We all know that those errands over the weekend can be stressful for parents and children. As you were thinking of using that delivery service for groceries or your Saturday trip to the store, new research out of Davidson College encourages us to make the most of those errands. I would even say make the most of your trip to the store from the red stop sign to the numbers on the speed limit sign as you go from here to there.
It turns out that letting children actively participate in that trip to the grocery store and talking about it improves academic achievement in reading and math. The next time you are at the grocery store, take a moment to look around and recognize all of the learning that can happen. There are shapes, colors, words, signs and lots of numbers to explore and talk about as you are making your way down the aisle.
@ the Grocery Store or around town:
· Let them make their own grocery list (with letters, words or pictures)
· Give them your list to check off
· Let them put items in the cart
· Give them a basket to put a few things into
· Talk about what you are trying to find or need
· Create a grocery store notebook for them to draw and write in (keeps them busy & learning)
· Look for numbers
· Count the apples as you place them in the bag
· Sort by colors, shapes and sizes
· Play iSpy to find certain fruits, vegetables, pasta or types of cereal
· Take a calculator and let them punch in numbers or try to add up all the things in the cart
· Go on a shape hunt (try to find a cylinder, triangle, rectangle or 3D shapes)
Children love to help and do what adults around them do! If you give them a job, the errand will be fun for you too. Not to mention, all of the learning that is happening as you do.