Spring is a busy time of year with Easter activities, sports leagues, end of the year testing and spring cleaning. Is it also time for cleaning up refreshing course in manners? Try these tips for raising the bar. Teaching Kids the Best Manners
Teachable moments in the grocery store for K-1st grade:
Those kindergarteners and first graders are now out of the cart seat for sure and while they can still benefit from reviewing numbers and letters and categories, now they can really help out with hands on counting and practice some math and reading skills too.
When you need a certain number of something, ask them to count it out whether it’s two bunches of bananas or 4 boxes cherry Jell-O.
We can also build on the reading skills by having them help you find things. Here’s an example. “I am looking for endive. Do you see a sign here that starts with the letter “e,” or “I am looking for vanilla icing. Do you see one that starts with the letter “v?”
***Important teaching tip here.
We can expose these young learners to vocabulary that they don’t have to understand today but will encounter in school in the years to come. Here’s an example. How many half gallons of milk do we need today? Whether you’re buying a gallon or a half- gallon or a pint, it’s important to use these words. Don’t just tell them to grab the milk even though they will no doubt recognize what you usually buy.
Young children may not grasp the “volume” ideas yet, but it will be easier when they do learn about them if they’ve heard the words over and over again each week. At best they may have a picture of the volume in their minds and at the very least they won’t be intimidated by the new vocabulary. Happy shopping!
Using the grocery store as a learning center may take just a few extra minutes and even a few extra deep breaths but just think of it as multi-tasking. You’re shopping and teaching at the same time. Both are on your “to do” list.
Teachable moments in the grocery store for preschoolers:
Preschoolers are learning about colors and counting as well as expanding their vocabulary. The produce department offers a chance to review all of these. The names of fruits and vegetables as well as their colors and the number of each that you need this week will provide opportunities for learning.
Phonics abound in the produce department. You don’t have to purchase a Ugli fruit to point it out to your preschoolers and show them the name that starts with “u” and what it looks like. Do they have any idea why it’s called the Ugli fruit? I’ll bet they do.
Preschoolers are also learning to recognize numbers and every aisle offers an opportunity to read the number of the aisle. It may seem simple but knowing where you are using symbols is the beginning of basic map skills as well.
Preschoolers are also learning to categorize objects and recognize letters. Whether you’re buying any today or not be sure to point out and talk about categories like “herbs” and the letters on signs like “soup.”
Continue the learning at the dinner table with these fun ideas for eating your way through the alphabet.