During the summer when your children get bored, put them to work at the grocery. This is a wonderful time to get your children involved with purchasing your groceries. And, you can't find better activities for real-life learning. Teachers, there are activities you can do in your classroom, too!
At Home or at School
Plan a meal - Use grocery store fliers to plan a meal. Give students a budget in purchasing their grocery items. Try to come as close to the amount without going over. Parents, let your children plan the family dinner. Give your children a budget for the meal. They can use estimation and rounding as they go through the grocery store so they won't go over the budget.
Write word problems - Students can write their own word problems using the fliers. The fliers are excellent in working with decimals, comparing prices and estimation. The ideas are endless.
Read labels - I bring cereal boxes, canned goods and other grocery items to school so students can read labels. Children can learn about nutrition, metric units and comparing different brands of food.
Play games - I have a game I created about shopping at the grocery store. It even gives students practice in using coupons. Students love it! You can even use the pieces for other center activities.
Off to the Grocery Store
Include your child in deciding what and how much to purchase. Let your child weigh the produce to see exactly how much is being purchased. Weight different amounts to see how the price changes. Use estimation in how much apples, grapes, oranges, etc. will cost.
Compare prices - What would the price be if you purchased 2 of an item? Is it cheaper to purchase the larger size or 2 of the smaller size? What's the difference in the sale price and original price?
At checkout - See if your child can estimate the total before checking out. Then, calculate the difference between the actual total and the estimate. This is also a great time to use a calculator in finding differences, totals, products, percents, etc.
For more ideas, take a look at this featured blog post by Teaching in the Fast Lane.
I know I've left some other great ideas. Please leave your own ideas in the comments below.
If you want more games for your child or students, take a look at my Math Games unit.
For fun grocery clipart, drop by Clipart Stand by Tina Anne.