Everyday errands are a great way to foster your child’s development. Many of our daily chores are great teaching opportunities. There are many tasks which need to be done on a daily basis and each one is a great way to get small people learning.
Places To Go
Each step in grocery shopping can be made into a learning opportunity. Making the list is a good lesson in organization and writing skills. Clipping coupons is a good lesson in being frugal and in math. Shopping the aisles is a good way to talk about healthy food and where it comes from. Loading the car is a spatial relations lesson. Unloading and putting away is a lesson in organization. Involve your child in each step and you’ve gotten a lot of lessons in!
The Dry Cleaner-
A trip to the dry cleaner is a good experience for kids. It’s a good time to talk about clothes, how they are made, cleaned and what to wear for what occasions. Dad wears a tie to the big meeting because he wants to look neat and tidy. Mom wears an apron when she cooks to keep her favorite shirt clean. These are small things but all contribute to your child’s development.
Going to the banks is a good time to get in a money lesson. Explaining, even briefly, how a bank works will be a learning experience for your child. They’ll absorb something even if it’s not right at that moment. It’s a great time to talk about saving and spending and how important it is not to live above your means.
The Post Office-
When you go to mail a letter or a package at the post office, it’s a great time to talk about far away places. Talk about where Grandma or other relatives live. Tell your child about the differences in your area and the area where the letter/package is going. This is a great little geography lesson.
Talk about the People-
Don’t forget to talk about the people who work in all the places you visit. Tell them about the different jobs a person can have in each place. This is a good opportunity to talk about your own work and their father’s work, too. Talking to kids about work gets their minds moving and thinking about what they might want to do when they grow up.
In the Car-
Instead of cranking up the kiddie music, turn it off and talk to them about the things you’re passing. Houses, schools, road signs, trees and other points of interest can all be springboards for a mini-lesson. Make sure they get to ask questions. Don’t just hold forth on a subject. Really talk about it with them. They’ll probably have a lot of questions on the entire trip.
Once you’re home and the errands are all done, ask them about what they saw and what they liked on that errand. You’ll probably get surprising answers. You didn’t notice the beautiful stamps for sale at the post office but they did.
Every experience with kids can be a learning one if you talk to them about what you’re doing rather than just do. Cooking and cleaning are learning experiences, too. Never stop explaining the world to your kids and each day they’ll no doubt learn a new thing.