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Grocery Store Games

To help you and your child enjoy shopping in the produce department, here are a few ideas for mathematics discussion and play.


Fruits and vegetables are great for comparison: Which is larger? Which is harder? Which is riper? Which is darker? Which is redder? Find the ugliest "ugli" fruit. Which is the longest cucumber?


Use the produce scales to introduce weight: Do these apples weigh more or less than 1 pound? Put more pole beans into the bag to see if we can reach 2 pounds. How many of these bananas do you think it will take to make a pound? Which is a better buy: the 1-pound bag of carrots for $1 or the 2-pound bag for $1.50?


Buying fruits and vegetables is a real-life reason to count: How many sweet potatoes will we need if I bake one for everybody in the family? How many apples do we have? Is that enough for you to take one to school every day this week? How many bananas are in this bunch? Can you find a bunch that has two more bananas?


Fruits and vegetables are great for classifying: Find all the green leafy vegetables. Which vegetables and fruits would you put in the "orange" category? Which are smooth vegetables? Which are rough? Which vegetables do we peel before we cook or eat them? Find a vegetable we've never had for dinner. Find all the fruits or vegetables you've taken for lunch at school.

These activities, and the ones you and your child develop, will make shopping in the produce department fun. And, at mealtime, it will be easier to tempt your child to try the fresh fruits and vegetables you've bought together.

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Updated on 3/21/2012