Everyday Activities provide Learning Opportunities: Shopping!

 There are so many times when we are educating our children without even realising it and with a little bit of extra thought we can turn the most mundane everyday activities into opportunities for learning.

There are so many times when we are educating our children without even realising it and with a little bit of extra thought we can turn the most mundane everyday activities into opportunities for learning.

Turn the routine supermarket trip into an opportunity for interaction, conversation and educational fun. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Before you set off model writing a shopping list even if you only list a few items, your child could add to it by drawing items. Alternatively, cut pieces of packaging from items you need such as from a box of a tea or cereals, coffee label, empty crisp packet, hole punch them together and clip on a keyring so your child has a ready-made list of things it is their special job to find. Not only will this keep your child busy, but it will encourage your child’s matching skills as they try to match the picture on the list to the real-life item.

  • Prior to the trip motivate your child by deciding on something simple they could make and give them the special job of finding the ingredients – a fruit salad, cookies, bread base pizza.

  • Practise counting out quantities of items into the trolley.

  • Notice numbers in the prices and on aisles. An anchor point for most children is to spot the number that matches their age. “Let’s look for aisle 4. We need to find the cereal”.

  • Have a look at the range of shapes and colours in the fruit and vegetable aisle. Notice the range of smells – the fish counter and bakery.

  • Talk about where food comes from to extend your child’s general knowledge.

  • Make a conscious effort to use the opportunity to enrich their vocabulary – rather than ‘please put milk in the trolley’, ‘please put a carton of milk…’ Talk about where food comes from to extend their general knowledge.

  • Draw attention to notices, signs and labels all around.

  • Involve children in using technology in the supermarket, using self scan, weighing items and printing labels.

  • Back at home encourage your little one to sort fruit, veg, tins and cans, boxes as you put away.

  • Set up a pretend shop using recycled boxes and containers and give your child a small basket or bag and an old bank card and coins. Together make some signs and provide paper and pens to make lists. Encourage them to collect some of the free flyers in store to add to their very own supermarket.

Who would of thought that a trip to the supermarket could provide such a wealth of learning opportunities.

Happy Shopping!