Imagination shopping play time

We’ve been having fun this week with our shopping theme as we have explored real and imaginative play. Sprog and I spent quite a while at Tesco at the weekend, I had to get some birthday cards and some food to take to a picnic with us. We’d walked round in the buggy and Sprog sat contently for a little while but I don’t really like using the buggy so I ditched it after a while and let him roam freely.


Sprog helped to choose birthday cards that need sending out this week… One relative received a card with knitted potatoes on the front as a result.


We ended up sitting on the floor in front of the snacks whilst we discussed all the different colours of the snacks and the shapes. Sprog finally settled on the purple packet of stars.  He was less decisive about the Pringles tubes but eventually settled on smoky BBQ flavour.

For our imaginative play I set up the lounge with little signs and displays of books/magazines, toys, drinks and there was also an animal stand.

I gave Sprog 5 post-it notes each with a number 1 that I drew on where he could see it. I told him that each item was £1 and that he could have 5 things in his toy trolley.


We’ve played this a couple of times over the course of the week and each time he has understood what is happening more.  When he played later in the week with hubby he tried to buy 6 items, hubby explained that he only had 5 pieces of money so he could only buy 5 things, he went and put one back without argument.


Nanny N got in on the action this week as she played the cashier role beautifully, once Sprog had managed to hand over the items that he wanted to buy.

I was impressed at Sprog’s numeracy development as the week went on. He became much better at understanding the concept of needing the money to pay for the items.

If you are hesitant to try something out as you aren’t sure that your small person will understand it yet.  My advice after this week is just go for it, be prepared for it to be a disaster and let go of expectations. They will do something with the materials you set up, whether or not it’s what you wanted is part of the experience and their journey of discovery of how everything works.


6 thoughts on “Imagination shopping play time

  1. This is great, had never thought of playing shops with things other than ‘food’ I love the vehicles idea 🙂 and the £1 you can only have five items.. thank you for hosting 😀 xx

  2. We play shops and usually my shopping comes to £99 it doesnt matter how much i buy its always £99!!!! ha ha ha!!

    Thanks for linking up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

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