Grocery Store Preschool Lessons: ABCs Part 1
Using Grocery Store Items for Preschool and Homeschooling Activities
We now live on the outskirts of a relatively nice sized city (for Mississippi), but for three years we lived in a relatively small town. Small town living is nice, but it can make it difficult to find materials and resources for home-school and preschool activities and lessons without having to order them online. I'm not a very patient person and this was before I was an Amazon Prime member and got free 2 day shipping. Plus I do try to shop local as much as I can. For these reasons, I'm always on the lookout for schooling materials - even when I go grocery shopping.
A trip to the local grocery store with my less than enthusiastic daughter inspired me to do a series of blogs about activities and lessons you can do using just materials that you find in a grocery store. Since on this trip, Carrie was being especially active, I tried to find things that would distract her from the fact that we were not doing exactly what she wanted (leaving the store). On this trip I picked up a box of individually packaged Alphabet Cookies, 2 packs of Alphabet magnets, a small set of tongs, and a set of 6 magnetic bag clips in different colors.
The first activities we tried with these grocery store finds were focused on building letter recognition. They also served the dual purpose of working on matching skills. Due to the colorful magnets it also helped with color recognition as well.
Activity #1: Matching Alphabet Cookies with the Alphabet Magnets
Using the alphabet cookies and magnets we worked on letter recognition by having Carrie match the letter cookies to the corresponding letter magnet. I had planned on taking a slightly different approach, but in scrambling to find something to keep Carrie's attention before snack time we came to a rather effective yet simple activity. Interactive and hands-on has been the key for us lately as we build Carrie's attention span and ability (decision to) sit for longer periods while we work on "school". I was pleasantly surprised at how well Carrie cooperated with this activity. After I stopped her from eating the cookies once, she wouldn't even eat the cookies after I told her it was okay. Since she enjoyed the activity so much this left 3 bags worth of Alphabet Cookies for her Dad and me to eat.
The activity is fairly self explanatory. You simply have your child match the alphabet cookies to the corresponding magnet. Since we just started, I let Carrie lay the magnets how however she wanted before she matched the cookie to them. However, I plan to have her work on putting them in order first in the future. The original plan was to get a cookie sheet and write the letters on it so that she could match the magnet to the written letter before matching the cookies. This would provide two chances to perform the skill in slightly different ways within the same activity.
What I really liked about this particular activity (besides the fact that Carrie actually enjoyed it) was the fact that besides letter recognition, the activity also allowed us to work on color recognition. The alphabet magnets are red, yellow, green, and blue so if Carrie was having difficulty locating the letter, I could give her a prompt like "The G is red" or "That's a U. See if you can find the blue magnet that looks like the U cookie." The colors also help with working on putting the letters in the correct order which is nice.
There are tons of different ways you can use these alphabet magnets. I will be posting some more ideas soon!