I am not a creative mom. I don’t have creative ideas, nor do I particularly enjoy learning a new craft. While I can do crafts, I don’t particularly find them relaxing because I want a certain, almost unattainably perfect outcome every time I craft. I routinely rely on others to come up with creative tips and tricks, and will tailor things to suit my needs.
Recently, I was trying to come up with a new way to grocery shop with M. He is my grocery shopping buddy, and he assists me with finding the appropriate aisle we need for groceries, and will pick out certain food items when I give him options. His input in our shopping trips has caused others to stop and chuckle, especially older, retired individuals, as they watch the interaction between M and myself.
As I was trying to determine how to change up our shopping routine, I decided he is finally old enough for a child-friendly list – the kind with pictures. Since we were working specifically on closing the circles that he was drawing that week, I decided I needed a list that had the ability for him to draw a circle around the items we had found.
Many of the lists I found off a Google search required me to remember my Pinterest account information. They also seemed to have food listed, with the option to “check the box.” Furthermore, most of the lists had cartoon food drawn, and while I know some children would be okay with cartoon food on their grocery lists, I have worked with several children on the autism spectrum that need the literal visual representation of what they need to buy. And, I can see my son just rolling his eyes, and not being willing to work with a cartoon list.
Therefore, I went to the drawing board. In about the same time it took for me to write out my list, I was able to find pictures off a simple Google search for his list. After sizing the pictures to fit multiple items per page, I was then able to separate them for different areas in the store (specifically by aisles).
M took 5 lists to the store that day (only 4 are pictured):
I didn’t quite worry about finding a picture of the specific brand of products we buy, since M is not that observant… yet… But, I purposefully printed off items in color, so he could compare what was on his list with what we found in the store.
While he didn’t work on circling items as we found them, he seemed thoroughly empowered to find everything on his lists, and wanted to race through the store, completing his lists!
How do you incorporate a little fun and excitement into your shopping trips with your toddlers or preschoolers?