We’ve all experienced it, whether it be our own children or someone else’s, yep it’s the shopping meltdown!

Screaming, throwing self on floor, people staring, abandoning the trolley and fleeing – throw in some Christmas stress and shopping with the kids can turn into a complete nightmare.

“I think the problem with shopping with kids is that we put too much pressure on ourselves, and therefore our kids also, by not properly planning, timing and organising this task.”

“We try to and run every errand and buy everything we need all in the one hit, we stretch the kids to the limit, and it only takes one “Mum can I have that!” (nagging tone), and that’s it, it’s over.”

“Shopping with the kids doesn’t have to be hard, we just have to make sure that we don’t put ourselves and our kids under pressure – planned correctly shopping with the kids can be an opportunity for quality time together”

Here are a few tips to follow if you are heading to the shops this Christmas with your kids in tow –

    • Change your mindset from one of needing to get a chore done, to creating a fun experience for your children.
    • Consider the timing –  Make sure you chose a time when your children are well rested.
    • Know you child’s limits, and don’t expect to get all your shopping done in one hit: Split your Christmas shopping list into smaller lists and make several shorter visits.
    • Avoid shopping at meal times and make sure you pack plenty of healthy snacks and drinks for both you and your children.

Depending on the age of your children it can be helpful to prepare games for them that involve them in the shopping experience: the supermarket is filled with numbers, colours, food, words and shapes which make a great basis for games for young children.
If possible, go to a shopping centre that has a play area, and recognise good behaviour with an opportunity to play (or a visit to Santa) after the shopping is done.


Lauren Angove is Mum to 2 boys aged 2 & 6 yrs and runs her own business providing products and information to help make shopping and heading out and about  with the kids easier, including her own invention Trollipop ( www.trollipop.com.au ) – designed to help kids independently snack and play while parents shop

Lauren also blogs about things to do and places to go with kids in Perth at www.kids-around-perth.com