Make Errands Teachable Moments

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If you're a mom who dreads taking the kids when you run errands, then there are ways to keep them occupied and perhaps make those mundane trips learning experiences for them. For example, a grocery store excursion could become a way for them to learn about nutrition. Make comparisons among the foods in your cart - bananas vs. candy, perhaps - and help them figure out which is the best food to fuel their bodies. Scavenger hunts are great for older kids. Make a list of obscure things like dish towels, shoe polish or light bulbs in the grocery store before you leave the house, and as you go through the aisles, allow the kids to cross items off the list as they spot them. A reward such as picking out the family's frozen yogurt flavor for the week in the ice cream aisle might be extra-motivating! To help smaller kids hone reading skills, ask them to find certain words on food labels, such as "lactose" on milk.