Grocery Store Game

Scavenger Hunt !

I have had the opportunity of participating in a couple of wonderful conference calls hosted by Hooked on Phonics where some parent bloggers like myself join Hooked on Phonics’s CEO Judy Harris and chat about literacy and learning. It was on this most recent call that Amy @ teachmama shared this great idea. I filed it away and yesterday when my son had no interest in going shopping I reworked it with what we had on hand and he had a blast!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some coupon books or flyers with pictures. A piece of white paper, a piece of construction paper, double stick tape, post it notes , a marker and scissors.
  2. Cut out the coupons. We did 8 total and that was just the right amount, I tried to use things I knew my costco has, and spread out the items throughout the store.
  3. Tape them onto the white paper, and trim.
  4. Cut the construction paper so it frames it and it ads a layer of strength so even little hands can hold it without it bending.
  5. I thought about using stickers but post-it notes were a better choice. They were easy to peel off, stick on and adjust if needed. I just cut a small strip off a few. My son loves exclaiming “We found it!” so I added his catch phrase.
  6. Gather your little person and go to the store. I handed him the sheet and explained that we were going to play a game , we needed to find each of these things and when we did add the sticker. The post its stick right to the cart.
  7. Help your child find the items on the list by asking them if they see anything that matches when they are close to the item. Count your stickers after adding each one, and keep going.
  8. Celebrate when you find everything! We grabbed a turkey wrap and busted into the 100% fruit bites that a day later are already close to empty.
To see the post that inspired this and more great activities for learning pop over to

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  1. Multi-tasking Mommy says

    What a super idea!
    Thanks for introducing me to TeachMama too! The three of us seem to be like peas in a pod.

    I have a mini spiral notebook and special pencil that I give to my daughter for trips like this (where she doesn't want to go). We make a letter/number hunt (a bit less prep work, but she was just as excited) and it is a lot fun.

    Ironically, the shopping actually takes longer, I find, when we do these hunts because she wants me to stop the cart so many times!

  2. Trisha says

    I've been thinking of doing something like this for a food drive, so that DS does the shopping and deposits the food in the bin at church. Our food bank has a shopping list online. This could be just the inspiration I need to get this activity going.

    p.s. Sorry about my many typos the other day.

  3. Allie says

    It does take longer but it's much calmer I find, we usually play eye spy or go on letter hunts – but this was a fun treat.

    Annette- I wish sadly those were coupons I wasn't using 😉

    Trish- I hope you have fun, and I think it's great you are involving your child in a service project. The best way for them to learn to give back is by doing it. Oh and don't worry about typos, I would die without spell check. Besides I would take a comment with a few typos over no comment any day!

  4. teachmama says

    Allie–I really like this idea, too, and with a HUGE store like Costco this makes it a lot more manageable. I wish we all knew ahead of time which samples they'd have out so we could go on a sample hunt. How much fun would that be?!

    Thanks for the link back!–

  5. Allie says

    Amber I know ! I usually think my son looks like me, but in this picture he is 100% his father so much so we did a side by side comparison . They are the deep thinkers!

    Amy- Thanks so much for letting us share this. A sample hunt would be brilliant, there was a time my son would only eat solid foods in a shopping cart. I am not joking.

  6. Beth- the mama bee says

    We play a similar game, but I have the pictures and titles on index cards. It helpd my little ones to only have one or two items to concentrate on at a time. We have 30 cards, but only doing 1-2 at a time makes it last the whole trip.

  7. Susan says

    What a great idea. I too love the "deep thinker" picture of your son. BTW…what 100% fruit snacks do you recommend? My son loves those things and feel like I probably buy the ones with too much sugar!

    Thanks for all your hard work!!!!

  8. Rebecca says

    What a great picture!

    My son loves grocery shopping, but we give him tasks like telling us when he sees mini-wheats, or when he sees the cart (because then he gets in it without a fight).

    He ends each trip by putting coins into the guide-dog collection statue!

  9. Julie says

    I do a similar thing. My daughter is older, 4.5 yrs, so I'm trying to introduce word recognition. When we have multiple errands, I list them in order. She loves crossing out ones we have completed and telling me what comes next.

  10. Chantel says

    Hi 🙂
    I love this idea! I keep meaning to put something together for my son to do at the store when we go grocery shopping, and I just have such a hard time finding something that is just his speed. He's almost three and is spiritedly energetic. And this looks perfect! It will keep his attention but won't bee too difficult so that he's tempted to keep jumping around rather than sit and concentrate. Maybe if I laminate it, my 11 month old can even play along! Thanks so much for the idea!!!


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