Shopping school!

6 - 8 years
Everyday ways to help your child with literacy and numeracy
Family grocery shopping

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

Grocery shopping is a great time for your child to practise a smorgasbord of skills including writing, reading, grouping, rounding, estimating and comparing. These ideas will get you started:

  • ask your child to help write the shopping list, and talk about how to organise it 
    If we group the same kinds of things together, it's much easier to find them. We'll go to the greengrocers first, so put the fruit and vegetables at the top of the list.
  • when you're at the shops, ask your child to match shops with products
    Here's the delicatessen  what do we need here?
    The last thing on our list is deodorant
     where will we find that?
  • teach your child to read labels, and distinguish between persuasive language and information
    The front of the box says 'lower in sugar' in big letters, but what does the nutrition panel say?
  • compare prices for similar items
    All these jars of jam are the same size. Which is the most expensive, and which is the cheapest?
  • teach your child to read the unit pricing labels when package sizes differ
    Is it better value to buy the bigger bag of rice or the smaller bag? Let's look for the cost per kilogram on the shelf label.
  • practise rounding prices
    Is this price closer to $1 or $2?
  • ask your child to help you keep a running total
    The meat was $8.22 and the potatoes were $5.79. We can round them to $8 and $6, so how much are we up to? 
  • talk about how to group your items at the checkout
    We'll put the heavier items first so they go in the bottom of the bags. Put the lighter and squashable items at the end so they go on top.
  • if you pay with cash, ask your child to estimate how much change you will get, and then to check
    The total was $23.25, so we'll pay with this $50 note. How much change will we get, roughly? Did we get it right?
  • at home, let your child have fun arranging your grocery shopping in different ways – eg by cost, by weight, by size, by colour ... or by how yummy it is to eat!



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Last modified
7 April 2020