Little children and supermarkets are not a match made in heaven, but they’re not mutually exclusive either.
I had a solid rule in the supermarket – not negotiable. If you are five and under, you are belted in to the trolley seat.
One day 4 yo had a tantrum, didn’t want to! I calmly replied, “We’ll have to go home then, because I can’t do the shopping any other way”. We got to the car, put fidgety crying boy in the back seat, put bag in the boot. By the time I came around the side of the vehicle, he was starting to get out of the car, quite composed.
“Where are you going?” I enquired, rather bemused.
“We can go shopping now.”
So back to the trolley bay, into the trolley seat with the seat belt on. I gave him the shopping list .. and, with apologies to Lynley Dodd (NZ children’s writer), off. we. went!
I have typed up and printed off the shopping list with the usual pantry and household items in the aisle order of PakNSave Mill Street, the cheapest supermarket in New Zealand. (… my A4 pdf shopping list is attached). This list also helped the kids with reading. Grace, when about 4, would proudly read “apples, bananas, carrots, greens …”
Throughout the week, we circle what items we need – even the children when quite young were able to recognise the words enough to do that. (I had read through the list with them a couple of times and their memories filled the gaps.)
Then, as we walk around the supermarket and place things in the trolley, we rip the edge of the list so we know what we’ve done.
“Reading” the list and looking out for a particular item also got the children involved with shopping (call it Home Economics if you like) and made the whole process so much easier. Now as young teens they sort out the best value-for-money items and read the nutritional information panels and ingredients list for me …!
* sortie : A sortie is a deployment or dispatch of one military unit, be it an aircraft, ship, or troops from a strong point. The sortie, whether by one or more aircraft or vessels, usually has a specific mission.