Early Childhood

Early Childhood Mathematics – In Their Own World: Grocery Store

Children learning early childhood mathematics have fascinating minds!

They can take the simplest task and turn it into a grand opportunity. This is especially true in the grocery store! Here are some fun, easy-to-do activities that will brighten yours and the child’s day through mathematical explorations – in their own world.

Geometric walk – investigating 3D objects

In this exploratory activity, children will select objects placed within the shopping cart and describe their geometric features.

What you need: a grocery store

What you do: allow the child an opportunity to hold grocery items

What you say: Easy-to-follow questions about the object the child is holding. Encourage them to use geometric language to describe the 3D features. For example, You: What does the surface of the cereal box feel like? Child: The cereal box has flat sides that I can feel with my hands. After the child selects various objects to describe, invite them to sort the objects in the shopping cart according to their geometric shape (sphere, cone, cylinder, cube, prism, etc.)

Select from the following words to make the geometric walk more thrilling: flat surface, curved surface, corner, vertices, vertex, edge, cone, cube, sphere, cylinder, prism, pyramid. Teachers – to download some words for your word wall, please refer to the ORIGO Insights Resource Hub below.


Guess my object! – exploring attributes of objects

In this interactive activity, children will listen to the attribute clues given and try to guess the object.

What you need: a grocery store

What you do: select a grocery item

What you say: Easy-to-follow clues about the item. For example, My object is orange in color, it has a rough texture, and it tastes sweet.  The child would then guess an orange or grapefruit. Invite the child to hold the object to explore the different attributes such as weight and texture. Repeat this activity throughout the shopping trip. You may also invite the child to give you clues to guess an object as well.


If you would like to read previous blog entries in the Early Childhood Mathematics – In Their Own World series, please see the links below.

In Their Own World: Car or Public Transit Rides

In Their Own World: Playgrounds and Parks

If you would like to download cards for the child to use during this activity, please click HERE.


About ORIGO Education

ORIGO Education is dedicated to making learning meaningful, enjoyable and accessible for all students with Pre-K and Elementary print and digital instructional materials, as well as professional learning for mathematics.

Jessica Bobo

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Jessica Bobo

ORIGO Education

ORIGO Education has partnered with educators for over 25 years to make math learning meaningful, enjoyable and accessible to all.

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