Turn an everyday task, like grocery shopping, into a fun learning adventure for you and your preschooler. Playing these simple games while you shop will not only entertain your child making for a more pleasant trip, but will also teach fundamental skills in math, science and language arts. Get ready for a shopping adventure...
Getting Ready: Picture Shopping ListMake a picture shopping list for your child. Either cut pictures out of the sales paper or make simple drawings of some items you need. You can let your child pick some of the items to put on the list. Choose items from a single department or one item from various departments throughout the store. Let them help find the items and put them in the shopping cart.
Weighing In: Comparison ShoppingLet your child watch and help you weigh your produce. They can count the items as you put them on the scale. See how many apples are in a pound. Compare the weight of different items. Have your child guess which is heavier, then check it on the scale.
Shopping for Color: Colorful NutritionIt is important to teach nutrition as well. I make my kids go crazy in the produce department. Each has to find 5 different colored veggies or fruits. With 3 kids, we end up with 15 different items. It is great fun. The colors are yellow (lemons, starfruit, bananas), red (tomatoes, peppers, apples, strawberries), orange (sweet potato, carrots, oranges, pumpkin), green (peppers, cabbages, lettuces) and blue/purple (red onion, blueberries, red cabbage). This helps kids get different vitamins and cuts down my time in that department. (From guest DawnMarie77)
Shopping for ShapesSee if your child can find different shapes around the grocery store. Find things that are round: oranges, cantaloupe, grapes. Find square boxes, rectangular boxes, etc.
Checking Out: SortingAt the checkout stand, as you're placing the items onto the conveyor belt, you can group your items by color. Let your child pick items of a certain color to put together. You can also sort by shapes, cans, boxes. Try sorting the fruits and vegetables. You can talk about the beginning letter/sound of each item you take out of the cart. Switch it up as they progress to keep it interesting. Talk about what the conveyor belt is and how it works.
It's in the BagAfter getting home from grocery shopping, have your child guess how many objects there are in a bag. Is it full? Could it hold more? Could it tear if you put more in it? Are there more things in another bag of the same size? Why do some bags hold more or less than others?
Putting it AwayPutting away groceries helps children develop classifying and reasoning skills. Have your child help group the groceries by different rules: shapes, sizes, etc. Talk about refrigerator and freezer items.
As you finish up your shopping day, relax with your child with a snack they helped purchase at the store.