Shopping with kids is no joke and many times I run through the drive-thru even with a full load of groceries afterward because I can’t stand the thought of cooking. Or I need coffee. Today, I’m helping to share Happy Family’s first ever Yogurt line that is available at Target, which you can find here. And am sharing my best tips on shopping with kids.
We got to a point this year where shopping was actually enjoyable. Ruby loves to go shopping now, “We going to Target?!” she’ll ask, because she knows she’s going to get her favorite snack. And with experience, I’ve learned how to make it work for us. And on the days when we can’t follow through with our usual, it can be quite the disaster.
And now, we’ve added another and it’s time to figure it out all over again. I’ve been pretty lucky that Jordan has helped out with the grocery shopping lately. He’s the only reason I have these photos and have a smile on my face. He’s been working nights this past month, but next week we’re going to have start figuring out our own shopping routine.
In the meantime, I’ve been brainstorming and asking all my mama friends how to make shopping with two successful, and here’s what I’ve got for you:
My first tip would be to avoid shopping at all costs with kids, but we know that’s now always possible. And in fact, it’s so good to get out and a great way for littles to practice how to function like a human in stores. But, if you can, try to do most of your shopping online, or in-store pickup at Target. I hardly go to a mall anymore and we get most of our household goods online as well. So, that often just leaves us with only one big shopping trip a week.
“No expectations. Don’t be afraid to ditch the shopping cart if things go south. There’s always Prime Now and Instacart!” Colleen from
“I’ve found wandering/ looking for things is 1000x harder with kids. I’ll do trips for specific items regularly but if I need to try on clothes for hours I’ll try to do it after bedtime (or just plan on them watching shows🤣)”Jackie of Hoping in God
make getting out of the car & into the store easy
Sometimes it feels like getting everyone out of the car is the toughest part. I now look for a spot right next to the shopping cart corral. I grab a cart and that way I don’t have to carry anyone and everyone’s contained immediately. I’m also working with Ruby on staying near me or the car when in a parking lot. My friend, Jackie has a good tip for this:
“My best leaving the house with toddlers tip: always park in front of a sidewalk and teach your kids to get out of the car and wait on the sidewalk (or island) for you. No stressing that the toddler will run into a busy lot when you’re getting baby out!!” Jackie of Hoping in God
“Keep them in the cart…don’t let them out. 😂 I also let them parade a mini balloon around and then they have to give it back to the check out gal when we leave. Probably super annoying, but it works for us!” Karli of Sept Farm
make a list & find the best time to shop
A lot of your success in shopping with kids isn’t actually the shopping itself. It’s in knowing what you need and having a list, so that you can get everything in one fell swoop and not need to wander.
Shopping at your kiddos best times is a lifesaver as well, we’re no stranger to hangry and sleepy kids. It’s not a good combo. And to contradict that, sometimes we get out of the house at night when Jordan works late, because their behavior is better out of the house. I’ve already done this twice with both kiddos.
“always shopping away from nap time when bellies are full and getting what you need quickly then finding something fun for them to do like play in the toy section or get a treat. ” Skyla – etsy shop HERE
get them involved!
especially in the produce aisle. That way later in the week, you can say, “remember when YOU picked out this exact apple.” I also like to offer choices on food items that are just for Ruby. Girl loves her yogurt, so I’ll give her two choices that I’ve approved of, “Which yogurt would you like, this one? or this one?” She loves that she can choose and play a part in shopping as well.
“I also let her help me select fruit and vegetables and we count them as they go in the bag. The more she helps the more she listens,” Laura Parker
have a spot for baby
Babies that can’t sit up yet make shopping difficult. For trips where we don’t need much, I take the stroller. I’ll wear baby or use our BinxyBaby, which is a lifesaver.
SNACKS all the snacks
When I reached out on my Instagram stories, this was by far the number one suggestion. And I agree. Snacks help to keep little ones occupied and bellies full. This shopping trip that was too close to lunch for comfort was saved by an organic whole milk yogurt pouch by Happy Family. We like their yogurt because they’re made without added sweeteners and made with Whole Milk Yogurt with Vitamin D, probiotics and are non-GMO. We’ve been known to open a pouch in store, I prefer pouches as a snack, because they tend to be healthier than most (like the bag of popcorn we also got because it was getting too close to lunch for comfort).
“Go to the store with the free samples. Only way we survive the store!” – Jennifer of And Hattie Makes Three
“We always open a couple snacks!” Brittany of The McNary Twins
“I just put him in the cart and bring snacks and there’s no problems. 🤷🏻♀️” Elizabeth of Chasin Mason
make it fun!
It’s important to keep shopping a fun experience for kids. We keep it light by chatting, making up songs, and playing games. We’re playing a riveting game of peek-a-boo here. And no one is going to judge you if you need to get out the iPhone!
Grocery pick up.
Or make it an adventure.” Lacey of Lacey Rabalais
“I get a latex balloon for $1.49 and it’s worth it… When all else fails we play “I Spy” which she loves!” Laura Parker
“when I have a kid with me it’s snacks, lockdown in the cart and a movie on my phone or his tablet,” Ashley of I Love you more than Carrots
Everyone needs a reward after a big shopping trip. For this trip, it was a yummy yogurt pouch, this girl will keep her cool for yogurt any day. Sometimes it may be a pack of stickers or a thing of play-doh. If it’s a nice day we may go to the park afterward as well. I love ending a shopping trip on a positive note, but sometimes it means if it doesn’t go well, then there are no rewards. So, if it’s a very good shopping trip, I sing all the praises.
stick it out
I’ve found that sometimes doing the hard thing and sticking to your ‘shopping rules’ for your kids is worth it. For each person, it may vary. For me, it’s staying in the cart, no whining, and no tantrums over not getting something you can’t have.
Once you let your kiddo out of the cart there is no going back. I’ve made that mistake many times and have had to go back and reteach Ruby that we do in fact stay in the cart.
The no whining and no tantrums has taken great discipline on my part. I typically don’t buy any toys or items for Ruby at a store if she asks for them, even when I may want to. Sometimes she will want to see something, and I will let her hold it, but then she will need to put it back. It’s gotten more difficult as she’s gotten older. Thankfully setting that expectation early has helped and we don’t have any tantrums over not getting something and she will always put it back. There are times I’ll get her something small instead, like stickers or play-doh.
“Set them up for success! Snacks, water, clear expectations (age appropriately), build towards longer outings rather than burning them out with too much too young. Will likes to sit in the back of the cart (now that he’s big) and draw while I pick out fabric or run errands at “boring” stores like Home Depot,” my friend, Amanda Hursey
I hope this helps you to make shopping fun with your kiddos. And know, that you’re not alone, there are many of us mamas tackling shopping trips each week. Sometimes they go well, and other times, well, we’ve all been there. Hopefully this shared knowledge of tips and tricks to thriving with kiddos in a store makes for some fun trips.
And don’t forget to try out Happy Family’s new yogurt line. Our little taste-tester has tried out all of the flavors so far and approves of all of them. This mama prefers the flavors that have some veggies in there too, like the bananas, mango, and spinach.