Rules of the shop, according to toddler shopkeepers

Family life games


The Toddler ShopMy little ones love playing shops. It’s one of those games they never get tired of. They can beep everything on the shelves again and again and again. We’ve been playing this game for about three and half years now, first it was just with Little E but now Little O has got a job in the store too. Baby I is already in training, although so far all he has learnt is how to grab things off the shelf and chew on them. I think I’ve just about mastered all the rules from the thousands of hours I have spent at our little shop, so I thought I would share my children’s rules for the benefit of parents everywhere.

Those of you who are experienced toddler and pre-school shop customers, do they sound familiar? Are there any I should add? Come join the discussion by tweeting me @cardiffmummy or on my Facebook group.

Shopping rules by toddlers for parents

Shopping basket1. Every time you come to the shop, you must buy everything on its shelves. You may not leave the shop until all items are gone.

2. Every item must be individually beeped and weighed and placed in your bag by the shopkeeper. Trying to rush this system will result in tears and tantrums.

3. Prices are variable. Sometimes, one solitary plastic banana will cost you Forty Hundreds. Other days, you can do your weekly shop for £3.

4. You are welcome to barter. Once Mummy haggled me down from a million pounds to a fiver.

5. You might be able to see an item, but that doesn’t mean we have any in stock. Some days we are All Sold Out.

6. On the flipside, sometimes the shop has items you can’t see but I can. It might take you a while to guess what these are though.

7. Don’t be surprised to see pirate swords, Bob the Builder’s hammer, a pink fluffy unicorn and a pair of dirty socks on the same shelves as fruit and vegetables. I am responsible for stocking shelves and knowing what goes where.

6. No, I don’t do internet delivery. Not even to the sofa.

7. Sometimes I will ask you if you would like an apple/a sweetcorn/a tin of cat food. The answer to this is always ‘yes please’, even if you don’t like apples/sweetcorn/own a cat. If you say no, I will cry.

8. I might pick my nose or scratch my bottom while handling your fruit.

9. We always give change. Some days, the change will be more than you handed over in the first place.

10.We even give change if you pay by card.

11. However, you will need to give the change back when you leave the shop otherwise there will be no money left in the till.

12. Once you have taken your shopping home, I need it all back straight away so I can restock the shelves. You will then need to do your weekly shop once more. This will be the pattern for several hours a day every day for the foreseeable future.

13. There may be more than one shopkeeper in attendance. Sometimes there will be confusion over job positions. This will be resolved with tantrums and tears and sometimes you, the shopper, will have to assume the role of peacekeeper.

14. Shopkeepers reserve the right not to engage in tidy up time. That is down to customers.

15. These rules are subject to change at any moment and without notice.

Are the rules the same in your child’s shop? Tweet me @cardiffmummy or join in the discussion on my Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook group.

The List

9 Comments to Rules of the shop, according to toddler shopkeepers

  1. The rule in our shop is that I have to pay complete attention to the task in hand, while the shop keeper seems to be able to flit from one game to another. Also Ice-cream never comes in a flavour that I like and seems to cost me more money each time I buy it!

  2. Ha! Love this! I’ve got an image in my head now of the shopper taking on the role of peacekeeper between warring shopkeepers.

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