7 ways to amuse junior at the supermarket

You need to grab some groceries with your toddler in tow. Here are ways to shop without junior acting out…

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While you could “buy” good behaviour from your tot by promising her a treat afterwards — such bribery can backfire on you because what happens when she holds you “ransom” and insists that she get the treat first? There’s no guarantee she’ll cooperate and you still need the foodstuff…

One solution is to park junior in front of a goggle-box ― Meidi-Ya at Liang Court has a large TV showing kids’ shows (in Japanese though). If you’re shopping at other supermarkets, we give you six ideas to make your trip less traumatic. For you.

1) Pack “distractions” ― Perhaps a book or toy for kids who will ride in the trolley’s seat.

2) Stash snacks in your tote ― Make sure you don’t give them sweets but a slice of cheese or some raisins or nuts. We would not suggest that you accept any food samples because then you’ll have to deal with “Want more!”

3) Involve your child ― Ask her “Do we need apples?” or “Which colour soap should I get?” In fact, you could give your slightly older child a memory boost by getting her to remember stuff like what colour your dishwashing liquid at home is. You can also prepare a shopping list and let her read it out or tick off things as you buy them.

Let your child do practical maths ― it’s a great way for her to bone up on numbers and counting.

4) Play a simple game of “I Spy” ― as you pick out your things (this may buy you more time).

5) Get her to make customised cards ― At the start, let her pick a card for a friend or family member. Putting her in the main portion of the trolley, give her a pen and something to write on, and let her draw or write while you get the groceries. At the end, they will score brownie points with rellies/friends when they hand over the personalised card — win-win for you both.

6) Let your child do practical maths ― She can do this with a piece of paper and a pencil ― it’s a great way for her to bone up on numbers and counting. Bring a small calculator and let junior add up your bill as you shop. Ask her to keep tabs on how many items you’ve selected.

7) Give her a job if your child is older ― Get her to help find and pick the items off the shelves (it’s best to limit her to one aisle at a time because you don’t want her racing off into the freezer section while you’re stuck at rice). If you can find a small basket, you could let her help carry a few things (make it canned stuff or frozen food — fruit may not survive your child’s enthusiasm). The FairPrice Xtra supermarkets at Kallang Wave Mall and Nex have kid-sized baskets. Or let her help you check out the groceries ― Giant at Parkway Parade has a kids’ checkout.

Praise your child when she behaves well in the supermarket. Tell her how proud you are that she can behave so grown-up — it can totally be a bonding experience!

Photo: iStock


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