For several months after we arrived in Chattanooga, Darah and I would go grocery shopping together once a week. It was a fun time for Darah to go see a lot of new things and for us to talk about different foods. Aside from lugging the groceries in the house by myself, it was an overall pleasant experience!
But then, three things changed.
First, I started trying really hard to only grocery shop every two weeks. I found that this strategy saves us a bit of money as it gives me fewer opportunities for impulse purchases. The downside, of course, is that shopping for two weeks worth of groceries takes more time.
Second, Darah has started to exert her independence much more. She is a squirmy worm who wants to run around in the store, not have to sit in the cart. Naturally, this does not work so well for me if I’m also trying to buy groceries!
Third, Darah now notices all those cartoon characters and bright colors put on packages that are at eye level for her. I never realized how many packages in the stores are truly made for kids until now. Curse you, food manufacturers! It makes shopping much more of a chore when I am constantly having to tell Darah, “no” as she points to a million things and reaches for them.
So, in truth, our shopping trips together are on hiatus. I’m working now on getting my bearings with how to manage Darah while we are in the house, and then I’ll turn my attention to the store trips. My goal is to have us shopping together again in about 3 months.
And when we go, I have something new that I am going to try that I think will help her feel more engaged in the process: she will have her own children’s canvas totes. Check out this fabulous set from Cloud B. The designs on the bag are some of the Cloud B. animals that are so popular. But even if your child doesn’t own any of these products, the bags are still absolutely darling! Darah has seen them already and quite likes them!
When Darah and I resume our shopping trips, one of my goals will be to make her feel as though she is really part of the experience, not just forced to tag along and stay quiet. She will have her own bags that I will have the checker put just a few things in, and I will ask Darah to help me put those bags in the car and get those bags out of the car. She can also help me unload them in the kitchen. She wants to be involved in the process, and even though for a little while this will take more time than it saves, it will make things so much more fun for her!
Toddlers also highly value having something that is theirs (oh yes, Darah has totally picked up on the word, “MINE!”). So anytime that you can make a big deal out of the fact that they have something just for them, it can get them pretty excited.
As Darah gets a little bit older, these bags can also be a great starting point for a conversation about being resourceful and not wasteful. As a family, we already use canvas bags for our grocery shopping, which I am sure Darah has noticed. We can talk about why we use them, and I will feel proud to know that Darah has had her own canvas shopping bags for as long as she can remember! This is one of the very best ways to get her in the habit of turning to reusable bags when going out to make a purchase.
In addition to being terrific tools to help turn dreading shopping trips into something fun, the Cloud B. totes also make fabulous eco-friendly gift bags. They are surprisingly large, and definitely sturdy. I was honestly expecting something rather flimsy for the price, but these bags are real quality!
Buy it!: These reusable bags from Cloud B. are a total steal at $9.95 for the set of 3. I very highly recommend them!
Win it!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win a set of Cloud B. reusable bags! The contest will run until March 28th at 11:59pm EST when a winner will be selected via Random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before the prize is forfeited and a new winner is selected. Open to residents of the United States. Limit one entrant per household, please.
Mandatory entry: Tell me anything about taking your children shopping with you! If it is fun, what makes it so? If it is awful, why?
My answer: At this particular moment in my life, I’ve switched to doing grocery shopping early Sunday morning. Sometimes I leave Darah at home with Tim, and sometimes we all go as a family. Darah enjoys going to the store, but her patience runs thin because I typically buy a lot during each trip. What do you think about the strategy I’m going to use with the canvas bags?
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Disclosure: I received complimentary products for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.