Mom Hack Makes Holiday Shopping With Kids Way Less Painful

Thanksgiving feels only a few hours away (OK, it actually is) and parents everywhere are getting ready for the big feast but they’re also secretly making shopping lists and mentally plotting out Black Friday routes through Target. One wild card to the shopping season, though, is when a parent has no choice but to bring a child (or two or three) along for the trip. All those amazing toys just begging to be played with spells disaster in the form of epic center aisle meltdowns. But don’t worry, one mom has created a hack to save our sanity while shopping with kids and I can tell you from experience – this actually works.

In a viral post that has been shared nearly 50K times, Kristina Watts explains how she brilliantly keeps her child preoccupied with a serious task that gives her the kid the permission and opportunity to play with toys in the store but without the meltdowns when she has to stop.


“Our trips to the store used to be a lot more painful this time of year. Toys are out in full force…and of course, my kids WANT. IT. ALL. Obviously I would love to have sweet, well mannered, non-greedy, chill kids, that don’t ask for all the things…but I don’t. So drop your judgment Karen, and stop reading if you have kids like that. Now…if you have kids like mine…that want the shiny amazing things that fill Target, the grocery store, Office Depot, the gas station, and pretty much everywhere you go this time of year, this is for you.” Watts writes in her post.

“Our trips to the store used to be a lot more painful this time of year. Toys are out in full force…and of course, my kids WANT

So what is the hack? Take a picture! It’s that simple. Just like the ‘80s and ‘90s when my mom would hand me a sale flyer and ask me to circle all the things I wanted, Watts asks her child to pick out what she loves in the store and they take a quick picture. I’m here to tell you, this works!

When I take my kids shopping, I tell them they get up to five things to add to their lists. To add a sense of seriousness and urgency, I sometimes ask them to tell me the unit price or to double-check for a BOGO sale tag. It keeps them busy while I toss stuff into the cart from my list.

So, while your turkey is being stuffed and your pies are cooling on racks, don’t fret about all the shopping that you dreading in the back of your mind, especially if you have to bring the kids with you for some of it. This hack is actually fun and keeps all those awful meltdowns away.