Making Errands More Fun: Real-Life Tips

Our readers share how they make running errands more fun for their kids.

Let Kids Do the Math

Running Errands Illustration by Andrea D'Aquino

I have my 11-year-old, Eric, figure out optimum package sizes to buy. For example, is it a better deal to buy four rolls of paper towels for $6 or six rolls for $8? He learns how important math is in the real world, and we keep track of our savings to splurge on a fun item at the end of our shopping trip.

Felice Lin Amkraut
Lawrence, KS

    Play B-I-N-G-O

    I print out images of the items on my shopping list and create bingo game cards with them.

    Judith Keyser
    Sammamish, WA

      Get Artsy With To-Do Lists

      Our 5-year-old, Bradley, draws what we need to do for the day. He loves to help and loves to draw, so it's a creative way for him to do both. A recent list included pictures of ham, peas, bread, and carrots, plus getting a haircut and cleaning the garage. It helped Dad remember everything on his long list.

      Jennifer Berg
      Cape Coral, FL

        Keep Them Guessing

        My three kids and I each guess how much the grocery total will be. Whoever is closest doesn't have to unload the bags.

        Wendy Hunte
        Allen, TX

          Shop the ABC's

          I go alphabet shopping with my 3-year-old, Presley. I write all the letters from a to z in a notebook, then we cross off the correct letter for what we put in the cart: a for apples, m for milk, and so on. We have fun trying to get z. We did buy zip ties once and got to cross it off.

          Laurel Cadiz
          Long Beach, CA

            Map It Out

            I let my kids, ages 10 and 13, be my "human GPS." I tell them in advance where we'll be running errands, and they get to MapQuest the route. Then they tell me, in the car, how to get there. They are now great with north, south, east, and west and remember many local landmarks. And they love running errands with me!

            Monique London
            Jacksonville, FL

            Originally published in the March 2015 issue of FamilyFun magazine.