April 18, 2014

Little Helper: Grocery List


We try to make it a point to get Little Smith to contribute and help whenever possible, both with larger projects as well as simple daily chores. It is true that often little hands make tasks take twice as long, but I'm convinced that it's also the only way to get anything done when you are tethered to a couple of kids all day. He is generally very excited to pitch in and asks at least once a day, 'mama, can I help you?', and so I have been making extra efforts to find specific ways of engaging him in the day's work.

One of our favorite rituals has become the weekly grocery list. I take my grocery shopping seriously (some people like shoes or clothes, I like food), and that means hitting up two large chain stores plus a mix of smaller farmer's markets. It's a lot to ask from a three year old, but I have found that putting him in charge of finding a handful of items does wonders for holding his interest. I started making him his own list so he could track his groceries, and he loved it so much that over time I began to add quick drawings and now alphabet letters. 


It's so simple and quick but makes this basic chore into a much more interactive experience for Little Smith, and I suspect that we will continue to adapt these lists as his interests and learning goals change. Hopefully we will be sending him to the garden to check off a few of these items pretty soon too, but I suppose before we can pick, we do need to plant!

* You will notice the baby is doing her part to ensure a smooth shopping trip by soundly sleeping. That's the way I have been planning it for months now, and I'm really dreading the fast approaching end of the bucket car seat. I see shorter shopping excursions on the horizon, sigh.

15 comments:

  1. Lilly your drawings are so great!! I love this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. what a super idea!! i haven't even been game to take both children to the supermarket at the same time as olive started noticing all the chocolates and treats and wanted them off the shelf and in her hand and then in her tummy...immediately! and with finn i just thought it's all too hard. but he's actually really good in the trolley and i LOVE your idea of the grocery list for the toddler. so clever!! (and just look at your little poppet in the capsule...oh bless her!) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I think that must have been me as a child, searching for chocolates at every turn :)

      Delete
  3. That list is so cute (as are the two lovely children)! I'm not quite as brave as you. When my kids were that small, I often waited for hubby to get home and then went shopping alone. ;)

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, and I'm not sure it's bravery but I just can't deal with the thought of having yet more chores to do in my 'off' time. Plus, it's one more activity to fill the day... at least during this winter we needed a few ;)

      Delete
  4. What a great idea! I usually go grocery shopping with just Emil while the older two are at school. I let him push his own mini shopping cart at Trader Joe's, and he is in charge of choosing all the fruit. Sure, he might choose an apple with a bruise, but it's well worth it to give him a task. He feels so important and focused when he is involved!

    When I had to take more than one (back in the baby days), I would strap a kid to me (either front or back), put one in the seat area, and the third would walk. It's not easy, is it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can not imagine doing it with three! It's always a juggle, we have a bunch of configurations too... ergo, both kids in the cart, or let W roam free but that usually is too chaotic when I have R to deal with as well. I am going to miss being able to get all the shopping done while R naps away though once her car seat doesn't pull out. It's hard to find room for the groceries but it makes life much easier.

      Delete
  5. What a brilliant idea! Will have to try that one day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my gosh, this is a wonderful idea. I absolutely love your little illustrations! I have been following your blog for a number of months now but I think this is my first time commenting. My son is nearly a year and a half and we live in Somerville so I can often relate to your posts. I am so inspired by your care and attention to detail in mothering your babies. Thanks so much for showing up here and sharing your family with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the lovely compliment and for taking the time to comment April, very much appreciated!

      Delete
    2. Absolutely! I really should have commented before this… for some reason it feels like a big step, to acknowledge that I have been following along all this time - emerging from the shadows. Hope you all enjoy this breezy, sunny spring day.

      Delete
  7. I love, love, love this idea. I too prefer food to shoes and clothing shopping so we are often at multiple groceries, farmer's markets as well. I will definitely give this a try with my little one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Low fat food at grocery stores with nutritional facts http://healthygrocery.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete