There aren't many kids who would jump for joy at the thought of going to the hardware store with mom or dad. Hardware stores don't sell toys or other kid-friendly items, so it tends to be a boring outing for your child. The reality, however, is that sometimes there is no choice but to take your child along.
Instead of spending the entire errand pleading with your child to stop touching stuff, stay with you and just behave, introduce some activities that will keep your child entertained while you complete your shopping list:
Create a Seek and Find Activity
Before heading to the store, draw or print several pictures of items available at a hardware store, such as nails, screws, hammers, boards and paint. For older children, you can just write the words for each item. Challenge your child to find each of the items and mark it off the list.
Another way to play this game is to give your child an example of an object, such as a screwdriver, and challenge him to find a certain number on the shelves. For example, you can ask your child to find six screwdrivers, 10 silver nails or four shades of blue paint.
Play A Clue-Giving Game
Think about the items you have on your hardware store list. Include your child in finding each of these items by playing an clue-type game. For example, if you need to buy a new shovel, take your child to the aisle with shovels and give a few clues, such as "you dig in the dirt with this" or "it has a long handle and a metal end."
Have your child tell you what item you're describing. Older children can also take the items off the shelf and place them in the shopping cart so they are involved in the entire shopping process.
Challenge Your Child to Come Up With a Project
Ask your child to find five or more different items in the hardware store that could be used to make something, such as a birdhouse or a picture frame. The goal with this activity is to keep your child entertained, but also to challenge your child to think about the materials needed to create something.
As your child looks for the items, offer reminders about what it takes to keep a wooden item together, such as nails, screws or wood glue, or what things are necessary to make something colorful, such as a gallon of paint and a paintbrush. If it's in your budget, purchase the items and do the project your child came up with together.
To learn more, contact a company like McFadden-Dale Industrial Hardware with any questions you have.