If you are a fellow South African(or now Aussies too) you would know all about the Little Shop minis. These little toy groceries are fabulous to use for all kinds of learning activities(also for Barbie or Elf on the Shelf pretend play) and I made it my job to show you. Our friends from all over the world could use some of these ideas as well, just use real groceries, Shopkins or small manipulatives like mini erasers!
- Reading activities: Brand name reading, look for specific sounds(those starting with “s” like Sunlight or those that have an “ea” sound like in cream)
- Writing: coping of brand names, writing in Alphabetical order, making sentences using the mini names, adding adjectives to expand your sentences etc. Write a story or a poem…
- Sorting activities: sort minis according to beginning letter, colour, shape etc.
- Classification to work on life skills and vocabulary: edible vs non-edible, food you’ll eat for breakfast vs food that counts as snacks, items you use in the bathroom, items you use to clean your house, food you must/or not keep in the fridge etc. PS: use a container like this and it doubles as storage!
- Matching: match the real mini to a picture in the adverts to see what it costs. You can then sort it accordingly: from cheap to expensive, or group those that costs more or less the same.
- Pretend play: Little Shop/Grocery Shop setup. Work with money, practice counting and other maths concepts. See Grocery Store Pretend Play for ideas!
- Use mini groceries as manipulatives with maths worksheets.
- Simple counting/one-on-one correspondence using an old calendar(or draw your own numbered boxes)
- Simple sums(FREE printable). Laminate the printable (to make it reusable) and fill in the signs(+/-/=) and answer.
- More/less practice. (FREE printable) Again, laminate the printable and fill in the signs(</>/=). Roll a dice to decide how many minis to put in each circle to compare.
- Word sums: Example: You go to the shop and buy milk, cereal and butter. The milk costs R22, the cereal costs R35 and the butter costs R26. How much money do you need? Use small stickers to add prices to your groceries and use it in word sums.
- Area activity: what will you need to fill each space in the box?
- Games: I spy/Guessing game(give clues: this mini is white, you can drink it, it starts with a m….milk!)
- Memory Game: if you have doubles, use them(or use pairs like milk and cereal, butter and spread)! Play a memory game using cupcake liners!
- Another memory game: place a few minis in a row(start with 3 and add more as you go). Look and remember. Let your child close his eyes, take one mini away. He must now guess which mini is missing. Carry on until all the minis are gone and he can remember them all!
- Tic Tac Toe: choose a shape(image below shows circles and rectangles) and Play Tic Tac Toe. (FREE printable)
- Puzzle: which shape belongs to which mini? (Use this FREE printable puzzleor make your own)