One of the most important things you can do is to help your baby, toddler, or young child develop his descriptive language skills.  One of the best places to help your child do this is the grocery store.

Make going to the grocery store a learning experience. As you shop for groceries, describe for your   baby, toddler, or child the color, texture, size, shape, number, taste, and function or use of the foods you are selecting.  By the time your child is a toddler, he will be able to use these descriptive words himself in talking about the foods and objects he sees in the store.

The fruit and vegetable section is an excellent place to use descriptive language with your child. “Look at the squash. It is yellow.” “Mama needs four large green peppers, one, two, three, four.” “Daddy needs three big red apples. Can you help me put three big red apples into the bag?”

Talk to your child about whether the food you’re buying is packaged in a box, jug, bottle, jar, can, or other type of packaging.   Describe and discuss the size, shape, color, and texture of the packages.  “This gallon of milk is in a large, plastic jug.”  “This is a small bottle of red ketchup.”   “The cat food comes in little cans.   Can you give me five little cans?”

Use descriptive language to teach your child the differences and similarities among the foods and objects in the store.  “Look at all the apples!  Some are red and some are green and some are yellow.  They are similar or alike because they are all apples that are good to eat, but they are different because they are different colors.”

The grocery store is a perfect place to help your baby, toddler, or young child develop oral language and descriptive language skills so important to school success.


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