Are you looking for ways to involve your child in grocery and food shopping? One of the things we've tried recently is using a visual shopping list. We get most of our groceries delivered but during the week we need a couple of short trips for fresh fruit and bread.
I looked around for a printable that would work for us. I couldn't find one that was perfect for us so I made our own. I went to our grocery store's online site and saved the images of our most frequent mid-week purchases. I put them together into a list and printed them on A5 card. It's easy for me to change and print out a new list when needed. This isn't everything we get during the shop but it's Otto's list, it's the things he needs to go and find.
The visual shopping list has worked wonderfully, it's been brilliant. Otto stays focused during our shopping, he's learning about food, prices, quantities and so much more, and it makes for a smoother, calmer shopping trip. It's also empowering and confidence-boosting. Just like helping in the kitchen or in the garden, children can make a meaningful contribution while shopping.
Here are a few more visual shopping list and shopping ideas from other families.
"I went online and copied pictures of the food we eat, printed and laminated them and stuck velcro to the pieces as well as the list. Every week when I’m writing down my list she can search her pile and stick them onto hers and then take it with her to find the food. This will eventually transform into her writing her own list as well the quantities. Language, cognitive skills, and being an active member of the family in real life, all of which this 2.10yr old cannot get enough of." - Shelly @our__homeschool__journey.
"I like to involve Denis in all aspects of our life, and grocery shopping felt like a good next step. So I made a reusable shopping list for him. Product pictures are attached to the main sheet with velcro dots. During our first grocery trip with the list, Denis was having the time of his life! With a bit of help, he was able to find everything." - Kate @us_in_london
Eve's Mum @play.create.eve.leigh wrote a shopping list with Eve so that she could be involved in the shopping.
"I encourage you to try this with your children. It can have so many benefits, including:
✅ Communication skills: engaging in reciprocal conversations, using both receptive and expressive language
✅ Early literacy skills: learning that we can use pictures and words to represent our thoughts and ideas
✅ Fine motor skills: once your child sees you writing, they may want to write too and they may use paper and pencils/textas to engage in mark making to make their own lists (swipe to the end to see Eve's list)
✅ May help keep children focused and engaged during shopping trips.
✅ Life skills: lists can be such an important life skill."
Being handwritten this list can be quick and easy to put together.
Here Eve and her Mum went through a shopping catalogue before shopping, picking out what they needed and discussing some of the food items. They then cut out the items they wanted to buy and glued them onto a shopping list. Click above through to the video of Eve shopping! 😍
Our local shops don't have a little trolley like this but we can still involve the child in the shopping process.
"He’s able to learn types of foods & colors and collect the ones he’d like to try as we point and say “this is a red pepper” or “a brown potato” & his daddy is teaching him about fish in that second photo. I also think involving the little ones in shopping is important to create a love for and interest in food selection. If I didn’t know where my food came from, I may be less interested in trying new foods... Anyway, this is something I consider a must as a practical life skill & a learning activity." - Sammy's Mom @all.in.a.days.play
Don't forget the unpacking. This is fantastic for when you get your groceries or fruit and veg delivered.
"I love this easy practical activity to help with developing food vocabulary and descriptive language. He hands me the fruit and veggies to put away and we talk about what they are and describe them together. If you are in the mood you can take it one step further and wash them together as well. Sometimes he likes to take a bite out of things (including the raw mushrooms 🍄 😂) but I’m fine with that because it’s exposing him to more fruit and veggies!! 🌽 🍌 🍎 🍉Toddlers love to be involved in helping with things, it’s a great way for them to learn self help skills and improve their language." - Olivia, Speech Pathologist @northsidespeechpathology.
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