Toddler Learning: Grocery Store Fun

I’ve always said that it's key to make learning fun for toddlers. Engaging them in every day tasks is a great way to initiate understanding about life skills. Maybe it is the kid in me, but I really try to make things fun for Brooks. Our children only get to be littles for such a short time! Soon enough, they have to live in the “grow ups” world (what Brooks calls grown ups). Before we know it they will be heading off to college and I will be writing about the tragedy of empty nest syndrome!! HA!! Joking aside, I’ve just come to realize how much our children learn from modeling and that even with every day mundane activities we have great opportunities for learning.

Take our trips to the grocery store. Yes, I may have created a monster, because Brooks wants to go with us to the market every time he can but heck, there are worse places he can desire to go.

Now please don’t kill me busy #SuperMommas, I’m not saying this has to be your new method of shopping with your kids. I know that most times grocery shopping is a purely utilitarian experience where you need to get in and out with the least amount of fanfare as possible. I’m only trying to demonstrate how there are so many opportunities for learning in the day to day.

My little monkey is a sponge and wants to know the “why” about everything right now. I, as a parent, want to seize that moment and make sure I’m doing my best keep the learning train rolling!! Also as a busy Momma of two, I cherish those moments when it’s just Brooksie and me.


Here are my tips for grocery store learning fun…

Make Your Grocery List Together

Part of learning is teaching a child what the entire process is all about. I sit with Brooks in my kitchen and we discuss all the items we are putting on our grocery list. We talk about his favorite meals and what items we would need from the grocery store we would need to make those particular recipes. Can I tell you, I can unequivocally say that my son eats MORE carrots as a result of making our grocery lists together.


Talk It Up

Call me crazy, but Brooks and I go over our grocery list again and again while we are in the car en route to the grocery store. It is our own little version of the game memory. Trust me when I say that it helps this Momma remember her grocery list.

All the Beautiful Colors of the Rainbow

Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is incredibly refreshing and most times very comical to say the least. The aisles of the market filled with so many bright and brilliant products. It is the perfect place to “find” colors. Like most toddlers, Brooks is pretty savvy on his colors and he loves seeking them out on the store shelves. “Brooks, where are the yellow cans?”… “Right there, Momma!” Speaking of rainbows, we had lots of fun making this fruit rainbow for St. Paddy’s Day.


I Spy

Another great way to tackle your grocery list (works particularly well in the produce section) is to call out what item we are looking for and ask your little’s help in locating it. Sometimes I have to drive-by said item a few times in order for my guy to find his prize, but it is worth it so see the smile of success on his face.


Counting Time

When in doubt, count it out! After we have located our items, when needed we count out how many of each thing we need. This is perfect for toddlers who are just learning to count. But I really have to watch out because; my little counting machine likes to add a few extra items to our cart!

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.