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# Learning Mathematics - Activities for the Grocery Store: Kindergarten through Grade 2 (page 2)

 Using the advertised prices in a newspaper or flyer to estimate the cost of items on a shopping list can help children sharpen their mental math and estimation abilities.

Grocery shopping offers opportunities to let children apply a range of mathematics skills, including data collection and estimation.

What You Need

• Pencil and paper
• Calculator

What to Do

• To help your child learn about collecting data, involve him in making a shopping list for a special occasion, such as his birthday party. As you discuss what you need to buy, write out a list of grocery items. Then review the list with your child and tell him to make a check mark next to each item that you name. If you need more than one of an item, such as cartons of ice cream, tell him how many checks to make beside that item. Review the list with him and have him tell you what items-and how many of each—that you need to buy.
• Ask your child to choose something that he wants for dinner—a cake, a salad, tacos. Have him check to see what ingredients you already have, then ask him to help you make a shopping list. At the grocery store, let him find each item on the list. Help him to compare prices for different brands of the same items (such as boxes of cake mix) to see which items are the best buys.
• Ask your child questions such as, "Which is cheaper, this package of two tomatoes for \$1.50 or three of these tomatoes at 60 cents each?" Have him estimate, then check his answer with a calculator.

### Kindergarten-Grade 1: Get into Shapes

 Before shopping trips, review different shapes with children by pointing them out in items around the house. Encourage them to use the correct name for each shape: square, rectangle, triangle, circle, cube, cylinder and so forth.

Being able to recognize how different shapes are used in common settings helps children to understand geometric principles-such as shape and quantity-and the relationships among them.

What to Do

• At the store, ask your child questions to focus her attention on the shapes that you see. Ask her to find, for example, items that have circles or triangles on them or boxes that are in the form of a cube or a rectangular solid.
• As you shop, point out shapes of products—rolls of paper towels, unusually shaped bottles, cookie boxes shaped like houses. Talk with your child about the shapes. Ask her why she thinks products, such as paper towels and packages of napkins, come in different shapes. Have her notice which shapes stack easily. Try to find a stack of products that looks like a pyramid.
• Ask your child for reasons the shapes of products and packages are important to store owners. (Some shapes stack more easily than others and can save space.)

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