The first time I took my toddler to the supermarket was when she was two years old. Until then, I had been reluctant to take her because I knew that I would end up running behind her throughout the store instead of shopping. But then one day, I decided to take the plunge and took her to the three-story supermarket. It’s a tricky choice for the first time, but that’s the one closest to home. And so we went on our little adventure. I was in for a complete surprise, as it turned out to be a fun trip. I never knew until then that there would be so much for her to learn and experience from a trip to the supermarket. So, read along to learn how supermarket trips can be beneficial and fun.
Benefits Of Taking Toddlers To Supermarket
To develop social skills, children need to interact with people. As my family has been a regular customer at the supermarket, the salespeople were super friendly to my daughter. Even if not, people are usually sweet to kids. Although kids can be reluctant to interact with strangers at the beginning, they’ll eventually start socialising with some encouragement from our side. So, overtime, children start remembering the people they meet and have small interactions like saying “hi” and “bye,” etc. This will aid in overcoming stranger anxiety, but we must ensure that they only interact with people we approve of.
Having the child seated facing us or walking alongside is a good opportunity to engage in a conversation. I keep telling her what I see on the aisle, we discuss what we are going to buy, and I tell her about its uses. Children might identify, name, and mimic using the products that they are familiar with. Asking them questions and encouraging them to answer is a good way to develop communication skills.
Gross motor development
I point to the things that my daughter is familiar with and ask her to go pick them up from the aisle and drop them in the shopping cart. It’s fun for them, and receiving a small compliment from us at the end of the task gives them huge joy. It truly feels like an achievement for them.
Preschoolers will recognise and name the alphabets on the products, sign boards, etc. A little appreciation from our side will motivate them to develop their reading skills.
When I ask my daughter to pick up things from the aisle, we count together as we drop them in the cart. We repeat the same while unloading stuff onto the billing counter.
Exposure to groceries
Children would be familiar with many fruits and vegetables from books and from seeing some of them at home. They would be delighted to see and hold them in real.
I make sure to pay in cash instead of a digital transaction so that my daughter is introduced to the concept of money. Toddlers are too young to do the math, but it’s good to teach them that money is important and needs to be kept safe.
Shopping is a good opportunity for children to start saying “hi” and “bye” to familiar faces. They also learn to use words like “thank you,” “sorry,” “excuse me,” and “please” when needed.
This is a tough one, but not impossible to achieve. Children need to know that they cannot have everything that they see and learn to accept no for an answer. Tantrums can be inevitable at times. I’ve had my own share of embarrassing moments, but we have to teach them certain things the tough way.
Waiting in line at the checkout or waiting for someone to finish picking up stuff from an aisle helped me teach the concept of waiting to my daughter.
No matter how much we try to keep toddlers occupied at home, nothing comes close to going outdoors. Children feel happy and proud to be on the team and to help out. Also, shopping can be a great opportunity to bond with each other while also getting work done. Tantrums, running around, and mischiefs are part of the trip but it’s part of being a toddler parent, right? It’s been a year now since our first trip to the supermarket, and it’s always been one of our simple yet fun outdoor activities.
Suggested reading: How Outdoor Education Can Have Multiple Health Benefits For Kids
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