TODDLERS often look cute and adorable when they embark on a trip to the shops with mum or dad.

But being walked around large shopping centres with no toys to play with can often lead to moods changing and tantrums developing.

In a bid to combat youngsters having a meltdown in public, Templars Square shopping centre in Cowley is launching a Kids Club to make sure little ones can enjoy their day out as much as their parents.

With the help of TV psychologist Dr Sam Wass, NewRiver, – which owns and operates Templars Square – will roll out the activities which they say will make parents feel 'more at ease' when shopping with their children.

Security teams at the centre have taken part in 'tantrum training' and studied tactics such as treasure trails, free play areas and activities for youngsters.

Owen Acland, centre manager at Templars Square, said the Kids Club would 'incentivise good behaviour' and create 'happy families all round'.

He said: "Most of us have all experienced our own kids having a meltdown or felt the pain of other parents struggle to keep their toddler happy while shopping.

"At Templars Square we’ve been working with Sam to come up with several tactics to make shopping more fun for small children.

"Our Kids Club will offer free events for children throughout the year, special offers for parents who sign up, and a child safe scheme giving parents piece of mind when out shopping."

Research commissioned by NewRiver found more than a third – 38.5 per cent – of 2,000 parents surveyed in the South East complained about their child having a tantrum while shopping and two in five –39 per cent – said they would rather avoid a trip to the shops with the kids for fear of their child misbehaving.

Mum’s are seen to be the most self-conscious, with a third saying they felt judged in a shop when their child started playing up, compared to just one in five dads.

However, men admitted that they were the quickest to turn their noses up at mischievous children, with 42 per cent of those polled saying they had judged another parent whose child was misbehaving.

Dr Wass, from Channel 4’s Secret Life of Four Year Olds, has been working with the company to offer her advice.

She said: "Most children throw tantrums at some point. But of all the times when they might misbehave, shopping is one of the most common,

"From a scientific point of view, we understand quite well why this is.

"Children tend to be more up and down in their moods than adults are – and are more affected by moving from a calm environment to a stressful one.

"Shops tend to be full of unfamiliar people and can be quite an unstructured and unpredictable experience.

"Children can feel they have no control over what happens next which can cause anxiety."

For more insights and advice from Dr Wass on shopping with children, and details of NewRiver’s Kids Club, visit