by Carrie Abbott
Bringing children to a winter market has challenges that an open-air spring/summer market doesn't have. It's a little chilly out, everyone is inside and typically it's loud and bustling!
Here are some suggestions in making the most of the winter market shopping trip:
Ages 0-2: Baby wearing or a stroller is recommended. It helps reassure that you are close in a sometimes crazy Saturday market! We want them to have a fun time, not feel lost in a crowded place! (Besides a stroller is great path creator and an instant bag of all your great purchases!)
Ages 2-5: Walking is good. Go in with a plan. Tell them ahead of time that they can pick out one item and maybe just loop around once to look and on the second trip they can make their selection. If they pick farm fresh eggs as their one item, then you're job is done! If they pick the jar of honey, be sure to include it in your next baking project or sauce w/curry and chicken and mustard, oh yeah! If they pick some crazy looking vegetable just because it was eye level, well, you better get the farmer's suggestion or get on wikipedia when you get home. Have fun with it for sure!
Ages 5+ : Make a list or have them write a list with check boxes. Write this on a little notepad or notebook and have your child keep track of the purchases, like a scavenger hunt. Allow them to help keep you focused on the list. It's exciting to see other people that we know, but lingering too long may take the fun out of the whole scavenger hunt. OR, just send them ahead with the list and money needed and THEY can buy the next item. Create a budget that they can spend on anything they want there with two stipulations (1) they try what they buy and (2) they share with the class or their teachers something they learned about the item! Unless your kids are homeschooled, I'm fairly certain that the other kids are not eating as well as yours are...the other kids may want to know more!
Regardless of age, take time to help the kids understand what it means to be a *butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker* and all the other great vendors at the market.
Carrie is a downtown, modern housewife. She raises two daughters, Eva and Maddie who are 3 and 7-yrs old with her IT lovin' hubby, Jake. In her spare time Carrie dreams up sinful desserts, savory soups and tries her hand at international cooking. She is a partner in Full Plate Catering that specializes in in-home catered parties. Her degrees are in Geography w/Travel and Tourism and in Baking and Pastry Arts. Carrie is one of those friends that you can call from the grocery or in mid-recipe and ask any question. Her blog is designed to help her friends get cooking and offer some comic relief in planning and preparing the week-day meal.