Grocery Scavenger Hunt!

By Diane Ruyack

Grocery shopping can get a bit tricky when your kids are accompanying you. How do you keep everyone interested and happy? What if  when you went to the grocery store, you pulled out a list(s) with words written on it? Then you gave it to your beginning readers and told them that this was their shopping list. If they can figure out the words, then they could go search for the item and put it in the cart. It is half scavenger hunt – half reading {but sshhh…don’t tell them they were reading!}

A twist to this is to give children a paper with the alphabet on it and have the children hunt for foods that begin with that letter. When they find one that they have not tried, buy one and taste it. What a great learning experience. In addition, you can talk about the 5 food groups and why they need a food from each group at each meal. For example, milk at every meal provides calcium for strong bones and teeth; meat has protein for muscles; fruits and veggies have vitamins A and C; A for eyesight and C for preventing colds.

Another idea is to choose 10 or so items from your shopping list and write a clue for each one. Make the clues appropriate for your child’s age – these can be read-aloud by you or an older sibling at the store, or provide great reading practice for a new reader. Attach the clue sheet to a clipboard, grab a pencil, and your child is ready to not only solve clues, but help you shop as well. Here are a few clues we’ve used as examples:

  • It’s a leaf we can eat and it starts with S. We need a whole bag of it. (spinach)
  • It’s made from milk, but it is not a liquid. You can slice it, grate it, or melt it. (cheese)
  • It is full of calcium for strong bones. You can drink it morning, noon, or night. (milk)
  • Each of these comes in two pieces, a top and a bottom. We like to put things in the middle for a yummy lunch or dinner. (hamburger buns)
  • This food is red and has a star inside when you cut it open (apple)

For a younger child, while in the produce area, help the children find the foods that are on your list i.e. apples. Ask how many different colors are there of apples? Other fruits and veggies have different shapes, colors, size so let the child pick one to try at home. For the older child, have them find all the different types of apple products there are in the stores i.e. Juice, dried, frozen, jelly, canned. Let them read the labels and find out how much vitamin C there is in each product. You can also have them do math (i.e. Which is cheapest, guess how many apples in a pound, find the sale items and see how much money you will save by buying them).

Rainbow Toast

Pour a teaspoon of milk into each of 3 cups. Add a drop of red food coloring to the first cup, yellow to the second cup and blue to the third. Next dip a small brush into each of the milk colors and paint a “rainbow” on a piece of white bread. Toast and butter the bread.

Magic Milkshakes

1 cup milk(fat free, ½, 1%)
1 small box Jell-O, any flavor(sugar free)
1 pint softened vanilla ice cream

Pour milk into blender; add Jell-O. Cover and blend 30 seconds. Add ice cream; blend 1 minute longer.
Makes 2 drinks.

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