Few places are as dense with words as an ordinary grocery store. The next time you find yourself trolling the aisles with an impatient kid in tow, turn the trip on its head! Make it a reading adventure.
What You Do:
- Grocery fun can start before you’ve even left your house. Let kids cut out labels of their favorite foods, and keep a stack. When you’re ready to plan for a shopping trip, they can pull out their choices and discuss them with you.
- Everyone has their favorite foods. But children rarely get a chance to vote for what lands on their plate. Invite your child to write something they love on the list. And talk to them about what else is on it, and why.
- Using your list, have your kids help you find items, and cross them off together as you go.
- Look for foods that begin with letter sounds or combinations. In the produce aisle, for example, you won’t see as many brand names; but you can have a detective hunt for delicious “ch” foods like cherries, or bright green leafy ones that start with the letter “l.”
- When you’re almost done, and patience is wearing thin, ask your kids to group items that start with the same letter – bread with bananas, carrots with crackers and cauliflower. This is one more way to invite your children to stay amused and engaged.
The grocery store doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With the right games, your kids might not even complain. In fact, they might even love it!
Julie Williams, MA Education, has been working in education for more than twenty years. For the last five years, she has worked in classrooms with primary-level students learning to read. She also taught English and History for seventeen years at Aragon High School in San Mateo, California. She is the mother of two young sons.