Recipe for Playful Learning!
Going shopping provides a wonderful opportunity for interactive math explorations with children of all ages!
STEP 1: Have kids sit with you at the table to make a shopping list. As you read off your items, ask them to find each item in the store circular. Depending on their age, they can cut out the item’s picture and glue or tape it to paper or they can create their own list by writing down items that they want to shop for. This is also opportunity to practice spelling and writing!
STEP 2: Before you leave for the store, ask your child to estimate the total cost (in dollars and cents) for everything on the list and write down that estimation.
STEP 3: Ask your child to bring their shopping list with them when you visit the store together. As you put items into the cart, remind them to write down the cost next to each item.
STEP 4: When shopping for fruits and vegetables, take the opportunity to use the produce scale. Tell your kids how many pounds of produce you wish to purchase and have them estimate how many pieces of each fruit or vegetable you will need to get to the desired weight.
STEP 5: Before you check out, let your child examine the full cart and estimate how many bags it will take to pack all the items. Use this opportunity to discuss the different weights of various items.
STEP 6: When you are home, give your child the receipt so they can check off each item and see how close their estimation was to the total amount.
To simplify, help your child create a short shopping list (2-5 items). At the store, they can help you locate and weigh items. Before checking out, help them match and count the items on their list with the items in the cart.
To add complexity, share your grocery budget with your child. Ask them to subtract their estimated total from your budget. If the estimation is under budget, ask how much money will be left over. If the estimation is over budget, ask your child to help figure out which items to remove from the list. You can also provide coupons and encourage children to think about how much items on the list will cost when the coupons are applied.
Skills to Practice: Math, Estimation, Financial Skills, Reading, Writing, Spelling, Critical Thinking, Collaboration
STEAM Focus: Math