Toy shopping carts might seem like an unusual (and even boring) choice for playtime. When we think of shopping carts, we think of a trip to the grocery store, and no thank you. But a child’s imagination is one of the most fascinating things to witness from a parent’s perspective. They can make the most mundane activities for adults feel like an exciting adventure. Whether it being playing with garbage trucks, talking on the phone, telling “funny” jokes, and yes, even grocery shopping. Young minds love to mimic what they see adults do in their day-to-day lives; so something as boring as wandering down crowded grocery aisles is the perfect playtime activity for youngsters. And it’s no secret that kids grocery carts are such a popular playtime staple. Remember grabbing a mini cart at the grocery store when you were a kid? The excitement!
So why are toy shopping carts important to have in the playroom? Well, allowing children to mimic our everyday routines, such as grocery shopping, can help promote independence and responsibility. For example, if they draft up their own pretend grocery lists and carefully select which food items to put in their carts, this helps build their decision making and planning skills. They feel like they’re putting in “real work” since what goes into our real shopping carts are usually a result of our kid’s decisions. Plus pushing a shopping cart and picking up the food items is a great way to build their motor skills. It’s also a great accessory to have if your kid has their own play kitchen.
If your grocery stores don’t offer their own carts for kids, then it’s a good idea to get a toy shopping cart for the playroom (it’ll also save you money on the grocery bill, too). There’s a wide variety in the types of carts available for you to choose, ranging from the classics we remember playing with to more some realistic versions you’d find at an actual store. But don’t worry, we rounded up the 9 of the most popular kids shopping carts so you don’t have to spend hours searching!
Best Kids’ Shopping Carts
Let’s be real, this shopping cart pushes and turns 100x better than the actual ones at the grocery store. This shopping cart from Melissa & Doug is built with a sturdy metal frame and features front, spring-loaded safety wheels that allow for 360 degree pivots on any type of flooring. Having your kiddo play with shopping carts during playtime helps them build independence and responsibility while they imitate grown-ups. Your little shopper can carry around their stuffed animals and dolls or these pretend grocery foods.
Who says a game of pretend can’t involve the real deal? This sturdy metal shopping cart looks and feels like one you’d find at the market. But let’s be honest, the pink wheels and handle make it far cuter than the ones we use while shopping. The front wheels allow for 360 degree pivots and guess what, the whole thing folds up! That’s right, talk about easy storage. And to get the full grocery shopping experience, this cart comes with an 23-piece grocery set.
Now this cart is more suited toward younger babes. The wooden frame and wheels make the cart very sturdy, but don’t allow the wheels to pivot. This is great for little ones who are just getting used to their walking legs while still engaging in imaginative play. The wooden wheels are lined with rubber to allow for smooth rolling, especially across wooden floors. To get the full experience, be sure to scoop up some pretend groceries to fill the basket with!
Kids can finally get the full grocery shopping experience with this cart play set – especially when it’s time to stock up. This play set comes with 78 grocery pieces, ranging from fruits and vegetables to some more familiar packaged foods like milk and pasta.
There’s nothing more iconic in the world of children’s toys like the red and yellow of Little Tikes gear. Some of us mamas probably remember having a shopping cart just like this when we were the little tikes! And of course, you can’t forget to fill the basket with miniature plastic grocery foods.
For kiddos who just need to make a quick stop at the store for a few items, this rolling grocery basket from Melissa & Doug should fit the bill. The play set includes 5 grocery boxes, 3 food cans, a double-sided grocery list, and a pencil that can easily store in the side of the basket.
Why push your cart through the grocery store when you can drive down the aisles? This Cozy Coupe shopping cart from Little Tikes allows kiddos to live our adults wildest grocery store fantasies. The iconic Cozy Coupe got a major upgrade with blue grocery basket, so your toddler can get their groceries for the week and take their teddy bear for a joy ride. Accessories shown in the picture are not included with the cart, so be sure to pick up some pretend grocery food as well.
For the ’90s kids that now have their own kids, this little shopping cart gives off major ’90s vibes. From the bright blue, yellow, and purple design to the old fashioned food brands. There’s even a deposit key on the handle, just like some of the old grocery carts used to feature. The cart’s wheel base is wide for added stability and there’s a chunky hand for little hands to easily grip and hold onto.
No plastic here! This grocery set has all the bells and whistles, and the bonus is everything is made from wood. For those kiddos who want to take pretend grocery shopping to the next level, this play set from Costway gives you the full experience. This set includes a cash supermarket playset, a shopping cart, a scanner, a card swipe machine, a credit card, and 5 wooden coins. The accessories shown are not included with the playset, so you’ll definitely want to scoop up some pretend grocery food to stock the shelves.