Educational Gift Ideas: The Shopping Cart

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An Enduring Toy for Playtime

Every child needs a shopping cart! Okay, so maybe that is slightly exaggerated, but not very much!

This was one of the most used toys when my daughter was a toddler. Every day she would shop. She had items that went in her little kitchen, but honestly her favorite shopping ‘aisle’ was our pantry. She would unload every item she could reach, either into her cart or onto the floor, then push the cart off to its next stop. Eventually I would put the remnants back into the cupboard and she would start all over again.

When we grew concerned she might drop a can on her little toes, we loaded the cupboard with light pans she could use. When the noise of that made our ears ring continually, we finally put the tupperware in there. Perfect. She would play with it her shopping cart for hours at a time. The cart held up to it all.

If she wasn’t shopping, she was carrying her dolls here and there.  Baby dolls fit in the front section, just like a real shopping cart.  After all, everyone knows you surely can’t leave your baby home alone while you go shopping. Even one of our small poodles ended up in the cart a time or two, though usually the dog revolted, and speedily left the cart without permission.

It says a lot for the product that in today’s quick changing items on the wish list, the shopping cart is still there. A cart is still part of our every day lives as adults, so naturally it will still be enjoyed and desired by our children too. So you can see why I think every child should have one!

For Shopping, Home or Out

Back then, we never took the little cart to the grocery store, though now I see many stores have them in pint-size just for the small visitors. And if not, you can bring you own along while you shop. It is such fun for them and equally fun to watch them.

Besides shopping excursions, whether at home or out, they are very handy when it comes to picking up toys as well. When it’s time to clean up, your child can gather his or her toys into the cart to purchase. Then take them home (their room) to put away. Just like grocery shopping. It will make the task fun at the same time as efficient.

In addition, today you can find carts that look identical to the ones we use in the grocery store (except for size, of course). Metal with a plastic coated handle, even the folding set. After all, most children like to imitate their parent’s actions. It is really hard to resist even now.

Of course, wooden and plastic carts are both still very popular too.

What an enduring toy–it has been loved and enjoyed over generations. The grandchildren today are still shopping, still using their little miniature carts to stock up on supplies. It will be a perfect gift for a little girl I know this year.

Melissa and Doug have an excellent reputation for educational toys and durable toys that children love. This is another one I would highly recommend.

Here is the Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart

The Melissa & Doug shopping cart is the #1 bestseller in carts for toys. It’s exceptional well made, steel construction. The front wheels turn 360 degrees , and it a child leans or jumps on it, the legs/wheels are spring loaded so it will stay in position and not move out from under them. Check the reviews here! It gets a 5 star rating, with over 750 ratings and reviews. That’s a lot of comments on a very popular product.


Little Tikes Shopping Cart

Here’s Another Version of the Shopping Cart, all in durable plastic.  Little Tikes has a good reputation for children’s toys.  This model has a fold down child seat and more storage underneath the cart.

To make a child’s playtime complete, don’t forget to pick up some food to go with the cart…You’ll need the staples, of course, like mustard and milk, then perhaps some assorted canned goods?  I especially like the vegetable set here.  Encouraging healthy choices of foods.  These and many more are available.  Don’t forget to let your child cook for you when you get home!


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

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