#Literacytip: Learning at the Grocery Store

Grocery stores are the perfect place for learning. There are countless opportunities for kids to learn new concepts and practice old ones - all while getting the weekly shopping done!

Play is Learning

Thinking back to your school days, vocabulary and spelling tests are probably not the events you remember the most fondly. Tests are serious, stressful, hard work, and most of all, not terribly fun.

Can you imagine making your toddler sit down to learn words by reciting, memorizing, and writing? Not fun!

Children learn best when they are having fun, so here is an enjoyable way to teach your toddler vocabulary. Plus they’ll learn:

  • object identification
  • healthy eating
  • colours
  • and numbers

You’ll even get some of your own chores done in the process too!

Write a List Together

Before you head out to the store, take the opportunity to hit the kitchen with your little one and make the grocery list together.  

Depending on the age and ability of your toddler, have them write a list along with you as you go. While your list might be the only readable one, your child’s list will let them get in some writing practice (even if their writing is just scribbles) and also include them in your daily routine.

Learning Through Conversation

While you make your list, talk about what items you are adding. Here is an example of a conversation you might have with your child about apples:

  • What is this?
  • What are apples?  Are they fruits, vegetables, or beans?
  • What colour are apples?  These ones are red!  Did you know they can be yellow and green too?
  • What shape are apples?  Are they square, round, flat?
  • How many apples do we have?  Lets count them.
  • What do apples taste like?  Are they sour, salty, sweet?
  • Lets write apples on our list!

At the grocery store, you can follow the same conversation structure.  Show your child new foods (pineapples, cinnamon buns, oatmeal etc.).  Talk about the colour, the shape,  and how it tastes, smells, and feels.  

If you are feeling super ambitious, you can even talk about where the food comes from (oranges grow in trees, but only where it is nice and warm).  This is a great opportunity to introduce names for foods and new adjectives (soft, sweet, prickly, spicy).  Have your child check foods off their list as they are put into the cart!

By learning at the grocery store, your child’s vocabulary will grow and they will feel included in their food experience, not to mention they will be entertained the whole time!

Literacy Song: Apples and Bananas

Apples and Bananas is a classic kids song!  In this song, we’ll practice different vowel sounds.  What happens when you make a long ‘a’ sound in the word apple or banana?  What about ‘oo’ instead of ‘a’?

#Literacytip: Library Cards for Kids

Did you know that children of any age can have their very own library card with the TNRL.  What better way to encourage young children to take charge of their reading than to give them the tools?

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#Literacytip: Sounds and Syllables

Learning to read is not an easy task. Here are some tips for teaching young children phonological and phonemic awareness. These are two of the tools they need to read independently!

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