The Grocery Store is a popular exhibit among children's museums for a reason. Kids love the freedom of pulling items off the shelves and filling their mini shopping carts to the rim. Pushing their carts up and down the aisles and working the cash register, kids get a sense of what it's like to be a grown-up.
I'll enjoy giving Leap the car keys and a list in the future. For now, he's 4 and our shopping trips can be a hands-on learning experience for him. However, I'll be the first to admit, "hands on" doesn't naturally come to mind when I shop with the littles. My default mode is "hands-off" mode -
"keep your hands to yourself,"
"don't touch/eat/open that" and
"put that back."
But, with a touch of planning, I'm confident we can have a positive hands-on trip.
Planning is our reinforcement against a tantrum and a come-apart of our own. Having a few ability-appropriate activities prepared can help neutralize boredom, frustration, over-stimulation, and tiredness which contribute to tantrums.
However, tantrums are a normal part of growing up, and we inevitably face them. Hands-on activities can distract a frustrated toddler, give them a bit of control, and help them through their frustration.
In our next post in the series I'll share a few specific ideas to help jumpstart a brainstorm of hands-on "Shop & Learn" activities!
If you'd be interested in sharing your own original hands-on activity with us, leave the name of your activity in a Comment.
We'd love to feature you in a future post!