Age group

3-5 yrs

Number of children:

8-12 ppl

Areas it develops: communication, sentence formation, vocabulary, speech comprehension, verbal memory

The good-old, classic shopping game which strongly promotes communication skills (creative talking, vocabulary, giving instructions), speech comprehension, attention, concentration and focusing on each other.

Language is more than just a bunch of words put after one another; language is a mentality, it is about creating an inner image about the world around us by using complicated signs and symbols. We are all born with language abilities, but learning to speak is a complicated process. Without having a solid language base moving on to critical thinking and cultural studies is impossible. By the time children hit the 36 months milestone, they are capable of expressing their thoughts, feelings, questions in a way that others understand it too. In order to be able to do this they need internal and external certainty. Having well-developed language abilities is necessary, but not enough for having well-developed communication skills and vice versa.

For communication skills, children require  well-developed perception and detection. Therefore, if the developmental domino is hurt somewhere along the way or it is lagging, children will not perform as they should for their age and their socialization will not be problem free.


  • 10-15 objects from all around the room (fruits, veggies, toys, everyday objects)
  • cointainers for them, f. e. egg holder (optional)
  • sheets for the products’ names and prices
  • sheets for the shopping lists

Set up a shop


Let’s collect about 10-15 objects from all around the room (fruits, veggies, toys, everyday objects) and create a shop with them. We can use plastic or wooden food toys but we can also pre-make them from salt dough. Eggs can be put in real egg holders. Under each piece there should be its name and its price ranging from 1-10 (only use whole numbers!). Use print all capital letters!

Let's play shopping!


The adult should give tips but at the end of the day it’s the children who have to categorize the products. Discuss the roles (who the shop assistant and the customer will be) and then the shopping can begin. The adult will start as a customer showing an example on how to purchase something: how and what to ask and also they can help with the answers too. Once all of the products are gone we should discuss who bought what. Make sure to alternate the roles! Focus on grammar! The customers should form full sentences and use the correct articles and plurals.



There are different variations to this game:

  1. The adult and the kids come up with a shopping list for everyone. This can actually be a shopping list for a certain recipe. The list has the drawings of the items. Kids have to do the shopping based on the list.
  2. Then children can make shopping lists for each other.
  3. „The lost shopping list”: Children can look at the shopping list but cannot take it to the „store”, so they have to memorize it. The maximum items to be memorized should never be more than the age of the child. Naturally the adult can help if there is a problem.
  4. Children have to ask questions to the shop assistant who has premade yes-no answers. The answers can be drawn on a paper ( , X, X, ) or the adult can tell them to the assistant on spot. The customers will have to buy something at the end (obviously something the shop has based on the pre-made answers).
  5. Shopping without bounderies: children can make their own shopping lists or can enter the store without a list. After the activitiy there should be a discussion about who bought what and why.

Pro tip: If a child has language difficulties the adult should help by offerint two possible questions so the child can pick the one they prefer.