By: Mallory Bushee, MSOT, OTR/L
Getting kids of varying ages involved in grocery shopping can be helpful for both you and for their own developing mind. Whether it be with imaginary food, at home, or in the store, kids can build great fundamental skills through grocery shopping tasks.
Helping create a grocery list can develop executive functioning skills, reasoning, and counting. Taking inventory of the pantry can challenge the visual system and promote matching skills. A fill-in-the-blank grocery list, like the one below, can be modified for varying levels of complexity to develop independence. For older kids, this is a fantastic functional task that is necessary for transitioning into responsibilities of adulthood.
At the grocery store, in the kitchen, or during imaginative play, you can challenge your child to follow multiple steps to collect a sequence of items. You can build your young one’s matching skills by giving them pictures and asking them to find a match. Build those executive functioning and problem solving skills even further with fun riddles to guess the items needed or finding the location of items.
(photo from: friendshipcircle.com)
Pushing the cart, holding the basket, and carrying the bags are all wonderful forms of heavy work for your child’s sensory system. It can be an organizing form of proprioceptive and vestibular input.