This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Buck Wild®. The opinions and texts are all mine.
The kids and I generally have to get out and run errands at least twice a week, if not more sometimes! And as we all know, kids don’t exactly loooove to shop..I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they can’t run free 😉 But over time, I’ve figured out a few ways to get my kids to not only behave while shopping, but actually be happy about it!
Now don’t get me wrong, we still have some shopping trips here and there that end up with me pulling my hair out (& them out of the store) while they’re crying…but honestly, those trips are few and far between and I don’t even remember the last time that happened, so I like to think a few of these tricks work!
1. Talk to them beforehand.
I like to prepare the kids by talking to them on the way there about how many stores we have to go to, which ones we’re going to, what we’re looking for, and what to expect. And when you tell them how many stores you’re going to, you better believe they’re going to hold you to that! Ha! My 3 year old counts the stores, and will tell me when we only have one left. Every once in a while I try to sneak in an extra one, and sometimes it works just fine, but other times, not so much. Once they have it set in their minds, they’re pretty good with it, if I stick to it. I talk to them about what kind of behavior I expect out of them, whether it be sitting in a cart, pushing the stroller with the littlest, or walking next to me, they know they’re not to run off, and even though they know, I still remind them right before we get out of the car. I also let them know that they’re not to ask for anything, because we’re not here for toys, candy, games, or whatever it may be, so don’t ask! If I tell them before we go in, I can usually avoid any kind of begging or pleading while we’re there, which I’m grateful for!
2. Have a plan
Know what you’re going into each store for. Don’t plan on doing tooo much browsing if you want to keep them happy. If I’m heading out for specific things, (other than grocery shopping) I try to check the stores’ website first to make sure an item is in stock, in the size I need before making a trip there, if at all possible. Many times this isn’t feasible of course, but if I can, I do! If we’re out searching for something, I try to make a game out of it, and have them help me find it. Like a scavenger hunt, and they love that!
This is my biggest and best trick! My purse is always stuffed to the brim with snacks. Maybe it’s because I have boys, but they’re alwaaays happy kids when they’re eating! Our latest favorite are Buck Wild Tortilla Chips. These babies are hella good, and with all the bold, exciting flavor combos, there’s something for everyone! They’re made with real ingredients, like flax and chia seeds, they are gluten-free and whole grain, with no high fructose corn syrup, and nothing artificial..as someone who tries to watch what their kids eat, I love this. (& the jalapeno jack flavor is right up my spicy loving alley!) What What makes these even better? (if that’s possible because they’re seriously delicious)…Mission Buck Wild supports Fare Start’s youth program, providing skill building programs to help a new generation secure job opportunities. I love a company that gives back. So next time you’re trying to make it through Walmart with your kiddos, grab a bag of these off the shelf, they’re sure to make them happy!
4. Make it fun
This time of year, it’s so easy to take the kids in and show them all the wicked cool Halloween decor and soon Christmas decorations. I don’t know about your kids, but that’s a fun thing to do with mine, they actually ask me to go look at Halloween decorations! So if I know we need things, we first stop and look at the fun stuff, (sometimes play a little..shh!) and then we proceed on to what we’re there for! Happy kids make shopping so much easier! In other places, we turn it into a game! I don’t mean one where they are hiding under racks or rolling all over the floor, that’s grounds for leaving the store, but when they’re helping me, or grabbing the items off shelves for me, they’re doing something and they love it. Sometimes we’ll set a timer and race against it to get everything on our list!
When all else fails…. I don’t always encourage this, but I would be lying my butt off if I didn’t say this was a tactic I’ve used, I’m not against it. If you are, that’s totally fine, I completely understand that kids should behave because they have to, not because they are getting something in return, but every once in a while, desperate times people. I don’t promise big things, maybe an icee or milkshake, or a 30 minute TV show when we get home, a small lollipop, a trip to the play area or park, something little to get us through to the finish line. And you know what, it works. Because when they don’t do what they’re supposed to, and I threaten to take that icee away, I follow through, and that’s the key.
In the end, if they know what to expect of me and what I expect of them, it’s usually pretty smooth sailing. My kids are great shoppers now. I know the best times of day to get it done (mornings) and I’m always prepared, as well as prepare them. It’s not difficult and it’s all become second nature by now.
But tell me! What are your favorite shopping tricks with littles?! I’m always open to more back up plans!