It might not seem so when you’re watching at your toddler throwing yet another tantrum in the frozen aisle at the supermarket, but taking your children shopping may actually boost their development.
According to a new study, the old adage of a change being as good as a rest certainly applies to taking little ones to the shops with you – apparently, the new surroundings can help improve their brain function AND make them happier.
Professor Paul Anand of the Open University explained that watching the process of mum and dad choosing items and paying for them is ‘particularly significant in relation to child happiness’.
He continued, ‘Children are getting visual stimulation, they’re getting out of the house and into a new environment, they’re bumping into other families where social skills come into play and they may get the chance to do something physical in a shop like run around.’
‘There is evidence that more active activities can boost the development of children’s capabilities’
Prof Anand added, ‘There does seem to be a connection between the kinds of activities that are taking place and the skills that are being developed.’
Interestingly, more passive activities like watching TV and looking at picture books have no discernable impact on children’s happiness levels or the development of new skills – although being read to and encouraged to tell stories does, the study found.
‘There is also some evidence that more active activities can boost the development of children’s capabilities,’ the research team said.
‘Painting or doing arts and crafts has a significant impact on the development of movement skills, while reading or telling stories and singing children’s songs have a significant impact on both talking ability and social skills.’
Do you agree with the findings? Let us know in the comments below.