The other day I was getting ready to make a grocery trip with my 3 year old. I was dreading the trip because lately, getting her to sit in the cart and cooperate has been more challenging than usual. I racked my brain thinking of things to take to keep her occupied in the cart without using an electronic. I don’t typically give her a phone or tablet to play with so I didn’t want to go that route, no judgement if you do…whatever works for you!
I glanced at her shelf of activities, but they all take up too much space for the cart, or have pieces I knew I would be chasing. I also looked quickly on Pinterest…my go to for ideas like this, but I could only find activities that involved grocery store play and nothing for occupying little ones in the cart.
We did have these Flash Cards we use for letter recognition and counting, but I knew she would be dropping them. That would be more frustrating for me to get my shopping done! I just needed a way to keep them together while she went through them.
I knew I had some of these Book Rings, and I grabbed my Hole Punch from the craft closet. I punched holes in all the cards in the top left corner, and combined them together using the ring; creating a set for each category we are working on (Alphabet, counting, and shapes). We also have flash cards for colors and first words, but we don’t currently use those.
The great thing about this is you can toss them in your bag or purse without taking up too much room!
Finally, I was ready to go to the store. We often remind her she will have to ride in the cart, and I did a few times as we headed to the store. As usual, we got to the store and she was reluctant to get in until I pulled out the flash cards for her. She then happily let me put her in!
I didn’t put any pressure on the cards, but as I shopped she flipped through them and we chatted. Anytime I needed to distract or redirect her, I would ask a question about the cards. Typically asked her to show me the next Letter (depending on which set she had). It was a great way to distract her while reviewing the letters, counting, and shapes.
We got through our shopping trip stress free and she got to ride Sandy the pony after we checked out. Win win!
The next day, we had to take big sis to Urgent Care to get an X-Ray, and I still had the cards in my bag. We were there for a bit over an hour, so they came in handy again for Grace while we waited in between the doctor and nurse coming in to talk.
Sometimes its the simplest things that can help the day go a little smoother, and it makes such a difference. Especially with a toddler in tow!
Don’t have a hole punch or rings, and don’t want to buy them? I found this great Flash Card Set already punched and it comes with the rings! Zero effort!!
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