Playing shops

Child shopping with mother

Play shopping at home is good fun and helps your child learn to communicate. Try building a little shop at home – the kitchen is a good place to do this. You can get foods out of cupboards and line them up. You can also have pretend foods or packets.

Get some loose change or pretend money to ‘buy’ things. Now talk to your child about the shop. One of you can be the customer, the other can be the shopkeeper.

Encourage your child to talk about the things for sale. How much might they cost? Work out how much money is needed together and whether you need change. This is a good way to introduce them to numbers and money.

Spend the game taking turns, asking questions, describing things and solving simple problems. Perhaps you have something you need to make, like a cake, and you need them to help you choose ingredients.

Your shop doesn’t have to sell food. You can use your imaginations to make it sell whatever your child likes – maybe it sells cars or toys.

Good to know

By looking at labels and talking about them, your child will begin to learn that words have a purpose in everyday life as well as in books.