10 Ways to Keep a Toddler Happy in the Grocery Store ...


10 Ways to Keep a Toddler Happy in the Grocery Store ...
10 Ways to Keep a Toddler Happy in the Grocery Store ...

As all mothers know, the grocery store can be a real challenge to your child's behavior! The grocery store is a true test of how much a parent can handle. There are way too many temptations in grocery stores to expect kids (especially toddlers) to behave perfectly at all times. One minute the kids are fine, the next moment they are screaming for a candy bar. Here are some tips to keeping your toddler happy in the grocery store.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Please subscribe for your personalized newsletter:


Come Prepared

The trick to keeping toddlers under control is to expect the unexpected! Have a plan for controlling a meltdown, perhaps a favorite toy, a pacifier, or a snack (keep reading)...


In addition to having a plan for controlling a meltdown, it's also important to come prepared with a list and a game plan for navigating the store. This will help keep you focused and avoid any unnecessary wandering that could lead to tantrums. It's also helpful to bring along a small bag of toys or activities to keep your toddler entertained while you shop. And don't forget to pack some snacks to keep hunger at bay and prevent any meltdowns from hunger. Lastly, make sure to dress your toddler in comfortable clothing and shoes to make the shopping experience more enjoyable for both of you.


Bring a Snack

Rather than tempting your toddler with all the food at the store, bring along a snack for them to munch on and thus, divert their attention from store goods... like candy and other tempting treats.


Bringing a snack for your toddler not only distracts them from the tempting treats at the store, but it also helps keep them energized and content during the shopping trip. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, children who had a snack before grocery shopping were less likely to ask for unhealthy foods compared to those who did not have a snack. Additionally, having a snack on hand can also prevent tantrums and meltdowns caused by hunger or boredom. So, make sure to pack a nutritious and tasty snack for your little one before heading to the grocery store.


Give Them a Job

Let your toddler feel like they are an integral part of the shopping effort. For example, allow your toddler to throw items into the cart, or ask them to reach something (small and light) off of a shelf.


Allowing toddlers to participate in the grocery shopping experience can not only keep them happy, but also help with their development. By giving them simple tasks, such as throwing items into the cart or reaching for something on a shelf, toddlers can feel a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. This can also improve their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Additionally, involving them in the process can help them learn about food and nutrition, as well as basic math skills by counting items or identifying shapes and colors. Allowing toddlers to have a job in the grocery store can make them feel important and engaged, making the shopping trip more enjoyable for both parent and child.


Get Them Involved and Talking

Ask them questions, like "Who at our house will eat this?" Make a game of grocery shopping to keep them engaged rather than to leave them to their own devices. It can be fun for you, too!


Research has shown that involving toddlers in grocery shopping can not only keep them entertained, but also help develop their cognitive and social skills. By asking them questions and making it a game, parents can also teach their children about healthy food choices and budgeting. This can also be a bonding experience for both parent and child. Additionally, giving toddlers a small task, such as finding a specific item on the list, can give them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. It is important to keep the shopping trip short and to plan for breaks, snacks, and rewards to avoid meltdowns.



A grocery store presents a great teaching opportunity. Allow your child to hold various items and ask them the color or the letter it begins with. With a little practice this little game could be a very effective learning tool.


Colors are an important concept for toddlers to learn, and a trip to the grocery store provides a great opportunity for this. By allowing your child to hold different items and identifying their colors or first letter, you can turn a mundane task into a fun and educational game. This not only keeps your child entertained, but also helps them develop their color recognition and letter skills. Additionally, studies have shown that involving children in everyday tasks, such as grocery shopping, can boost their confidence and independence. So not only is this a great way to keep your toddler happy, but it also has long-term benefits for their development.


Reward Great Behavior

If your toddler is well behaved during grocery shopping, reward them. If they behave poorly, they should get no reward. They will soon learn that rewards happen when they are well behaved not when they misbehave.


In addition to rewarding good behavior, it is important to set clear expectations for your toddler before entering the grocery store. This can include explaining what is expected of them, such as staying close to you, using a quiet voice, and not touching items without permission. It can also be helpful to involve them in the shopping process by asking for their help in finding items or letting them choose a special treat. Additionally, planning ahead and bringing snacks or toys can help keep your toddler occupied and content during the shopping trip. By consistently reinforcing good behavior and setting expectations, you can make grocery shopping a more positive experience for both you and your child.



Bring a coloring book and crayons on your shopping adventure. Put the coloring book on a clipboard so that your toddler will be able to color while seated in the cart. You could even ask them to draw some of the foods you are passing.



Coloring is a great way to keep your toddler entertained while grocery shopping. It not only keeps them occupied, but also helps develop their fine motor skills and creativity. You can find a variety of themed coloring books at most grocery stores, such as fruits and vegetables or animals. Additionally, bringing along a clipboard ensures that your child has a sturdy surface to color on while sitting in the cart. Encouraging them to draw some of the foods they see can also make the shopping experience more interactive and educational. This activity is especially helpful for longer shopping trips or when your child is feeling restless.



There are those who decry bribing your children; obviously they have no children and have no idea how well bribery can work! If bribery is what it takes to get your child to behave in public, then bribe your toddler. Children can easily be taught to behave but it is easiest to accomplish when they see some reason (the bribe) to behave.


Bribery is a controversial topic when it comes to parenting, but many parents swear by its effectiveness. In the context of taking a toddler to the grocery store, bribery can be a useful tool to keep them happy and well-behaved. It can also be a way to teach them about rewards and consequences. However, it is important to use bribery sparingly and not rely on it as the sole method of discipline. Other strategies, such as setting clear expectations and providing positive reinforcement, should also be used. Ultimately, every child is different and what works for one may not work for another. It is important for parents to find the approach that works best for their child.


Play Dough

Play dough can be a real life saver when your active toddler is bored in the grocery store. Carry a small lump of play dough for them to play with while you are shopping.


Stay Calm

Plan your shopping trip so that your child is refreshed and you are not in a hurry. Stay calm throughout the trip and don’t let your child’s behavior stress you. Do your best to present a well-behaved child to the public.

Not every trip will be perfect but remember they are only toddlers for a little while. What have you done to amuse your toddler at the supermarket? How do you keep your little one happy at the grocery store?

Top Photo Credit: *superhoop*

Related Topics

7 Most Frequent Parenting Mistakes ... 7 Product Recalls for Your Kids Safety ... 7 Tips on Preventing Childhood Obesity. ... 7 Foods to Plant with the Kids ... 7 Tips to Encourage Healthy Living in Your Kids ... 8 Things You Need to Know about Your Teen ... 7 Tips for Moving with Kids ... 7 Ways to Encourage Your Children to Be Fit ... 5 Ways to Get Children to Help with the Garden ... 8 Tips on Dealing with an Epileptic Child ...

Popular Now