Language boosting at the supermarket

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Do you remember your first trip to the store? To a child, it can seem like a magical new world of colour and excitement to explore. Yet a simple trip to the local supermarket can be a wonderful opportunity for you to talk with your child and introduce some new words while you shop.

Next time you find yourself picking up some groceries, take the time to talk about what you’re going to buy. You could talk about needing to buy carrots and explaining that they can be found in the fruit and vegetable section. You might even chat about how chilly it is in the refrigerated section or what you can smell in the bakery. Plus there are signs everywhere! Find the first initial of your child’s name in labels or signage, or just talk about what the signs are there for.

If you have a shopping list, let your child hold it. Point out the items on the list and even get your child to mark them off when you put them in the trolley. Then they’ll be able to connect the word with the actual thing. You can even discuss what you’re looking for, or how you’re going to cook it. Leave some time in your chat for your child to respond in their own way and acknowledge their part in the conversation.

With older children you might play “I-spy” or guessing games like, “I’m looking for something that is long and skinny, we cook it in boiling water, and it begins with the letter S. It’s spaghetti!”

So enjoy your next shopping trip – it could take longer, but the benefits can last a lifetime.

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