaves the best. If she is less cranky in the mornings, then do the shopping in the mornings. Before leaving home, ensure that she is well-fed and take along some of her favourite toys. The toys will come in handy when she starts to feel uncomfortable. Also, time management is very important when you are shopping with your toddler. Prepare a list of things to buy. It will be great if you know the layout of the shelves in the supermarket well and prepare your list according to that. This will reduce the time you spend running between the shelves.
If your toddler doesn’t like walking alongside you, make him sit comfortably in the baby seat of the shopping cart. But before you make him sit, ensure that the seat is clean and there are no sharp metal edges that may hurt him.
Your toddler will feel valued if you ask her to help you with the shopping. You can ask her to pick fruits and vegetables off the shelf. It is also a great way to teach her the names of various things. However, keep her away from things that are fragile, such as eggs, crockery and items made of glass. While at the billing counter, you can request your little one to pick up things from the cart and place them on the counter. You can also hone her counting skills by asking her to count the things in the shopping cart.
‘OK…now we’ll get some bananas’, ‘You like bananas? Yes?’, What colour is a banana?’, ‘Do you like these apples? Can you take two apples for mama?’ Such conversations would help improve her thinking ability and vocabulary.
It always helps to keep some snacks ready in case your child starts feeling hungry. Let it be a simple, dry snack like a cookie or a cracker. Give her plenty of water to keep her hydrated.
Shopping trips can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your toddler, and also a very educative one for him. All you need to do is plan smart and act cool.
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