Going to the grocery store can be a language and educational experience for both you and your child. While walking down the aisles, figuring out what else is left on your grocery list, how about playing a game? “I Spy” is a great game to have your child describe objects, as well as, guess the objects that are being described. This is a great game to help build your child’s vocabulary and descriptive skills. Another great educationally enriching game to be played is “the naming game”. Ask your youngster to name all the “vegetables that are green” or “fruits that are round”. This can help your child recognize similarities between objects and build categorization skills
For children that are at the reading stage in their lives, how about having a scavenger hunt to find specific ingredients around the store. Ask your child where they could find Cheerios and have them lead you there. Not only does this help boost reading skills by having to read the names on packages, it also helps build spatial and direction following skills. You could further build on this by having your child pick a recipe and find all the items needed.
Word recall is another important skill we use in our everyday lives. Give your youngster a few items from the grocery list, and have them repeat those items a few times before check out. This can be made easy with just a couple of items or made harder having to recall the ingredients from an entire recipe.
The grocery store is a wonderful place for the kiddos working on specific speech sounds. Have your child find all of the food with their “speech sound” and have them say them at word level, in phrases and sentence. For example, If your child is working on the “ch” sound then have your child find “cheese”, “cheerios”, “chips”, and many more. This is a much more fun alternative to the typical “speech homework” and it allows your child to have hundreds of opportunities to say their speech sounds!
Don’t forget about the amount of learning that could be done during checkout. Have your child help place all the items onto the conveyor belt. Encourage them to place similar items together such as the fruits and vegetable in the front, frozen items in the middle, and breads in the back. Similar to the naming game, this will further build on your child’s ability to categorize and see similarities within items. If paying with cash, let your child count the money before handing it to the cashier. Help them understand the differences in the different denominations of bills and build the problem solving skill to provide the correct amount cash.
Going to the grocery store doesn’t have to be thought of as a weekly chore. Make it a fun and educational experience for your child, while making it a fun and rewarding experience for yourself. There are endless possibilities for games at the grocery store, as I have only listed a few. Happy Shopping!