1. Make it a Picnic
My favorite way to get my son excited about the farmer’s market is to remind him of the fantastic food that we will discover, and eat near the water. Any reason for my son to be near the water is a good reason in his mind. We pack up a blanket, silverware, a couple of cups and plates, reusable napkins and throw them into a tote. After we have decided exactly what we want to enjoy for brunch — usually, fresh bread, cheese and a cinnamon roll or two, we stroll over to the water and find a shady place to sit, enjoying a lovely meal as we watch the boats sail by.
2. Bring a Pet
Children love their pets, but even more, kids love showing off their pets. The farmer’s market is the perfect place for your family to spend quality time with Fido, while showing him off to everyone you met. My son loves to take our English Bulldog or Pug to the farmer’s market, as long as he is in control of the leash. People will ooo and ahhh over our pets and ask him questions about them. He loves the extra attention, and the opportunity to tell others about his pets. Just be sure to you accompany your child at all times when they are walking your pet at the farmer’s market to monitor who is talking to your child and about what.
3. Bring your Own Bag
Give your child a “special” reusable bag that is completely his own. Advise him that he is responsible for holding it, keeping track of it, and packing and carrying all of his farmer’s market finds in it. My son enjoys this part of our farmer’s market excursions because he feels like he is in control of the “grocery shopping.” He also likes to collect leaves, pine cones, seashells and other lovely pieces of the outdoors to bring home to add to his collections — a reusable bag is the perfect catch-all.
4. Try Something New
Hand’s down, one of the best things about the farmer’s market is the samples. There are so many vendors there and almost all of them have a sample of their food for you to try. I encourage my son to try different foods at all of the booths — this is a great way to introduce your child to new foods without having to actually buy them, only to find out that your child doesn’t like it. It’s also a great way to work on your child’s manners — 50 booths, 50 times to work on saying “please” and “thank you.”
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