In the dramatic play area set up a rectangle or square table for the “check out”. Tape a piece of long paper end to end around the table. You now have a conveyor belt just like the real thing.
I changed our dramatic play into a grocery store. I put old cereal boxes, yogurt containers, cookie bags, plastic pop bottles, milk cartons and many other boxes that are safe and clean and that the children can use to buy things from each other. At my house I have pretend plastic fruit for decoration so I brought them to the daycare for the children to use in their grocery store. I brought some baskets from a local thrift shop for the children to use for shopping carts because we only have one toy shopping cart. I also put a toy cash register in it to so the children can be cashiers and I put monopoly money in the cash register. Its fun to watch the children in it and the children love it.
When our dramatic play area turns into a grocery store, I clip coupons from my Sunday newspaper. I then mount them on construction paper and laminate them. The children love trying to find the pictured object as well as use the coupons when they “check out”.
Grocery carts-Use large boxes with all the flaps except the narrow end, tucked into the box. Use the flaps as the handle. Let the children cut or glue on silver metallic paper because cart are metal and push them around the room or store.
Conveyor belts-tape black paper end to end around a table and show children that if they push on it the food moves just like in the grocery store.
During our Supermarket week, I make our housekeeping area a grocery store. I line up tables for shelves, display fake food as well as empty food boxes. I add a shopping cart, cash register, and let the children enjoy.
Each year we go on a field trip to the grocery store. They take us on a “behind the scenes” tour. Prior to going, the grocery store is kind enough to give us enough paper bags for everyone in our class. I buy several different fruits and vegetables and we make “Vegetable Prints” on the paper bags. Then we look for these fruits and vegetables when we are on our tour.
We stock our shelves with can goods, cereal boxes, potatoes, plastic fruit etc. also we have a balance scale & calculator. The children use baskets to carry produce to kitchen area. One child uses a wooden truck to return things to the grocery. We also furnish grocer jackets for them to wear.
We do lots of coupon clipping in my house. When we get to the store I give my 4 year old daughter the coupons that I’ll be using in the appropriate aisles and she loves to be the one to “find” the products I need. It keeps her occupied and makes grocery shopping with kids a much less painful experience.