Fun and Learning at the Grocery Store

                                                                                    Making the Most of Grocery Shopping with the Kids
                                                                                                                     Grocery shopping takes up an hour or two of most families' weekends.

                                                                                                                     Parents can make this activity hassle-free and a learning activity as well.
 

                                                                                                                     By: Justine Tajonera   |   courtesy Suite 101.com

                                                                                                                     Posted on Feb 27, 2011

                                                                                                                               Good planning can make any family's trip to the grocery store a fun time. It's an essential

                                                                                                                               weekly or bi-weekly activity and it takes up at least an hour. So parents might as well make

                                                                                                                               these trips a hassle-free bonding and learning experience for their kids as well.
                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                              Be Prepared
                                                                                                                              Parents should ensure that everyone in the family has had a meal or snack before going to the

                                                                                                                              grocery. They'll avoid the antics and bad tempers of hungry kids. Not only will that, doing the

                                                                                                                              groceries on an empty stomach result in a bit of overspending.


Parents will find that preparing a weekly menu ahead of time, maybe an hour or two before doing the groceries will save them a lot of time and effort. They can put the meal plan or menu on the fridge and just refer to it on a day to day basis. After putting together the meal plan, parents can list down what's needed in a separate grocery list.


Writing down items on the grocery list in an orderly fashion will also save parents time in going down the grocery aisles. Knowing what to buy exactly will help parents refrain from meandering down all the aisles and just focus on where they need to go. If parents already know, more or less, the grocery store layout, they can list down the items based on their route. For example, they can group items as meats, vegetables, spices, toiletries, and so on.


A Fun Learning Experience
For parents, doing the groceries can just be one more chore or task to be accomplished during the weekend. However, they can make the experience a bit more like a field trip versus just one more thing to do. They can make it part of their way of tracking their kids' learning progress. Parents can help create an air of excitement by getting the kids involved in doing the grocery list. They can practice numbers together and identifying household items that need stocking up as well as identifying their categories, shapes and colors.


The trip to the grocery store can be part of the fun. Mom or Dad can do a memory game with the kids on what items are in the grocery list or, if the kids are still very young, they can sing a song or copy Dora the Explorer: "Where are we going?" Mom can ask and the Dad and the kids can answer: "To the grocery!"
While at the grocery store, Mom and Dad can make the bigger kids do a ‘scavenger hunt’. Parents can also plot out the grocery route and make it an activity in counting items going into the grocery cart and trying to read labels aloud. Mom and Dad can make this an opportunity to lavishly praise their kids for their efforts.

 

Doing the groceries is a family activity and planning ahead can make it more fun. Being prepared makes it economical for parents as well as fun for the kids. Having a meal plan and a well-ordered grocery list will save parents time and effort. It will also free them up to make the activity a fun experience for the kids by helping them learn about numbers, categorization and a bit of reading.