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Learning At The Grocery Store

Learning At The Grocery Store
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I know at least some of you have been there. Grocery store tantrums! Multiple kids, tears rolling, judgmental stares, leaving the store in a hurry.

To be honest, these days it is a lot better. Big A is growing up. We have come a long way from getting judged for letting Big A play games on my iPhone, while I chose the aisle I want to enter (not her), to where we are now. Of course I have Baby A to fill her big sister’s shoes. The older one, who wouldn’t touch a broccoli with a 10 feet stick, seriously sneaks up to the produce aisle and slyly plucks off broccoli florets and munches on them. Why? I’ll never know. While it is funny, I still explain to her that it is not ok to snack on the produce at the store.

To avoid these and many more, this is what we do. To have a episode-free grocery store trip with two kids, What do you do?

Explore textures

[note color=”#FFFAEB”]Big A loves to feel her peach before she pretends to eat them. (Picky eater – I’m constantly looking for picky eater pleasers)

I showed her nectarines and I showed her peaches. I had her feel both the fruits and tell me the difference between the textures, even though they looked a bit similar.

By the time the kid is busy with feeling the fruits I fill up my cart with couple of fruits.[/note]

Learn a process

Raw —>Ripe > Rotten

[note color=”#FFFAEB”]Fruits start out raw then ripen and eventually rot.

She helped me pick our ripe peaches and I showed her what ripe means by pressing the fruit gently. The gentle part needed to be reinforced unless I wanted to get caught for poking holes in ther fruits.

Raw peaches are hard to feel, ripe ones are bit squishy.

Well, the apples were right next to the peaches. There are always exceptions![/note]

Critical question raised by her “Why do you buy raw bananas? – those are green?”

Then I explained how the bananas tend to ripe over the week. If mom buys them ripe now, they will rot over the days.

Math – backwards counting

[note color=”#FFFAEB”]Yeah pick an apple from the bottom they kinda tend to wobble. She immediately likened it to her legos – the base has to be strong to build a tall tower.

I let her count the number of apples on the bottom most row and move up to the top.[/note]

Weigh the produce

[note color=”#FFFAEB”]Based on your time, interest and patience math possibilities are endless here. We did some simple weighing and the meaning of “pounds/lbs”[/note]


[note color=”#FFFAEB”]Whenever she asks for candy or snacks etc, she follows it up with “Mom it costs 4 dollars, do you have 4 dollars?” I usually turn it into I have “ 10 dollars- do you think I have enough”

At the store, I have her check for the price of everything we buy.[/note]

Fine Motor

[note color=”#FFFAEB”]She opens those produce bags for me. Those things are really not that easy for a kid to peel off. Once I put all the vegetables in, she attempts to use the grocery bag ties.[/note]


[note color=”#FFFAEB”]We learn a new vegetable/fruit on each trip. I showed her kale this time. She did make a face and ask “Eww does it taste like spinach”.[/note]

Gross Motor

[note color=”#FFFAEB”]Sure, if I don’t say anything it could be gross motor galore with all the hide n seek and running around. Ofcourse that does not happen. The only thing I can think of is Big A helping me with unloading the cart and placing the items on the counter – if she is not negotiating with me as to why she needs a candy bar, that is.[/note]

Well for Baby A who is at 20 months, we just do colors and names of common fruits. To be very honest, Baby A is not that into paying attention to mommy’s words at the store – way too excited and has to be kept in check often times. I’m “taking down” one kid at a time at the store. Right now it is all about keeping the older one busy and learning.

Please keep in mind that all these things, neither happen in the same trip nor does it happen on all trips. We still have whiny days, tantrum days, hyper days, “lost my listening ears” days. Also, don’t think I’m standing around teaching my kid at the store while she is blissfully listening to every one of my words. We do this very quickly on the move in between keeping Baby A from licking the cart handle one more time or stopping her from getting to the milk carton or many times trying to have her stay put in the cart.

I do follow the golden rules – kids are well rested and well fed before I put them in the car. There are days when the girls are super happy playing in the car shopping cart  and honking at people.

I’m sure all you mommies out there have your own tips and tricks. What do you guys do to keep your kids calm on grocery store trips aside leaving them with dad?Smile with tongue out

Do you try to do any learning to keep them busy?


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