Tiny Carts, Tiny Shoppers, Big Debate

It was only a few weeks ago we stepped into a Target store and my kids saw them – the little shopping carts for little shoppers. Like many kids, my little ones are drawn to the freedom and independence of pushing their own carts. Like many parents, the thought of kiddos driving those carts around the store like little Jeff Gordons makes me break out in a nervous sweat.

kiddie_shopping_cart

The Great Shopping Cart Debate has parents lining up on both sides of the aisle. Where’s Lester Holt when you need him?

Before we shelve the issue – let’s take stock on where both sides stand:

Keep ‘em Rolling!

  • A mini shopping cart can turn an ordinary trip into an educational adventure! It keeps kids interested and engaged in what you are buying and why.
  • Instead of going for a ride and zoning out (or crying and whining), kids have a hands-on role in the process. Talk about independence – they may even get a say in what goes in their cart!
  • Not to mention, actively walking around the store is better than the passivity of sitting down. The kiddos probably aren’t working up a sweat, but a little activity is better than none.

Corral the Carts!

  • Every little shopping cart poses a danger to everyone’s ankles and heels. I have seen the looks of terror and frustration in the eyes of other shoppers and employees when there’s a little kid on the loose, and I don’t blame them. Getting bumped and run over HURTS! Especially when it happens over and over.
  • And did I mention the physical exertion it takes to shephard one, two or even more kids down the correct aisle and keep their hands off the breakables?! It can be exhausting!
  • And then there are the times when the kiddos get bored of their carts and you’re left bending over, trying to push a little cart with one hand and a normal cart with the other. At least you can skip yoga because you’ve already done your stretches.

Target wasn’t the first store to introduce little shopping carts, but it didn’t take long before shoppers’ safety concerns won out. Target probably won’t be the last to retire them. Customers in training have been pushing their own wheels for a while now in several grocery store chains. Time will tell if it’s a fad or the future of shopping with kids!

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Author: minivancommuter

Alise McGregor is a working mom with two girls. As the founder of Little Newtons, she's passionate about making education the primary focus of child care.

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