Many parents today prefer to leave the children at home when grocery shopping. Children can be considered a distraction and sometimes cause a parent to purchase more than was originally set out to purchase. Grocery shopping however, is the perfect opportunity for teaching young children many great skills that will be useful throughout life.
Young children can learn valuable money management skills by helping parents shop at the grocery store. Money management is learned by teaching children how to stick to a budget as well as price comparison. Young children tend to get the “I wanties” in the grocery store and teaching them that parents only have so much to spend and how to add up what’s in the grocery cart will go far in fine tuning the skill of money management.
Math skills are another great teachable moment in grocery shopping. For the budding mathematician learning how to keep track of the dollar amount of what’s in the cart is a great way to hone this skill. Make a game of it and see which child can get the closest to the actual total, less tax, and have a small prize for the winner such as a pack of gum or a small candy. Perhaps an older child would even like to learn percentages and figure out the tax as well.
Nutritional information is a very important fact of a healthy diet. Teaching children to read the labels on food products is a great way to take advantage of this teachable moment. However, children can be picky so parents might want to be cautious about what they let children read on a label. For example: If a child doesn’t like eggs and reads the label on a mayonnaise jar the child may suddenly decide they no longer like mayonnaise either.
Children can learn which products are a good value and learn to product compare when parents take the time to take them to the grocery store. No one is born knowing what a good value is and taking the opportunity to teach children what is a good value will go far in helping children in their future when they are living on their own.
These lessons work well for both homeschooling and non homeschooling families. Children will learn valuable tools that will take them far in life by going to the grocery store with parents. Parents should always take advantage of teachable moments in life.