Grocery Play for Kids

Children love play that mimics daily life. An example of that is how much fun they have with grocery play. It’s also a learning experience for them as they play. Often they pretend that they are fixing dinner, just like their parent or they play grocery store where they shop for food or sell food to their siblings and friends.

Stone_WLP / Pixabay

They want to do the things that grown-ups do. Of course, food shopping and food preparation are a regular part of our lives. 

I remember the fun we had “playing house” as we called it. Back then, we didn’t have ready-to-buy grocery cans to make our play realistic. We did the best we could, picking berries and leaves to serve as food and plates for our play. Luckily we didn’t poison ourselves with this play.

I remember Mom creating a play kitchen for my youngest sister from cardboard boxes and food to stock the shelves of the play kitchen. She bought small sized cans of food, opened them from the bottom, then washed out the cans. They looked quite realistic on the shelves.

You don’t have to do that, as now they have these very real-looking cans for children to incorporate into their play. Safe, no sharp edges and very authentic in their looks.


Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Grocery CansMelissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Grocery BoxesMelissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Fridge GroceriesMelissa & Doug Let’s Play House: Grocery Boxes and Cans, 3+ yearsMelissa & Doug Playtime FruitsLearning Resources New Sprouts Bushel of Veggies

Now children can also have realistic looking shopping carts and cash registers to use with their grocery play. Way back in my childhood, I remember the fun we had playing with a small red cash register. We opened the little drawer and put our allowance money into the slots of the cash register. The one shown here even comes with play money already in it. The kids will have hours of fun with that and also with the shopping trolley. They can fill it with the pretend foods for a meal they plan to prepare. When they wheel it to the cash register and pay for the foods, they feel just like grown-ups at the store.

Toy shopping cart for kids and toddler – Pretend Play – Folds for Storage – High Quality Metal FrameLearning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register

This cash register is great for teaching how to count money. There are simpler ones for younger children who just want to push the buttons and see the drawer open.

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