Mommy Vegas Idea #21
Hide-and-Seek at Trader Joe’s – Shopping’s Never Been So Fun! My little ones are not born shoppers. None of us are “sitters” as I’m sure you’ve gathered thus far. As such, sitting still in one place, being pushed about a less than entertaining landscape is not their idea of a good time. Yes, I’ve employed the usual mommy song and dance to engage them. We started as many do, pointing and narrating… which progressed to pointing and asking them to narrate. Surely you’ve played this game: 😀 “What’s that?”… :-D… *nothing*… :-)… “That’s an apple!” 😀 … :-D…”That apple is red!” 😀 … “What’s that?” 😀 … *nothing*… 🙂 “That’s a Drosophila from family Drosophilidae, of the order Diptera… it’s a kind of fruit fly… they’re not welcome here.” 🙂 … and someday they actually say “Drosophila!!!” when you’re expecting “APPLE!” 😉 This parenting move I learned from my mother, who I can only imagine said very little else for some time, as my brother’s first “word” was “WUSSAT?” But back to my journey of apparent failure in trying to keep children safely fastened in a shopping cart… Finally the wussat game got old and we moved on to I spy… again… got old, and then we started pictorial shopping lists… which too lost appeal, and then there were written lists… that was entertaining for a month or so… moving on to treasure maps of the aisles – an “x” marking the approximate locations of what we needed… yes, I have a lot of time on my hands… yes, my son now has our Smith’s memorized as well… no, it did not manage to hold his attention for more than two rounds. So NOW WHAT? Well… I have a few little ideas left up my sleeve I’m prepping to post, but Trader Joe’s has one upped all my ideas with the best attention aversion yet!
HIDE AND SEEK!!! That’s right, now you can actually look around, read labels, compare prices and ENJOY shopping, while periodically whispering, “Now where is that silly critter this time?… Is he in the bananas?” The best part is they are never in the same spot so, assuming you don’t visit twice in one day, your little hunter will have to keep an eye out from the second they hit the door! Another fun twist, all of the Las Vegas Trader Joe’s have a critter of some sort hidden. So in Henderson, on Sunset, your littles can venture on a safari into the outback, in search of Joey the Kangaroo… or possibly brave the rainforest in search of Joe Joe the Parrot in Summerlin, off Buffalo. The Eastern location, near Anthem, has Lemmy the Lobster lurking about, while the Decatur store, between Sahara and Oakey, harbors Crusty the Crab. Once your little explorer has located the covert creature, they are to remember where he is and report to the customer service desk to be rewarded with a treat of some sort, usually the ever crowd pleasing sucker… or as Little Bug jubilantly hollers upon reception, “PAAAWP!”
Since we discovered this fantastic ploy to engage children early and coerce them ever so slyly into spending entirely too much time and money at Trader Joe’s, my children have not only started looking forward to shopping, they actually request it! Is this bribery, OF COURSE(!), and I LOVE it! I don’t even have to invest in the reinforcement! There is only one slight issue. Once they find the object of their quest you may have to take a break to run straight over to customer service, or if it isn’t terribly convenient (as it isn’t until you’ve paid in a couple of the stores), you do have to convince them that either there could be more friends hiding and “we must keep an eye out,” or otherwise coerce them to sit calmly while awaiting their prize.