But I didn’t plan well at all. We ended up at the grocery store too close to lunchtime, on too-close-to empty bellies, on a day that Cora had already declared ‘a yawny day’ to begin with.
So we played some ‘standing in line at the grocery store’ games with the oh-so-exciting candy aisle.
- Candy Aisle Learning and Games: Cora was already stuck in the seat of the shopping cart because she threw the orange juice container to the back of the cart when I asked her to keep it next to her. So she was watching as Maddy and Owen stood, noses inches away from the candy bars, picking them up and putting them down, smelling them and dreaming about eating them all.
As I put our groceries on the belt, I said, Okay, Maddy and Owen, let me see who’s a number whiz today. Work together and count the number of candies that begin with the letter ‘M’.
They started counting separately and got off-track, so I reminded them again to work together, and they did. I pointed to the top left of the rack and showed them how to count just the way we read (left-right return sweep). When they finished with the letter ‘M’ candy, we moved to ‘H’ and then ‘S’. Believe me, this might have been THE slowest check-out person in the history of check-out people, and we were behind five families to begin with.
Maddy and Owen were busy and occupied, and Cora acted as their cheerleader and coach from the cart. I think because I gave them the freedom to “play” with the candy, they were less inclined to fight, bicker, and beg me to buy them some.
Essentially, here’s how we passed the loooooong check-out at the grocery store time:
- Counting candy that began with a certain letter (M, H, S . . . );
- Calling out all of the candy they knew or recognized;
- Reading the candy that began with a certain letter;
- Counting the candy that was a certain color;
- Looking for candy that had a funny letter in its name (coconut for ‘o’ in Mounds, etc)
- Counting all of the candy on the bottom two rows, top two rows, etc.
Yes, it sounds like a stretch, and believe me, this kind of thing will NOT happen every time we hit the grocery store. When I’m better planned and more prepared, I am a huge fan of Shopping Lists for Tiny Shoppers, but when life gets in the way, you have to roll with the punches.
And when the stars are aligned and your candy-loving, sweet-tooth kids are up for another candy-challenge, it’s a fun way to pass the time with a ton of colorful reading material right at their noses.
fyi: No, I didn’t have my camera with me at the grocery store. Susan Kane kindly gave me permission to use her photo via Flickr photo sharing. Thanks, Susan!