Thursday, August 25, 2011

Make Shopping Fun for Kids...Printable Games!

Oh, nothing brings on fatigue and despair in my children like the announcement, “Time to run some errands!” The skipping feet immediately begin to drag and the little shoulders slump out the door. I believe horrid and boring are the descriptive adjectives for shopping that I've heard mumbled from the backseat.

I really think they would gladly bathe twice every day and color with broken crayon stubs the rest of their childhood in exchange for never going shopping again.

In an attempt to make errands less of a drudgery for them, I made up a couple of little printable games that could be carried along to the stores. We tested it out this morning and I believe my little focus group enjoyed themselves--there was not one whine the whole trip! 

We used the colorful clipboards made here earlier this week (sidenote: after three days, they are still excited to check off their chores each morning! Musta got my list lovin' genes!)

Since my 4-year-old really loves I Spy, I made a little pictorial version for her to find several objects at a store—tried to think of things that were not too obvious--a hat on someone's head, a bee (honey label), etc. 

It's available if you'd like to print it just need to set up a free account. (This is the only way I know how to make a printable available—I wish I knew how print it from our site). If you're artistic, you could easily draw your own objects, or cut pictures out.

Color Hunt would also be great for a preschooler. Use a crayon or colored circle stickers to mark 5-6 colors on a paper. Then give your child the clipboard and a pencil at the store so they can draw or write in an object they see beside each color. Yellow – draw a banana, red – can of tomato soup. The printable for this one has a more challenging version too, incorporating a sensory descriptive word: White + cold, Red + smooth.

My first grader is loving math these days. A Price Hunt math game with a calculator kept him very happily occupied. He had to find the grocery items on his list, note the price, and then calculate the cost for the 2 of them, or 3, or whatever # was indicated.

 I made a printable version of this...but for variation, cut pictures out of a grocery flier and glue them on a paper. The best part, of course, is using a calculator! I used rubber bands to hold it to the back of the clipboard. A dollar store calculator could be superglued to the back of the clipboard, or attached with velcro so it's removable.

For kids who can spell, try an Alphabet Hunt. Write the alphabet out in a couple of columns with a space beside each letter. Your child must find something at the store that starts with each letter. Stick to alphabetical order for more of a challenge if you have several shopping stops!

If you have no time to make a game, one quick thing I've done before when we've had to hit several stores is to give each child a few coupons and tell them their Mission is to be the first to find the product pictured. 

Grocery shopping accomplished and a good time had by all.

Shared with these great blogs:
I Can Teach My ChildMaking Monday Marvelous Linky Party


  1. Wow - this is a great idea! I may incorporate it into a Math lesson sometime this year!

  2. This is such a good idea. Love it , just pinned it and definitely going to use it. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is awesome! If I could, I'd hug you!

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope your kiddos have fun with them!!

  5. This is a lifesavor! How great is this plan for the next trip to the store we go....the game is on!

  6. I was just shopping today and thinking I needed to come up with something to keep the little shoppers happy. Thanks so much!

  7. Wow, I was so surprised when I found this - you and I have had a ton of the same ideas about entertaining kids on errands! I couldn't find a link on your blog to email you, so I'm commenting here hoping you'll see this. I created a product called The Trip Clip which is a website that lets you print out versions of many of the activities you described above. I'd love for you to take a look, and maybe do a review and giveaway on your blog. You can see my site at You can contact me via that website. Thanks! -Molly

  8. I love this idea! I often make scavenger hunts for my daughter when we go on nature walks (find something that flies, find something rough, find something red, etc.) we check them off and bring a little sack to collect the items we can carry. This is a great way to apply the same idea in the grocery store. I can't wait to try the alphabet one. Thank you for this!

  9. I am actually grateful to the owner of this web site who has shared this enormous post at at this time.

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  10. Awesome idea, too bad you have to be a Premium Scrib subscriber to download the activity sheets $9!!! too much!


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