A Market Treasure Map
When I hear people talking about how their kids have meltdowns in the supermarket, I totally feel their pain. The kids pain, I mean, because sometimes when I’m in the grocery store I want to cry. There are just too many decisions and people and things to think about and expensive stuff that I really, really want but can’t justify buying and weird smells (clean that fish counter, ugh!) and I just get overwhelmed. But my toddler pretty much loves “marketing” so even though my husband does most of our grocery shopping, my son and I will take a trip there every once in awhile. (Did I mention we also play ‘market’ for hours And hours. And hours. Funny how my little one completely imitates me, grabbing a reusable bag and car keys, and buys the same things over and over. Yup, me to a T.)
Since this has been a huge theme of our days recently, I decided to make little ‘treasure map’ lists that he can use to identify letters and items. We can take them to the market to keep him busy searching for items on the list and avoid the dreaded meltdown (for both of us, really) or we can use them in the house when we play our eight millionth game of market. (I’ll stash real items from a list he’s dictated around the playroom or will use felt veggies and fruits so he can find them over and over.) This is such an easy early-literacy game that he just finds delightful, and getting to make silly little grocery doodles keeps me off the streets, so we both kinda win!
Why Try This:
Putting together pictures with words (basic pictograms) can really help build vocabulary and letter-sound recognition. Now he knows that “Eggplant” starts with an E, and what sound an E makes. Now when we talk about other words, like elephant, he might be able to identify it’s first letter.
A treasure map is fantastic for cognitive function and building those thinking and focusing skills!
It keeps us both sane in the grocery store, which is sometimes the most important part of all!
Hope this helps to keep your next shopping trip melt-down free! xo, Meredith