Five simple steps to make running errands with kids easier

running errands with kids

Running errands with kids will NEVER be my favorite thing to do.  Ever.

Errand day with my kids in tow.  Oh joy.  This is a recipe for someone to have a meltdown (and it might just be me).  At least one of us will end up hot or hungry or (if we visit the freezer aisle) cold or bored.  At least one of us will get annoyed with how *someone* is pushing the grocery cart.

Shopping alone > Shopping with Kids

Since I can’t get all my errands done without actually leaving the house (I’ve tried, but Amazon doesn’t deliver milk or go to the bank for me), I routinely drag my kids out of the house in the summer time.  That means I disrupt them from watching endless cartoons, force them to actually put on socially acceptable clothing, and then (gasp) I impose a schedule on them.

Running errands with kids is hard work.

Here are FIVE SIMPLE STEPS I’m taking to make errand day run more smoothly.

  1. Set expectations up front.   Before we get out of the car, I tell my kids what I expect. Explicitly.  They get a rules refresher each time we get out of the car.  I keep it short.  I also let them know what we are doing at the store and what they can expect if it’s somewhere unusual.
  2. Break it up.   I split up the more boring chores (the bank) with more interesting ones (checking on my moms house).  I also look for places where they can run around and be noisy… it gives us all a welcome break from all those rules.
  3. Play a silly game.  Last week we played “forbidden.”  There was a forbidden color or number, and if any of us said it, we had to sing a silly song on the spot.  Then a new color or number was selected.  I ended up singing on the produce aisle.  Today we are playing “photo safari.”   The kids have a list of weird stuff to find and take photos of  while we are out.  When we get home they can show me what they found.
  4. Reward liberally.   As part of the Points Project, I award them up to 20 points for a grocery store trip.  They can lose points if I have to discipline them.  But, they can also get up to 100 bonus points if strangers complement them for good behavior.  I’ve also been known to bribe them shamelessly with candy.   Go with what works.
  5. Know your (and their) limits.  I use a 3×5 index card to limit myself.  I write down everywhere we are trying to go, and everything I need to buy/do at each step.  When I have to flip the index card over, I know my list is too long for one trip.   I have small handwriting, so your results may vary.

What strategies do you use for keeping your cool while running errands with kids?

Get social:
Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

Latest posts by Susan Baker (see all)

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.
%d bloggers like this: