Shop to Improve Vocabulary

Shop to Improve Vocabulary

Chances are that you are already bringing your preschooler with you to the grocery store. Your preschooler understands the sequence you usually follow as you navigate through the aisles.

This preschool activity allows you to recreate the grocery store experience as you increase vocabulary and demonstrate that written language serves a purpose. It also touches on many key concepts that your preschooler will be asked to master in Kindergarten. 

This preschool activity also works well when learning a second language as you introduce and review key vocabulary words. 


By Kindergarten, your preschooler will be asked to sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.

By Kindergarten, your preschooler will be asked to recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.

By Kindergarten, your preschooler will be asked to use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.


First, allow your preschooler to create a grocery list as you set up the grocery store.

Next, take your preschooler into another room. 

Once you are all in another room, ask your preschooler to go retrieve food items from the "store".

As you request items, write the name of the item on your preschooler's grocery list. 

As your preschooler brings you the item, cross it off the list. This will reinforce that the written word serves a purpose. 

Don't have a grocery cart? No problem! You can always use a basket, push cart, walking toy, etc. Get creative and your preschooler will too. 

You can also substitute play food with items from your pantry! 

Let us know if you give this activity a try.. 

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