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Expanding Vocabulary in the Grocery Store

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Expanding Vocabulary in the Grocery Store

Expanding Vocabulary in the Grocery Store

Learning new words can take place anywhere. One of my favorite locations to practice is the produce section of the grocery store or while walking around a produce stand.  From apples to zucchini, there is a bounty of fruit and vegetables to discover.

Pick up a piece of fruit, say an apple, and say “apple” a few times and encourage your baby to repeat after you. Let them smell the apple and feel the smooth texture. Compare the smooth apple to a “bumpy” avocado – a fun word to say. You can even take the chance to introduce colors too. Point out red, green, and yellow apples. There is a rainbow of colors to choose from in the produce section. Introduce math by counting the apples as you put them in the bag. You could also weigh the produce. Compare a tiny grape to a huge watermelon!

Make a point to try a different fruit or vegetable each week. Children who are exposed to a variety of produce are usually more willing to try new foods. You could eat your way through the alphabet too! There are plenty of kids’ cookbooks available at the library. Find new ways to cook your favorite foods, or try adding a bit of math into your meal time preparations.

Language can be added while you are shopping, whether you’re in the produce section or not. Point out different containers: boxes of cereal, jars of sauce, and bags of rice. Or talk about which animals produce some of the things that you get every week – milk comes from cows, eggs come from chickens, vegetables from gardens and some fruits come from trees.

You can stimulate your child’s early literacy by pointing out print in the grocery store and on your shopping list.

Grocery shopping with your child might take a little bit longer, but it is well worth it given the benefits your child will gain from their exposure to print, new vocabulary and conversation.

Another great place to learn new vocabulary words is at the library! From books to technology, and maps to artwork there is always something new they could look at. You can attend a program or storytime for your child and then take a walk around the branch, looking for a new item to talk about.

To learn about the programs and storytimes offered throughout the Citrus County Library System, check out the online calendar at, or you can call or visit your nearest branch. If you’re looking to stay in-the-know about all things happening at a library near you, follow @CitrusLibraries on Facebook and Instagram or sign-up at to receive our monthly Kids Events newsletter.

Debbie Robitaille
Youth Services Librarian at Homosassa Branch

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