You can help your child learn to read words by having your child help you shop at the grocery store!  Teach your three and four year old to read the words on a simple shopping list.  If you have more than one young child, they can take turns each time you shop.

Pick three to four food items that you buy most frequently such as milk, bread, cheese, rice, etc.  Pick items whose words each begin with a different letter. This will make it easier for your child to tell one word from another. Write the words in large, clear print so your child can easily read them.  Space the words apart so the child can clearly read each one.  Give your child a pen or pencil so that he can draw a line through each of the words as he gets the item and puts it into the shopping cart.  Children love to check off the items just as we do!

Here is an example of a child’s shopping list:

  • milk
  • bread
  • rice
  • cheese

Make sure your child knows which brands of bread, etc., to get for your family.  (You may need to help your child at first.)  Make sure also, that the items you have on the list are placed low enough on the grocery store shelves for your child to reach without help.   Or, your child can reach ones that are higher up from his seat in the shopping cart.   As your child learns the first list, then add more words to enlarge your child’s reading vocabulary.

Giving your child the chance to help you shop will also enable your child to feel helpful to your family and to develop his self-confidence as he learns to recognize words.


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