5 Tips for Shopping with Kids
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Shopping with children can be trying but it is good for them to have you as an example on how to shop. Shopping can be an opportunity to have fun together and for your children to learn about shapes, colors, numbers, math, budgeting and making choices. Here are some tips on how to shop with kids mindfully:
1. Take inventory: Go through each child's closet and take stock. Have the kids try on the clothes they will be wearing for the year and determine what will be needed. Take the opportunity to donate or hand-me-down what no longer works. If you are grocery shopping, check your pantry and fridge and see what you really need. Your kids can do this with you and in this way they see that you are shopping always with a purpose.
2. Make lists: You can have multiple lists going every week. For example, you may have a grocery list going, a list for a hardware store, an everything store like Target , or wherever else you need to get stuff. I often hand my daughter the list while we shop to keep her engaged but I also use the list to let my kids know that, "no we are not looking at toys because they are not on the list." I like a physical list because I like to use my phone for other things in the store like scanning cartwheel. You can have your older children write the lists for you. Making lists can be an opportunity for kids to learn the difference between needs and wants.
3. Make Peace with Shopping Multiple Times: Even if you have to go to multiple stores, it is best not to pack in all your shopping with kids in one day. It is just too much for your kid(s) to handle. Also, in this way, you can focus on one task at a time. Shopping online and creating pick-up orders at your local stores can make managing it all easier.
4. Plan: Before you go shopping, eat a meal, fill water bottles, pack snacks and be prepared for other little needs. If you are doing clothes shopping, it can take a while so plan to take a break to eat a snack and sit down for a bit. This break will make everyone nicer and happier to be around.
5. Know Your Kid's Limit: Every kid has a time limit. It can depend on the day, their mood, their age and their temperament. Tune in and get to know your kid's limit and try to work with it as much as possible. My daughter at any age could be out for hours but my son gets bored and restless very quickly.
Finally, if you are looking for something new like clothes, shoes, make-up or something else for you that you really have to think about go alone. Having your kids around is going to distract you and you may not make a good decision. I like to go twice a year or so to a big outlet mall alone. I spend the day with a list of the clothing items I want for the season and really enjoy myself. I spend so much less money this way!
Share your shopping tips and tricks in the comments!