Grocery shopping with your children can be an excellent opportunity to teach them about numbers, sounds, smells, money, etc. In fact the grocery store can become a big, fun classroom of sorts for your children. Using a shopping excursion for the week’s groceries as the chance to educate your youngsters can make the time you spend in the store more enjoyable for all of you.
Be aware that the allure of shopping and all of its magic can be felt by all young children. Your baby can even benefit from the new experience you are introducing into her life. Babies like to focus on people’s faces. For that reason make sure you sit your baby in the grocery cart where she has a good view of your face (and can look at the faces of other shoppers as they walk by).
Babies also notice colors, smells, textures and sounds around them. They like to hold onto things with their small hands and fingers. Offer your infant a safe toy from home or a food item that will not do him any harm to hold.
Once your baby becomes a toddler he can differentiate among shapes and is learning how things feel as well as how things smell. Let your toddler feel the surface of a tomato or an orange. Let him experience the variety of food smells that abound in the grocery store. At this point in time he will be able to tell you what he likes and dislikes in terms of food. Listen to what he has to say.
Preschoolers want to be a part of the shopping itself. Give your preschooler a basic task or two that makes her feel that she is helping you. For example say, “Pick out two apples,” or “Choose a loaf of bread .” Your preschooler will want to impress you with her knowledge of colors and sounds. Encourage this by saying such things as, “Show Mommy the orange carrots, the purple grapes or the green lettuce.”
School-age children have even more know-how in the grocery store, but the opportunity to teach is still very prevalent. He can help you to find specific items in the store. He can read labels and has an idea of what foods are healthy and which are not. Your school-age child is also starting to comprehend money and understands your need to compare prices.