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Shopkeeper game for kids and tired parents

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Shopkeeper is a classic game for kids and parents everywhere, and here is Matt Brown’s take on it from his book  Trapped Indoors with Kids: 100 Ways to Play, Have Fun and Stay Sane (99p from Amazon).

shopkeeper game for kids

The town has been crying out for new varieties of shop. Today’s new business venture is a perfumed-pebble boutique. Your child has spotted a gap in the market and really feels that it’s a goer. ‘Shopkeeper’ is a game that combines imagination and creativity. It’s different every time you play, and it comes with the added advantage of allowing you to come and go—ideal if you’re multi-tasking around the house.


  • A play-plank or other flat surface to be a counter/display top
  • Various random objects for your child to sell at extortionate rates (don’t worry, your child will hunt around and procure most of these).
  • Paper and pencils
  • Some loose change

How to play:

  1. Find an appropriate place for your child to set out their stall. A play-plank (plank of wood that’s been planed and sanded around the edges) between two chairs will do, or a table or window sill.
  2. Kick-start the process by suggesting a few interesting items that your child may wish to sell. My girls like to raid my bowl of decorative stones to sell as precious gems. They are robust enough for me not to worry, and yet look sufficiently exotic to enthuse my girls.
  3. Encourage your child to think of other things they might like to sell. Pretty soon, the shop will take on a life of its own as your child thinks of ever-more bizarre items to draw in clientele.
  4. Suggest creating a sign for the shop, or an open/close notice. This will often occupy your child for a good stretch as they will want to get their branding and decor just right!
  5. When the shop is complete, pop by every now and then to browse their wares and make the odd purchase.

This shopkeeper game for kids can really fire a child’s imagination. When they know that the adult will periodically come by to peruse their stock it can spur them on to making more and more elaborate displays. For the parent, this not only gives you satisfaction that your child’s imagination and creativity is being stimulated, but it can free up precious chunks of time to get on with other chores or tasks.

We hope you enjoyed this post and have a lot of fun letting your kids’ imagination run wild. Here are some more posts you may enjoy:

“Is your shop open for business?”

“Step into my hall of wonder, Daddy. Anything take your fancy?”

“Hmm. Well, this pebble here looks pretty appealing.”

“Ah, yes. It’s a lovely pebble that is. One of the best pebbles you’re likely to see. Care to–take a closer look?”

“Let’s see now–finely crafted. Very smooth.”

“Hand-polished by the sea. Freshly caught.”

“It has a nice weight to it, doesn’t it?”

“Smell it.”

“Smell it?”

“Go on… I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

“Oh my goodness! What is that!”

“A bit of cheese, from my plate. I rubbed it into the pebble. Do you like it?”

“It stinks!”

“I have plenty more where these came from. They all smell different.”

“What else have you been rubbing pebbles in?!”

“Oh, this’n’that. Just be careful with those ones–they’re still sticky.”

“Oh… wonderful!”

To download the printable version of this game – do click on the square image below as always on our site.

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