If your kids are anything like mine…the idea of packing everyone up to go to the grocery store and get the necessities for the next week isn’t always very appealing. From wanting all of the goodies and treats to sneaky hands reaching out of carts to knock food off of the shelves, little ones can sometimes make a routine grocery trip turn into a trip to meltdown city for everyone. This doesn’t always have to be the case however, and in fact, the grocery store can turn into a great place to help children build their brains and learn new skills.
One of the best ways to do this is by making a list of things that you need beforehand and having them help find those items. Perhaps it takes a little longer, but this is a great way to build their observation and focus skills. You can also turn it into an “I spy” type of game by saying “I’m looking for a food that’s yellow and starts with a /b/ sound…that’s right bananas! There they are! Let’s count how many we have…1…2…3…”. It may seem simple, but kids love being asked to help out and a food scavenger hunt where they have to figure out the clues can be really entertaining.
Ask your kids to look for different shapes and point to them. Look for foods that have different colors. Let them feel some of the foods and notice their textures. Ask how high they can count while you wait your turn in line. Ask them to say the first sound of each food that you place in the cart. So many different skills can be practiced and encouraged while you’re going through your normal routine. Now, if only they can help you remember which parking spot you left your car in…
For more articles from this author, check out his blog at This is Fatherhood!