Market Mixup

What to do: In this activity, lay out a number of grocery store items (or play versions of food items) on a table, next to a non-transparent bag. Beside you, obscured from view, have an identical bag with some food items already in it. Have the children choose three items that they want to purchase from the store to make breakfast/lunch/dinner. To enrich the experience, you can ask them about what and how they will cook with those items. Once the items are in the bag, place the children’s bag beside the pre-filled bag and tell them there has been a mix-up. You aren’t sure which bag is theirs? To ensure that you give the right bag to the right person, have the children tell you one or more of the items they purchased. You wouldn’t want to give away someone else’s groceries to them, or give their groceries away to someone else! This is ideally done in a small group or with individual children.

Too easy? How to increase challenge: Have the children select and then recall an increasing number of items, and/or have them recall the items in the shopping bag in: (a) the order they first chose them; or (b) the order they would use them in their cooking.

Ideal formation(s): Small group or individual.

What you need: Two non-transparent bags, as well as a number of real or play (plastic) food items.

What it does: This activity challenges children’s ability to maintain attention on things they have to remember. Being ‘successful’ in the context of extended make-believe play requires children to hold in mind the co-constructed ‘rules’ of the play situation.

Links to EYLF:

  • Demonstrate an increasing capacity for self-regulation; Be open to new challenges and discoveries; Take considered risks in their decision-making and cope with the unexpected; Persist when faced with challenges and when first attempts are not successful; Increasingly cooperate and work collaboratively with others (from Outcome 1.2)
  • Make choices, accept challenges, take considered risks, manage change and cope with frustrations and the unexpected (from Outcome 3.1)
  • Show an increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition (from Outcome 3.2)
  • Persist even when they find a task difficult (from Outcome 4.1)
  • Draw on memory of a sequence to complete a task (from Outcome 5.4)

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