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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Grocery Game-Practicing Math at Home with Your Kids

The Grocery Store 

Parents, how many of you take your elementary-aged children to the grocery store with you? It can get hectic, and little voices will chime in at every turn asking you to buy this and that. Other times, your children may be upset that they've been "dragged" with you to the store. What if you worked with your kids to give them certain levels of independence on your next grocery shopping trip? 

Children like to be helpful and independent. So here's an activity that can teach your children about money while also helping them to become more engaged in math practice and real shopping experiences. Once they are more familiar with money and the idea of a budget, you can give them opportunities to purchase items in a real store, weighing their options of which products and brands to buy. It is always a lot more fun to go shopping when you are able to participate in the process. Here's to making grocery shopping, with the whole family, more fun! 

What You Need: 

  • Various grocery items, such as pasta, crackers, sugar (anything on hand)
  • Grocery list
  • Paper for price tags
  • Marker
  • Money
What To Do: 
  1. Create a grocery store with real items. Whatever is available at home can be used to stock the store. Put price tags on each item
  2. Provide your child with a grocery list. For example: three bags of sugar, two cartons of eggs, one gallon of milk.
  3. Give him a specific amount of money to spend and discuss what a budget is and why it's important. As he goes through the grocery list, he will need to calculate if he has enough money to spend.
  4. Give him time to do the calculations. If he realizes he does not have enough money, then he will need to divide the quantity of the items. For example instead of purchasing two cartons of eggs, then he would only purchase one carton, or instead of purchasing one gallon of milk, he would need to get half a gallon, since it would cost less than a gallon.
  5. Once he seems ready, a fun activity to apply those math skills would be to help him make a grocery list and go to the store so he can purchase real items.

What are some ways that you practice math at home with your kids?