Even the most mundane tasks, including grocery shopping, can present learning opportunities for young children, according to Diana Leyva. Leyva, who is Davidson's Nancy Akers and J. Mason Wallace Assistant Professor of Psychology, was recently featured in the Otago Daily Times, a newspaper in New Zealand's South Island.
Leyva researches family food routines and how they center around eating, grocery shopping and cooking.
While she was in New Zealand, doing research at University of Otago, she shared some tips on how to productively involve children in grocery shopping. Leyva said parents should not look at buying groceries as a chore, but as an opportunity to develop their children's social and emotional skills.
Building a grocery list with children can help children organize their thoughts and develop discipline.
"The way you stick to the grocery list–it is a really interesting way to help children self-regulate their behavior," Leyva said.