Trying a New Way to Shop

Written by mummybird. Posted in ASD, The Birds

Picture this ……. The cupboards are empty, you need to get to the supermarket but you have to take the children with you. Like most parents I dread the moment I have to tell the children we need to go to the supermarket. Little Bird has never liked shopping, as soon as I mention going to the shops he has a meltdown and I end up getting stressed out before I have even got to the door. Walking around a shop with him is a nightmare, he doesn’t look where he’s going, bumps into people, ignores me, and has to touch everything he sees. I recently had a meeting at school with a Little Birds teacher and she suggested I try a new way to shop with him, so I waited until the end of last week to try out the method the school suggested.

IMG_8259 On Friday I told Little Bird we were going to the supermarket, I was met with the normal groans but this time I told him we were going to do the shopping a new way. Little Bird loves post-it notes and lists so I made him his own shopping list made up of post-it notes with one item on each note. The idea behind the notes is that once Little Bird finds an item he can rip that post-it note off and put it in his pocket, it’s a visual idea so that he can see exactly what we picking up at the shop and he knows how long roughly we will be inside the shop.

I showed Little Bird his list and he read out all the items that we needed to get, I told him I would not get anything else just what was on the list which believe me was hard to do because I never just buy from the list. The school had also recommended to me to give Little Bird a rucksack to put on his back and fill it with books so it put some weight on his shoulders. I wasn’t really sure how this would go but I was willing to give it a shot. I put some of his favourite books in his rucksack along with a treat for after we had finished shopping, but he was only going to get that if he was good in the shop.

IMG_8263With our list and rucksack in the car we headed off to Tesco’s, as soon as we got out of the car Little Bird put on his rucksack. He seemed really excited to do the shopping which was a first, I had organised the list to coincide with the shop layout so we started with the fruit and veg. Little Bird enjoyed picking up the items we needed and putting them in the trolley which Big Bird was pushing. We were slowly getting through our list and then I realised just how well behaved Little Bird was being, and I liked it.

In the end we managed to get all of our items that we needed and I hadn’t heard a peep out of Little Bird, who had been brilliant. Normally when I go to the checkout its a nightmare, the children normally run around, don’t listen to me whilst I struggle to get everything on the conveyor belt. Today little bird put everything on the conveyor belt he helped me and the lady behind me who commented on what a good boy he was. We did have a few minutes wait before it we were served but he stood well and listen to me. He gave the checkout lady our clubcard and to my surprise started packing my bags, he put everything in the bags and helped me get it back to the car.

IMG_8286I was really surprised just how this shopping trip went, it was completely stressfree and I actually came out of the shop feeling relaxed and looking forward to going home and unpacking the shopping to which Little Bird help me. I can honestly say this was the best both children had behaved in the supermarket for me, and it was a pleasure taken them with me.

Next week I will be back to doing the food shop whilst the children are at school, its not something I will do with them all time but it’s something I know I can do in the future now. I’m really surprised how the rucksack and the list worked I just hope it works for me again in the future because it’ll make shopping a whole lot easier.

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Comments (3)

  • Lin Sutton


    Well done, little bird, perhaps you will come and help Nannie with her shopping as grandad is hopeless, he sits in the car, and never helps me!!xxx


  • Teacher S


    well done to “little bird” not only have you become the “post it king” you’ll now be ” king of the shops” xx


  • Claire D


    Interesting idea to use the bag as we use weighted jackets at school and it really helps some children concentrate plus sit still. Might be worth looking for a weighted jacket or those bean filled pillows to put on his shoulders while you’re doing home work or reading.


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