One of the things I learned most quickly while living alone is that solo grocery shopping can be a really depressing experience. In our house, there may be occasional mid-week grocery trips to pick up one or two things, but the big weekly grocery shop occurs on Sunday. While our favorite grocery store is Wegmans, we appreciate the bulk options available at BJ’s, so our trips tend to have two stops. I see a lot of people grocery shopping by themselves, but it always warms my heart to see big family groups out doing the shopping together. While I know that it’s easy to romanticize situations that you aren’t necessarily involved in, and kids aren’t always the most helpful when it comes to running errands, there are definitely lessons that kids can learn from being taken grocery shopping, and considering that it’s summer time and kids can use all the education they can get, why not try bringing your little helper on your next errand run?
So how exactly can shopping help educationally?
Making a List
Making a grocery list is not only a life skill that kids need to learn before they have households of their own to feed, but provides an opportunity to practice a lot of other skills. For younger kids, it offers a chance to practice spelling. For kids who are a little bit older, it’s an opportunity to bust out the cursive penmanship. To help keep kids occupied on the ride to the store, why not have them organize the grocery list into categories. When in the store, put your child in charge of crossing off items that have already been found and pointing out which items are still needed.
Planning a Menu
A big part of making a good grocery list is knowing the foods your family plans to eat during the week. Having your child help plan the menu and figure out what ingredients you’ll need to pick up is a great way to get him or her more involved. If he or she gets to help actually make the meal, then the benefits only increase.
Digging through weekly adverts provides a lesson in budgeting for older kids, and in reading and cutting for younger kids.
While it may not be a good idea to put your child in charge of the money for the whole shopping trip, when you get to the check out why not have your child pay? If going for the entire total will be too difficult, put your child in charge of either coins or bills to speed up the process but still receive the benefit of handling money.
What are other ways you can make a trip to the grocery store educational for your child?