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Take your Toddler Grocery Shopping

By Melanie Fleury, edHelperBaby

           Children around the age of 2 have an exploding vocabulary. Around age 2, most children fall in a range of 50 to 200 words and can follow simple directions. Another characteristic of most 2-year-olds is their very short attention span. It seems to me that this comes to a climax when in a public location, like a grocery store. It can be almost torture sometimes to have to shop with your toddler asking for all those things his vocabulary allows. I have an activity that takes a little bit of preparation time but may save you headaches and time at the grocery store.


           Take a picture of some things in your refrigerator that you use on a daily basis, for instance, our pictures are of milk, yogurt, eggs, and more. Type out the name of that item on a piece of paper. It looks better if you enlarge it to near a 20 pt. Glue the name of the item to the back of the picture and then laminate the whole thing.  You have in essence made personalized flash cards. Punch a hole in the cards and hang them on a key ring. When you go to the grocery store with your toddler, pull the ring of cards out and ask your toddler to help you find the items. He or she will be expanding on that vocabulary and working on lengthening his or her attention span. When your child gets older, you can ask him or her to help you using the word side instead of the pictures. You can even write on these with dry erase, so the little ones can draw over them if they like.


           I have been doing this with my daughter since she was 6 months old. Although she chewed them at first, she still enjoys the cards.  Make sure you tackle the items in your kitchen that he/she would recognize immediately. It also helps keep her focused at the store.

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