I like to get out of the house at least once during the day to do an outing with my 15 month old. Today was a bit wet and not a great day for a walk. I was looking for something relatively quick and closer to home as I’ve been driving up to Lebanon a lot lately. We recently went to Runnings for some kid friendly bug spray based on a recommendation from our pediatrician with picaridin in it and my son loved wandering the store. This made me think – oh what a good idea to do on a wet day: explore stores while you do errands, or just explore stores you like to browse.
The Post Office
I had to go to the post office so I thought it would be fun for him to explore while we were there.
We’re regulars at the post office so he got to ring the bell for service. Lately he’s been enjoying some stickers the postal worker has given him. He stares at it on his arm, tears it off, and tries to eat it. So he’s not really understanding the sticket idea, but he’ll get there.
Here are some things to do while if you find yourself there.
Touch the mail boxes and maybe even try counting some.
Mail a letter. Trying to fit the envelope in the hole could really eat some time.
Look at the cards. They have some cute cards with fun pictures. I enjoy looking at them each time I go.
The Pet Store
I used to love browing the pet store as a kid, looking at all the reptiles and animals, especially the birds. Apparently my son’s the same way. After browsing, he got down, turned around and wanted to go back inside for more…
Here are some things to entertain the little one at the pet store:
Look at and feel the pet bedding and chew toys. There are some great textures to explore. My son kept going to the rubber flying saucers for dogs.
Check out the fish. This was a great opportunity to talk about different colors. My son enjoyed looking at these the longest. He talked to the fish and pointed at them.
Peek at the reptiles. We couldn’t see them all and my son wasn’t overly fascinated with these because they didn’t move much, but I thought they were cool to look at.
Enjoy watching the turtles. This was another hit. The turtles wandered around their container and in one display the turtle was swimming. My son just stared. Then was very interested in the heat lamp at the top, not sure why; he kept pointing at it, maybe because of its funny shape?
Make sure to be check out the beautiful birds! I just loved looking at the two blue masked lovebirds.
We saw the scarlet macaw named Darla and some other cute birds. I am always amazed that they stay in their areas because they are open to the room. They must be so comfortable just hanging out.
I left inspired, thinking of all the great animals that make great pets for kids. Of course my little one is at the admiring a fish stage, but maybe when he’s older he can have a turtle.
Runnings is an amazing store. I love going there for all my summer trip supplies like camping and hiking. They have unique products I don’t see anywhere else nearby: hay, welding supplies, big air compressers, old fashioned candy, a greater selection of camping, outdoor relaxed apparel, hunting and fishing, and home improvement supplies. It’s so fun to browse in. My son thought so too. We spent the most time wandering this store. He went up and down the aisles, pointing and talking to different products. It was like eye candy for toddlers, and I rarely had to redirect him to not touch things. He just wanted to walk and explore.
Here are some great places to explore in Runnings and consider even buying to entertain your little one at home too or take with you on a summer adventure.
The tractors. He loved looking at the colorful tractors and mowers in the front of the store. I think he walked around them twice before he moved on.
Kids Patio Furniture! On our way to the next section my son saw an adorable patio set for kids. I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought this was such a great idea and reasonably priced too. My son was enamored with it immediately.
The boating Section. There are some really cool water sport equipment I’m not used to seeing like a colorful blue paddleboard and lots of kayaks of various colors and sizes.
If you’re looking to take your kiddo out on the water this summer, Runnings has cute life vests.
The dog and pet section. I think my son would’ve spent forever here. Runnings has some of the coolest dog toys I’ve seen. I was fascinated as my son stopped to check them out. Who cares they were made for dogs, my son would still play with it: they’re funny shaped, colorful, and squeak! What’s not to love?
The pet bedding selection was impressive and so incredibly soft. They could make human sized ones and I’d nap in it…I was thinking as we touched a few how funny it would be to see my little one sleeping in one – they’re certainly soft and comfortable!
The best part was the Runnings pet mascot, a rabbit named Roo. My son sat next to it and talked to it and pet it. He just enjoyed sitting and watching it. Roo was so friendly and soft. I’d never seen him so engaged with an animal other than our cats.
The lawn and garden section outside. We entered at the back of the lawn and garden section where there’s hay and large water stations for animals. This was a fun place to explore.
Then we made our way to the flowers. My son likes to pull petals off flowers, so holding him was important here.
We both enjoyed the unique garden sculptures Runnings has. My son especially liked the soldier ones, which I thought was cool. I’ve never seen a soldier lawn sculpture. What a great idea for the 4th of July, Veteran’s Day, or Memorial Day to have out on your lawn to honor those who serve and have served. Hm. Maybe I’ll wander back and get that sometime.
Our last stop was the plastic watering jugs. I think this will be a great addition to my outdoor toy selection. My son can help me water the garden and local wild flowers around us.
There’s more fun to be had for little kids too. Runnings also has games and toys, which I’ll have to go back and check out sometime.
So if you’re bored and want to explore with the kids, these are some great places to go. You can also check out other ways to have fun while doing errands with your kids. I particularly like the car wash idea. If you have an older child, I love these ways to make errands a game. This article has more ideas like finding items related to the ABCs.