Say "Home Depot" to my kids and you'll hear immediate groans of disapproval. I can't say as I blame them — I get tired of trudging through aisle upon aisle of hardware myself. Here's Mike's suggestion (for the kid at least):
Like many parents, we spend a lot of time in the big box home improvement stores. How do you keep a toddler calm during hours of shopping for things like window shades and hardware? When you walk in, go to the paint section. Usually there's some child-oriented color lines, and they have color chips or other things with various characters on it. We let the kid take one color chip (he picks) and he's usually happy for the entire trip.