The grocery store can provide many teachable moments for children to practice important literacy, math, wellness and social-emotional skills.
Below are some fun ideas to keep your child engaged and learning during your next shopping trip.
- If the store has child-sized shopping carts, encourage your child to help you shop by following two-step directions such as, “Please pick up the box of cereal and place it in your cart.”
- Pick a letter of the alphabet and point to items that begin with that letter. For example, for the letter “p” you could say, “Pizza starts with the letter p” or “The first sound you hear in the word tomato is /t/.” Choose different letters each time you shop together.
- Foster your child’s fine motor skills by giving him your shopping list and a writing utensil. As you find each item, point to the word, say it aloud and then ask him to cross it off.
- Challenge your child to participate in a color scavenger hunt. For example, say, “Let’s see if we can find 10 items that are blue.”
- Involve your child in meal planning. Ask him, “What is a healthy food that we could have for dinner this week?” Then, encourage him to help you find the item in the store.
- Model positive behaviors for your child and encourage him to behave the same, such as taking turns, asking for help politely and waiting in line patiently. For example, say, “We can’t seem to find the soup that we need. Let’s ask the store worker for help.”