As parents, we go from one mundane task to another. Wash the dishes. Take out the trash. Mop the floor. It is easy to let teachable speech and language moments pass us by. With that in mind, I would like to challenge you to add a little spice to your daily tasks and turn them into teachable memories with your child.
A simple trip to the grocery store can be the perfect backdrop for expanding your child’s language skills.
Making a list and checking it twice
Making a grocery list with your child can increase your child’s vocabulary as your child names items that you need to buy. Exercise your child’s memory by asking her to remember items that you finished recently. Start by naming categories. “What vegetables do we need to buy?” “What cold things do we need to buy?” “What meats do we need to buy?”
How much is this going to cost?
For school-aged children, have them estimate how much each item will cost. Have them total the amount. It will be fun to see just how close they were to their guesstimate. You can also work in a nice speech about how hard you work for the money to purchase each and every item.
Fun on aisle one!
Turn your grocery store trip into a mini-scavenger hunt by having your child help you find a portion of the items using the aisle headings. This will help grow their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
How do you spell…
Take a stroll through the produce department and challenge your child to spell a few items. “How do you spell onion?” Praise your child’s attempt whether correct or incorrect.
I spy with my little eye…
Play “I Spy” by describing a fruit or vegetable in the produce department. “I spy with my little eye, something yellow, long, mushy and grows in bunches on trees.” This will exercise your child’s attention span, auditory comprehension, and vocabulary skills. Let your child take a crack at describing a mystery item. As always, praise your child attempt whether correct or incorrect.
Which foods start with the letter…
Have your child point out different foods that start with a specific sound or letter. This will increase your child’s awareness of print and words in the world around them.
With a little imagination, you will turn a simple trip to the grocery store into a lifelong memory that they will cherish. Chances are they will probably pass it on to their children and create a generational family tradition.
-Pamela Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP
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