A Fun School Shopping Trip

Gratitude Day 306

Tues., July 23, 2019

John 7:15 – The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

Monday was a Grandma day for me. I had the great privilege of spending the day with three of our grandkids, Waylan, Ellie and Dylan.

It was truly a fun day. As we talked about how to spend the day, the kids suggested that we go school shopping.

This is something I’ve often done with our grandkids. It’s a way that I feel Hubby Rick and I can support his kids and our grandkids. And so, I’ve tried to make it an adventure rather than a challenging event.

The kids remembered going school shopping last year. Both years, we met Grandpa Rick for a picnic at the park. Last year, we were done school shopping when we met Grandpa. This year, we went shopping afterwards. I was reminded how tying these two events together has really become a tradition for us.

So, if you will be taking kids or grandkids school shopping, what are my best suggestions? Here they are.

  • Select a timeframe when you know you won’t be rushed. School shopping takes longer than anticipated. Even the kids were surprised how long it took for us to cross everything off of their lists. If you feel like you are trying to “squeeze” this in-between other scheduled time slots, find a different time. The kids, and myself, really enjoyed school shopping because I wasn’t constantly looking at my watch. We just took the necessary time.
  • A basket for each kid. This is one of our favorite traditions. Each kid gets their “own” basket and fills it with their supplies. When checking out, each kid gets their own “bag” full of goodies. It makes it easier to keep track of what items are for what kid. When we got to the car, they loved going back through “their” bag and oohing and aahing over their favorite purchases. Yes, it takes longer at the checkout. Thankfully, we had a patient checkout person. But it really makes it fun for each child.
  • Follow the lists. We didn’t make the decision until the very day we went shopping. I looked up the shopping lists on my phone and downloaded them so we could go back and refer to them multiple times. Some lists are very specific, i.e. – particular brands for certain items. We took the time to follow the lists and went back through a second time and made sure we had everything on the list.
  • Let the kids pick out their items, as much as possible, following the lists. Every year, I’m surprised how some of the kids love to match their items and follow their self-picked “theme.” It happened again this shopping trip. It allows for their personalities to come through, even with school shopping. When we got back to their house, the kids were so excited to share with their Dad what they picked out.
  • Set the tone for a fun upcoming school year while supply shopping. Sometimes, kids aren’t excited about going back to school. I was pleasantly surprised how school shopping spurred great conversations about looking forward to school this fall. Yes, it’s over a month before school officially begins. But the kids were already chatting about moving to a new school, seeing friends and meeting new teachers as something to look forward to.
  • Immediately, put the bags of school supplies away for school. On the way back to the house, we had a specific conversation about how these supplies ARE FOR SCHOOL. Dad helped get them put away so when the first day of school rolls around, they will be ready to go.
  • End a fun outing with a little treat. Yes, our school shopping adventure ended with a quick stop for ice cream. Everyone declared it one of the best afternoons we’d spent together. I know. Unbelievable.

Maybe you don’t have kids or grandkids that you can assist with school shopping. You still can make a difference in some little people’s lives. Our local community has a school supply drive to help provide items for kids who might not have everything they need once school begins. Get a list and go buy a few things! Every little bit helps. Throughout the school year, classrooms run out of specific items. A stash for teachers is very helpful.

As we were checking out, the kids quickly realized what financial commitment is needed to buy supplies. I was impressed that they figured out how much it cost per child to cover their supplies. If you feel that you can help another family out with this expense, it’s a great way to pay it forward and support them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a photo of the kids with their bags loaded with school supplies. Back at my house and a very quiet car, I cleaned out left-behind pieces of our school shopping trip. I relived the great conversations we had. And wished I could capture their big smiles of being able to pick out items that they are excited to have for this upcoming school year.

School shopping can be stressful … or it can truly be a fun event. Every day, we run into situations that can be taxing. With a slight shift of attitude and approach, they can be turned into a fun adventure. We make these choices. We help influence others as to how they view these times in their lives. Our little school shopping adventure yesterday reminded me that every moment I have with our grandkids is special and important. I want to make the most of every single one of them … even when shopping for school supplies

For a great adventure when school shopping, I am grateful.

Holy God – how fortunate we are for the opportunities for kids to learn and grow in knowledge and education. While it maybe a few weeks before school officially begins, place before us opportunities where we can support little people around us. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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