Building Speech Skills At The Grocery Store
6 Easy, Fun and Purposeful Ways to Skip the Grocery Shopping Drama and Keep Little Minds Engaged
Ok, I'll say it, some chores are just less fun when you have the kids in tow and grocery shopping can definitely be one of those chores.
The idea of dragging unwilling kids through a grocery store makes us cringe (and with good reason) BUT there are some fun and easy ways to engage their racing brains, cleverly work on building speech skills and get through your grocery list in no time!
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Describe, Discuss & Sort!
A simple trip to the grocery store provides an endless source of things to talk about.
What new foods do you see?
What does that bin of apples look like to you?
How can we find breakfast bars, would they be with the hamburgers or the cereal?
We need ice cream, what part of the store do you think that will be in?
This part of the store is cold, why do you think that is?
Asking questions then allowing kids to explain and discuss, gives them the chance to use describing vocabulary, engage their problem solving muscles and build speech skills.
A Prepositional Phrase Challenge!
Prepositional phrases work as the helper to the subject of a sentence.
At the grocery store you can create a fun "find it" challenge by using prepositional phrases to help kids correctly identify an item in a particular place on a shelf.
"The item you're looking for is between the canned corn and canned beans."
"The cereal you're looking for is on the second shelf next to the granola bars."
Maybe you start a point system or give a sticker for each item found. Make it fun, make it engaging and they won't even remember they're at the grocery store!
Following Direction Fun!
Grocery shopping is an easy way to incorporate some good direction following practice.
The directions can be as simple as, "Please get 2 boxes of crackers off the shelf" or more complex, "Please get 3 boxes of mac and cheese, put them in the cart and then point to the kind of cookies you would like me to get."
Either set of directions allows kids to use active listening, problem solving and sequencing skills. And a sticker for each step provides great motivation when building speech skills!
Focus on specific letter sounds by assigning each child a sound and see how many things they can find in the grocery store that begin with that sound.
Create a list of sounds that they can check off as they find it. Challenge them to find something that has their sound at the end of the word or in the middle.
Sound identification can be tricky for some kids and a trip to the grocery is a great way to practice!
'I Spy' - Grocery Store Edition!
I Spy is always a favorite! It’s easy to play just about anywhere, so try it out on your next grocery trip.
"I spy with my little eye a food that is yellow, skinny and comes in a bunch."
"I spy with my little eyes something cold and sweet and begins with the long 'i' sound."
"I spy with my little eye a fruit that is red."
This simple game allows kids to work on recall, sound identification, articulation and so much more. And if you're looking to take it up a notch try encouraging the kids to make up a short story about the banana they just correctly identified, have them tell you where the banana goes in the kitchen at home, ask what we can bake using the banana.
I Spy with my little eye...strong speech skills!
Executive Functioning Practice!
Before you even head to the grocery store with the kids, make a plan that they can be a part of!
Choose a recipe you can make together and make a list of what you need. Ask them to help you decide what's running low in the pantry and add those things to your list. Allow them to decide what treat they would like to choose at the store.
By planning ahead, organizing ingredients, making decisions and making a list of what you need, kids are practicing those all important executive functioning skills.
Grocery shopping with the kids doesn't have to feel like a chore!
By incorporating some fun games, activities and challenges that keep them entertained while shopping AND allow them to be building speech skills along the way, you're checking two things off your list at once!