This time of year my time devoted to my son and daughter gets squashed. I mean I am still devoted to them but instead of activities for them on my must do list, I have shopping, wrapping, baking, shopping, making costumes for the Christmas pageant, and I have to find time for an egg nog in there too!
So we take fun on the road!
Something I have been doing to curb my son's " Can I have that?" at the toy store is to save our toys for tots donations for him to choose. We donate a handful of toys every year and this year he chose 3 at stores . I tell him the age and gender and let him be responsible. He really thinks about it and is distracted enough for me to grab what I need right under his nose.
After a rough " I do NOT want to wait, waiting is boring!" day at the post office we tried something new. Now I pop stickers in my purse and have a letter or two I am sending a long with the packages that he must add stickers to while we wait. He loves it, it's quiet and everyone's blood pressure is much lower.
My favorite grocery store activity is this one from Teach Mama (http://teachmama.com/2009/05/shopping-lists-for-three-tiny-shoppers.html), but if you don't have the time to throw it together. I have a quicker one. In every aisle you need something on give them "clues" to what it is and have them grab it. In the cereal aisle I will say " Daddy eats these every morning." in the produce section I say " You like these without the skin.." it doesn't have to be complicated to be fun.