When you go places with little ones it is best to always be prepared! My kids are almost always with me. When one has a dr. appointment they all go. When I have a dr. appointment, most of the time they all go. It is a rare treat when I even get to go to the grocery store alone. Through the years I have learned a few things about running errands with kids.
Bring crayons and have them color on the paper on the table. They throw this paper away anyway so it might as well be used right? I also always bring books to read while we are waiting. For older ones bring a note book and let them draw or write in it. If the waiting gets to be real long, we play games like Who Am I, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, or Simon Says.
Get them involved! My older daughter uses my phone as a calculator. She adds up the food as we go along and tells me if I’m getting close to our budget. My middle helps me unload the grocery cart at the end. If the older ones are good, at the end they get 50 cents to put in a candy/sticker machine at the exit. My toddler mostly just jabbers along the way, but he knows if he is good then when we are done he gets to ride the car. I always keep gummies and a sippy cup with me though for when he starts getting bored. I wait till I’m at least ½ way done before I give it to him. Never take a toddler or infant to the store when they are hungry or tired. It is a recipe for disaster!
Come prepared with a snack if you have little ones. They will not like waiting for the food. Also, make sure you arrive at the restaurant at least 30 minutes before you typically eat. This keeps them from getting overly hungry. Pack books and crayons for the little ones to play with while you wait. My older ones bring a notebook and play tic tac toe or hangman.
After about preschool age our kids bring one thing to church, a bible case. In that case they can put a notebook and a pen. That is it. They may sometimes also bring their American Girl dolls. By school age a child really should be able to sit in church and listen. For the younger ones, once they are 2 all they get to bring is gummies. Messy snacks make the church messy, and we try to teach respect for God’s house at a young age. They also bring a sippy cup with clear juice. We pack a coloring book, a children’s bible and some cars (the girls had the little polly pocket dolls).
Got any tips or tricks for running errands with the kids?