Thursday, August 19, 2010

3 Ways to Occupy Your Child at the Grocery Store Check-Out

3. Play 'I Spy...' - I'm fairly certain this game single handedly kept me from breaking every piece of equipment in the doctor's office and kept my mother sane (although, it may have driven her INsane; I remember her being so sick of playing it by the time I was 7 or 8). The game goes like this: "I spy...something [color/shape]." Then, the other person guesses what it is. Take turns and this could keep your child entertained forever. Even very young children will enjoy trying to guess what you are 'spying.' You can make the game more difficult for older children (e.g., "I spy...something whose name begins with the letter S"). Not only is this game fun, but teaches your child turn-taking and keeps her brain active.

2. Sort items in your cart - Many preschoolers love to sort things- by color/shape/category/size/you name it. Have your child sit in the cart and sort your items according to different categories. Too easy for your child? Set the timer on your phone (or just count) and see if he can do it in under 30/20/15 seconds. This game encourages the use of fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and quick thinking.

1. Play 'Simon Says' - This game usually ends with all parties involved erupting in giggles. If your child is sitting in the cart, use your groceries, too ("Simon says touch the rice"). This game helps your child learn attention shifting: paying attention to the correct rule ('Simon says...'), and not paying attention to the incorrect rule ('Touch...' without 'Simon says...'). Is your child too young to understand the concept of 'Simon didn't say!"? Eliminate Simon all together and just have your child touch different items/body parts ("Touch your head. Touch the cereal.").

I hope these ideas provide you with some useful tools for your next mile-long WalMart line- because you know that, even though they have 37 checkout stands, only 2 will be open at any given time :)


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