Going Shopping to Develop Writing and Counting Skills


The skill of writing develops over several years and young children first learn about writing by observing adults writing.  A few months ago we started to introduce Daisy to the process of writing by including her in one of our routine activities that requires writing  We explained that we were going to go shopping together and needed to write out a shopping list before we went to remind us of what we wanted to buy.

Supermarket Shopping

We set out with a short shopping list of groceries; Daisy looked after the shopping list.  When we arrived at the supermarket we looked at the list together. I pointed to one of the words, read it out and we found the item together. In this way Daisy sees me using the words I have written and we slowly work down the list and fill our basket.

Daisy likes to hold my pencil and then she can scribble over a word when we put an item into our basket (not necessarily accurate scribbling!).

A young child runs her finger down a shopping list as part of a numeracy and literacy activity.

Language of numbers

In April 2018 I wrote a blog titled The Language of Numbers and we daily include the language of number with Daisy, in songs, stories and her play.  Knowing that Daisy now has a sound understanding of number names she is ready to begin to start to count.


Counting is a skill that we all rely on in our everyday lives.  Through everyday activities you can help your grandchild to begin to make the connections between number names and the process of counting.  The outing to the supermarket with a short shopping list is an ideal opportunity to combine writing and counting skills.

Recently when Daisy and I went shopping at the supermarket we counted the apples in the packet and how many bananas were in the bunch we’d selected.  Later we counted some croissant into a bag.

A young child helps her parents select a packet of mushrooms during a shopping trip

Back home we counted the fruit as we put into our fruit bowl.  Then I noticed that Daisy had started pretend play with the fruit in her play kitchen, copying her shopping experience.

Granny Smith says –

This kind of supermarket shopping activity does take time but I’ve found that my granddaughter is engrossed and she doesn’t get bored and fretful.  On our supermarket outings she is absolutely delighted when we find a small trolley for her to push or a basket that she can pull along.

Regularly include your grandchild when planning an outing and writing a shopping list.  Creating a list and counting can be repeated at other High Street stores or any other shopping experience.  Daisy was delighted recently when she went with Grandpa to buy some fish for the garden pond. She ‘helped’ to count the fish as they were put into their bag of water ready to be transported to the pond.

One thought on “Going Shopping to Develop Writing and Counting Skills

  1. What a lucky girl Daisy is to have such great parents / grandparents. You could also use the supermarket shopping to direct Daisy away from plastic wrapped items – was that peppers wrapped in plastic I saw in the trolley ?! Getting Daisy to help choosing fruit and veg would also add to the enjoyment of shopping whilst working on colours too.


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