As some of you will know, over the past couple of weeks we have been giving tips on how to support communication during everyday tasks and activities. This week, we're talking about the supermarket. Doing the weekly food shop can be a chore with lots of little monsters hanging off of you or trying to escape! Hopefully these tips for talking will not only support communication but also keep your little ones occupied!
5 Tips for Talking at the Supermarket
1. Shopping List Game
Make shopping into a game by getting your kids to help you find the food you need. You can make this a bit harder by giving them more than one item to remember or by saying how many of each item you need.
If you're feeling really adventurous and have time on your hands (ha!) then you can make a photo list of foods for your older one to collect. Make sure you are still saying the names of the foods so they learn the words too!
2. Talking Time!
For your little ones, just as we've talked about in all our previous posts, talking about what you're doing using simple language helps your child learn new words. As you pick up items, name them as you show them to your child. Simple!
Remember, if your child can already name some items, add to what they have said. This will help them to start putting more words together. For example, if they say, "apple", you can add "red apple." If they said "big box" you can add "big box in the trolley".
Help your child to learn concepts while shopping such as fast/slow when you're pushing the trolley. Comment by saying, "let's go fast". You can also introduce other concepts, similar to those we mentioned in our Top 5 Tips for Talking in the Kitchen post such as, "the capsicum is smooth," or, "this carrot is long and this carrot is short."
4. Choosing Food
For your older preschoolers, you can teach prepositions while you pick up food from the shelves. Say "the apples are next to the bananas", "the wraps are above the bread"
The fun task of putting the food away! This is not my favourite thing in the world but it can be made more enjoyable by talking to your older preschoolers about categories. Ask them to help you pack away by finding all the fruit, find the veg, or the meat.
This is the last in our series of 5 Tips for Talking! If you enjoyed it and found it useful, please comment and share!
Our next series will feature more specific activities supporting communication while cooking.
We will also be posting some articles focussing on our specialist Autism service.