Back to school shopping can be educational

Typically when families do their back to school shopping, they go to their local Staples or Walmart to buy school supplies. Sometimes they bring their kids, sometimes they leave them at home.  Parents do have the right intentions to make sure their kids are ready for the first day of school, but why not make this task a little more educational and fun? Sure, it might take some more time, but it’s worth the hands on experience and knowledge your children will gain.
You can make this outing challenging for older school age children or simplify it for younger ages.  It’s important to take advantage of daily life tasks and make it an opportunity for your children to learn from them (you can even use this method with grocery shopping).

Challenging Example:

  • Give your child(ren) a budget – total amount they can spend on school supplies.
  • Get them to type up the supplies in a list format on the computer with two columns beside it.  In the next column, write the estimated cost of each item.  The last column will be for them to fill out the exact cost.
  • Write the budget at the top of their paper and leave a space for them to fill out the final bill.

Afterwards, they can figure out how much money was saved or how much money was spent over the budget.

Item Estimated Price Actual Price
Pencils $4.20 $
Markers $5.50 $
2 Binders $8.00 $

Simplified Example:

  • Create a sheet with the items listed and a picture beside the word. Have your child sit with you at the computer and help out as much as possible.
  • Create one column for your child to put a check mark beside the item once it’s been found.
Item Check Mark
Scissors (add picture)
Pencil Crayons (add picture)

This tool is also great for children who have difficulties during errands or shopping. You can create a list of errands you need to get done (make it colorful and fun). Once you’ve finished each errand, get them to check it off the list. You can also add coloring pages/ story books/ activity books/ or electronic time (iphone) for them to work on/use during that specific errand.  Remember, how you introduce this idea will determine their co-operation, be positive and have fun with it!