Does bringing your kids to the grocery store feel like a chore? Believe me, I get it. It would be so much faster to get my shopping done alone than to bring along the crew and deal with four car seats, getting in and out of the van, and refereeing shopping cart squabbles.
But using up my precious “me” time by going to the grocery store is just not something I want to do.
Thankfully, my kids really like going to the grocery store. And today we made it special by throwing in some math fun.
For this math lesson we headed to a higher-end grocery store that does a beautiful job of selling its produce. They have a great variety of vegetables in lovely display. (Our grocery store is close, and the price is right, but I cannot believe the broccoli they’re setting out these days. I wouldn’t eat it, much less sell it.)
Length: Which is longer, the cucumber or the carrot?
Color: Find a vegetable the same color as the white asparagus.
Size: What’s the largest vegetable you can find? (I gave my son permission to hold up this eggplant – we were not handling all the produce. :))
I told the kids to stand by the smallest vegetable they could find — but I found the smallest!
Weight / Estimation: Which feels heavier, the cauliflower or the lettuce?
Measurement: We spent a lot of time weighing vegetables on the scale. The concept of 16 ounces/pound is definitely too advanced for my kids, but they estimated the weight of the produce we weighed. (My Two always had the same guess: “Two! Because I’m two.” ) They had fun guessing which items weighed more. The heaviest thing we could find was the cauliflower, at 2.5 lbs.
Extend the learning for older kids: My oldest is just finishing kindergarten, but you could make the math more challenging depending on the age of your kids:
- Give your child a shopping list with the number you need of each item. Have her make tally marks to indicate what you’ve put in your cart.
- Compare prices and determine which products cost more.
- Figure out the unit price and determine what brand offers the best deal.
Keep the math lesson going at home: We were just grabbing some vegetables for a salad, but if you’ve got a big load of groceries you can learn a lot more at home.
Estimate which bag of groceries is heaviest. Estimate how many items are in a bag.
Sort like items (sort by can or box, type of food, or even by beginning letter). You can sort the items and have your child guess the sorting rule.
Graph how many items are in each group.
So do you ever throw some math fun into your grocery shopping? For an active outdoor math game (with printable), check out An Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers.