Even if you don't have readers and writers yet, this one is great because it helps you approach the task of shopping as a team. Kids love to be helpful if you let them.
- Keep a list in the kitchen during the week and add items that you need before your shopping trip. If your children have yet to master their letters, have them draw pictures of things to find once you hit the store.
- Hit the store with the list and a pencil, crayon or fun stickers.
- Put the kids in charge. As you find your items together, have them mark off what you put into the cart. This is where the stickers are fun because they can place a sticker beside each item and there is less chance that they will draw all over their face, you or who knows what else!
- Bonus rule. If it's NOT on the list. It does NOT go into the cart. This will save you money and begging angst.
A grocery store scavenger color hunt is super easy and is a good one for the youngsters. It may seem silly and simple but it keeps their attention focused on things other than making you nuts.
- Before you reach the store, have kids use crayons on a blank sheet and draw dots (or whatever they wish) with their favorite colors. If you have some extra time and want to boost a little brain activity, write what color each blob is beside it.
- As you travel the store aisles, have your child mark each time they see their colors. This is especially fun in the produce area because fruits and veggies are like walking through a rainbow!
- Once you are done shopping, tally how many times they saw each color.
Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we forget that learning opportunities surround us. The grocery store is full of letters! You can tailor this to be more challenging based on ages by giving a bonus for the harder to find letters such as Z, Q and Y to keep them searching. Our bonus tends to be string cheese or a little pudding.
- Write the alphabet on a sheet and take it shopping.
- Set the goal of finding each letter at least once.
- Give them a sticker, a high five or whatever works each time they discover one of the letters on packaging throughout the store.
This one is a little harder and requires a bit of pulling things off of the shelves. But, it's kinda fun even for adults.
- Have the kids make a list of popular brands based on what is already in your kitchen. Pillsbury, Proctor & Gamble, Kraft...you get the idea.
- Once you reach the store and stroll the aisles, make their job to find at least one item by each maker. If you want to create a little local awareness, have them find items that are only made by companies in your state.
- Very important step since you may be grabbing things off of the shelves...make sure that the kids know to do this task with grace and re-locate whatever they peruse properly. No need to scatter store items tornado style!
Okay, I must admit that I love this one because it actually puts use to my expired coupons and adds a touch of financial savviness to our future generation.
- Have kids paste a selection of expired coupons to a sheet.
- When you reach the store, their job is to note each time that they see that product on the shelf. If you want to add a little math to the task, give them a bonus for calculating the final price. If you are at Lowes Foods, they'll need to double all coupons .99 cents and under because that's how we roll!
- If they do their task well and get the math right, let them pick out a little bonus treat. We all like a little reward here and there!