Take your child with you the next time you visit your local supermarket. There's a lot he can learn. Read on.
First of all, take your child or toddler with youwhen you go to your local supermarket only if you can make sure you don't let him out of your sight for even a minute. Having said this, there's a lot he can learn from these trips.
When shopping, point out various items on the shelves, and help him
relate them with what he's learnt at school. For example, you can point
out an apple, and say "A for Apple." Or, you could pick up some cheese,
and let him know that cheese is made from milk, which comes from cows or goats. If the cheese has a cow picture on it, all the better!
As you already know, the more you speak with your toddler, the quicker he will gain a grasp of the language. Trips to the supermarket provide you with endless material to keep a discussion flowing with your child.
A few days ago, when shopping for vegetables, Mala came across a store manned by two children, brother and sister,
no older than ten. They informed her of the price of various vegetables
per kg, weighed her selections, and calculated the price accordingly.
They then totalled all the prices in an instant and gave her a figure.
Mala was surprised at how sharp these children were! On enquiry, she
learnt that they had helped their parents with their vegetable selling
from the time they could walk and now their parents sell vegetables
at one neighbourhood, while they have a little stall in another
Of course, such scenes are not at all unfamiliar in
India, and you will often see little boys behind shop counters, or
delivering tea, quickly adding amounts and giving you the total. If
these boys had access to quality education, without doubt they would
make great accountants or would succeed in professional careers.
Help your child gain familiarity with numbers by letting him read out the price on each item. Then, let him
compare prices of items and let you know which one costs less.
Encourage your child to total up the price while you are shopping. When
checking out, let him
hand over the money and count the change. You could also get your child
to take a look at the bill to make sure the total is correct. Naturally
with everything being computerised there is no need to worry on that
score these days, but its just more practice.
Not every child will be able to do this since not every
child is good with numbers - but there's no need to get disheartened.
With practice, he may not get perfect, but he will definitely improve.
And remember, being good at Math is definitely not a pre-requisite for
If you need to ask the staff something, casually get your child
to do the asking. Alternatively, you could get your child to call out
for attention by saying, "Excuse me".
There's no end to what your child can learn from trips to the supermarket.
Not only will he get an outing and will enjoy himself, but you will
also get to bond with him and complete your chores at the same time.
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- The Indiaparenting Team