For babies and toddlers, shops and supermarkets are a wonderland of sights, sounds, shapes, and smells.
Things to try
- Before you go, write a short shopping list together. Try to include some numbers, too: 5 bananas, a box of cereal, a newspaper, 6 eggs.
- If you’re walking to the store, talk about what you can both see and hear along the way.
- If you’re driving, get them to help you collect the parking ticket, think about how long the shopping will take and encourage them to help you decide what time you’ll need to be back at the car.
- Talk about the fruit and vegetables you spot in the store. Can they name the item? What colour is it? How would they describe it?
- Use the scales to weigh a bunch of bananas or some potatoes. Ask your child to think about the idea of heavier and lighter items.
- Ask your child to find something from the list, such as their favourite breakfast cereal, to see if they can recognise the packaging.
- If you’re paying in cash, let them help you count it out. Teach them about notes and coins.
- When you get home, ask them help you to put the shopping away. Ask them to help identify which items go in the fridge and which go in the cupboard.
What they learn
- When you’re looking at money together, checking the time, and weighing items, you’re helping your child with their maths skills.
- When you’re talking to your child about what they can see on the way to the shops, or in the shop itself, you’re helping them with communication and understanding the world around them.
- When you’re writing a shopping list, using the names of different fruits and vegetables, and talking about the size and weight of things, you’re helping them with their literacy.