Everyone has to eat so we always have to make a shopping to our grocery store each week. Why not use this time to make it a teaching opportunity for your kids as well? There are so many life skills that can go in to a shopping trip that it’s a waste not to use it to your benefit.
While it may not benefit everyone when you’re in a hurry trying to grab last minute items for dinner, choose a time when you can slowly head throughout the store so you’re not feeling rushed.
Give them a budget
My kids get an allowance so that they can learn how to budget their own money. They are allowed to spend half of it on treats, the other half goes to savings. This means we don’t buy any junk food for them. They have to buy it themselves. This benefits both of us because there isn’t miscellaneous junk food sitting around for mom and dad to attack. We wanted our kids to get a sense of money management and planning. Since we started this, my son told me he hates tax because it makes the total higher. I love that he appreciates that now, we all have to pay tax.
They will also start to understand why you can’t buy 5 desserts or 5 packages of cookies, you need to stick to your budget and it can’t all go to dessert.
Calculate price of produce
Use those bags of apples and see if your kids can weight the items to calculate the overall price of your fruit and veggies. This is a great way to incorporate measurements and math into one.
Print out my shopping list printables and attach them to a clipboard. While you are shopping have your child write down the price of each item and then total your grocery list. You can have older kids calculate tax as well.
Calculate the best deal
I took my son with me when I had to get socks for his sister. We found a package of socks which had 4 pairs for $8 and another that had 3 pairs for $10. So we talked about the price of each individual pair of socks was and how we find out which one is the better price. I really don’t need fancy socks, so we went with the better deal.
Sort your groceries
Younger kids can help sort out your groceries once you get home. I also like to get them to help me pick out produce and how we find the good ones from looking and touching them. Which ones look good and which ones look bad and different features to look for when we’re looking for a specific fruit. My boys like the hard pears and apples so this is important to them.
My daughter loves to play pretend store at home so we have some pretend food for her and she loves it when mommy comes shopping at her store. Another way to incorporate math into your pretend play would be to have your kids calculate the cost of their purchases and you could put big signs that say each item is nickel or a quarter.
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