Summer is here which means farmers market season is in full force! No matter where you live, this is likely the time of year that your local farm stands are bursting at the seams with fresh fruits and veggies picked just hours earlier.
Visiting the farmers market with the whole family is not only fun but it is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. That being said, bringing a toddler or two to the farmers market with busy crowds and open-air parking lots can be a bit daunting.
To help you make the most out of this wonderful time of year, here are a few tips for visiting farmers markets with toddlers:
- Turn It Into a Game: Even though you’re there to gather dinner ingredients or stock the fridge, a farmers market visit is the perfect teaching opportunity and a great way to teach your kids about where our food comes from. Turn it into a game by having your toddler point out specific fruits and vegetables. If he spots the eggplant or points out the kale, give him a small prize like stickers. Try asking them to point out as many green vegetables or red fruits they can find. The more stickers they collect, the better!
- Let Them Pay: When it comes time to pay for your goodies, let your little one hand over the cash to the farmers. They will love being in charge and the farmers will have fun engaging with your kids. It’s a great way to teach a basic life skill starting at an early age and kids love feeling empowered and in control.
- Give Them A Basket: Enlist your little ones to help carry your haul. Even if they only carry a single zucchini or a pint of strawberries, they will love helping out Mom and Dad and will appreciate having a specific duty during the visit to the farmers market.
- Toddlers’ Pick: Before it’s time to go home, let your little one pick out one item without any suggestions from parents or siblings. Even if kohlrabi wasn’t on your list or you could swear they don’t like yellow squash, you might be surprised to see how quickly their taste buds change when they are involved in the buying process.
What are your best tips for visiting the farmers market with toddlers? We would love to hear from you!