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Keeping Children Busy While Shopping

kids shopping with mom

Summer months bring sunshine, days at the beach, BBQs, and kid’s home from school.  The grocery shopping, that is usually done when children are not around, now becomes a challenge, if children need to accompany you on this errand.  Sometimes this necessary chore is boring to adults, so it only seems natural, that small children would get bored very quickly and only find entertainment in knocking things off the shelves.  Below are some fun and educational ideas that may keep your child entertained while shopping for groceries.

Make the Rules

As previously mentioned, children are curious, and love to touch and grab items.  Instead of an absolute “NO”, instill in your child, the “one finger rule”.  Have a child choose one finger only, and if they feel the need to touch something gently, it can only be with the one finger they chose at the beginning of the game.

Captain Of The Shopping Cart

Many children want to push the cart, because they may not know that they can be the “Captain of the Cart”.  By keeping your child safe “in the cart”, they will feel in control, and you can use this opportunity to teach them right from left, colors, and shapes.  You can even play a mini-game of “red light – green light”, as the cart stops and moves from each location.


Bingo has been around for generations, but “grocery store Bingo” is a new twist on a long-loved game.  There are free pre-printed cards available online or you can create a board of your own to keep children busy.


“I Spy” is another great classic game, and a grocery store is the perfect place to play, because it is filled with colors and different shaped items in every aisle.  For instance, ask children to “spy” something red and round; such as an apple, or ask them to point out something that starts with the letter “R” such as rice.

It doesn’t have to be all fun and games; in fact, grocery shopping is a great way to re-inforce math skills, and to begin teaching financial budgeting.  For instance, there are usually scales in the produce section, and you can ask children to guess how much a certain item will weigh.  This will get their minds thinking about the size and weight of items, as well as the cost.

As each item is placed in the basket, have children add the price on a calculator.  If something goes over budget, think it through together, and decide what items need to be put back on the shelf.

Now that we see that grocery shopping with your kids can be fun and educational, go ahead and head out to the local market with the up and coming generation.

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