Toddler Activity: Grocery Shopping List

I'm an advocate of making my child work and learn how to do things herself, which has its strong points, frustrating points, but also, she makes me incredibly proud that she knows where apples are at the Co-op and surprisingly she can find the milk and snack aisle with no problem. And she's only two and a half. Holy buckets.

But let me share how she knows these things and how I taught her. 

I made her a super simple book ring full of food pictures. I found all clip art - we have the super basic Microsoft Word, not even the full version so I'm sure if you have the full (i.e. PAID) version of Word you'll probably find better photos than what I found. 

I laminated all the photos and trimmed the plastic down.

Simple tip - I made sure to find actual photos of the food instead of cartoon photos of food. I think it's really important that kids can identify food because if they know what it is and can pick it out at the grocery they are more likely to WANT to help you in the kitchen and to WANT to eat food.

Then I punched holes in the top left corner (you can do the right or make it more book-ish and do two rings on the left sides if you want, I just needed it easy for the Monkey).

I put all the food into categories - fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat, bread. Then I put them onto the ring in the order they are at the Co-op - which is the same as listed in the previous sentence.

And voila! Now you can hand your child the "grocery list" and have them find the different foods you need and either hand them to you to put in the cart or have them put the food into the cart/basket/whatever.

The Co-op has child-size carts so I walk around with our "list" and point out the photo of the food we need, The Monkey picks out the food and then puts it into her cart. Dairy and eggs are still a little bit dicey at times and make me a little nervous but so far the Co-op staff have been fantastic at going along with The Monkey doing the grocery shopping. She even unloads the cart and puts it all onto the conveyor belt. I don't do anything but pay for it. I need to put her to work more often. Ha!


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