Stress free shopping with young children

Shopping can be a labor intensive time with children. It can be quite daunting considering a shopping trip with young children, as it can be difficult to successfully shop whilst keeping them happy and on their best behavior. However, successful shopping with children can be achieved with a little forethought and planning.

Here are some tips for shopping with children:

Safety when shopping with children

Keeping children safe whilst shopping, is paramount. Ensure to brief them before heading to the shops. Inform the children that they must stay within sight, and remain close to prevent them from getting lost. It can be very frightening for a child to become lost whilst out shopping, and unfortunately it does happen. Explain the importance of staying close by at all times in a matter-of-fact way without causing fear. Provide clear and concise instructions on what to do should they become lost. For added safety, keep a note in their pocket with their name, address and contact numbers.

Plan the shopping trip

Get organized prior to heading to the shops and have a clear goal, as this can reduce the shopping time. Children can become fussy when boredom ensues, which is why it is important to keep shopping trips short. Create a clear list of to-dos and a list of items that are required. Then consider where these can be located to reduce time trawling about. Being prepared and organized can keep the shopping trip short and manageable with children in tow. Choose a good time of the day, and ensure that the children are well-fed and rested.

Keeping the children happy

Shopping can be exhausting, and energy draining. Pack a bag of energy boosting snacks and drinks, to have nibbles to hand. Children easily become hungry and thirsty, and if their needs are not met they can become cranky. Taking drinks and snacks can save time, as well as money, plus they can come in handy whilst in busy shops or queues. In addition, take small, lightweight activities that are easy to transport. Younger children can be kept busy with a coloring book, whilst older children may like a puzzle book.

Look after their needs

Shopping can be overwhelming for children, as it can be busy, noisy and tiring. Ensure to keep children happy and take a rest when needed. It is a good idea to go outside for a play and some fresh air to allow them to unwind. Carry snacks and drinks to keep them fed and hydrated. Bathroom breaks also need to be taken. Once they become tired and restless consider calling it a day, and finish on a positive note. Tired children and shopping are never a good idea. Keep children happy can make shopping easier.

Let the children help with shopping

Children can easily become bored. Shopping can seem like a tedious task for children, which is when unwanted behavior can fester. To keep children happy, involve them with the shopping, get them to help compile a list of items that are required and ask them to carry it. Make them your assistant, and ask for their help to find these important items. Allow them to look at anything that takes their interest, although forewarn them prior to shopping that only the listed items can be purchased.

Shopping with children can be a fun and enjoyable experience for all involved with a little planning. Children need to be well rested, fed and informed of the schedule and rules. Involve the children with everything to make them feel important and useful, as well as keeping them occupied and happy. A little planning and patience can make for a successful shopping experience with children.