Discovery Station's Little Sprouts Grocery Store focuses on two objectives: 1) to highlight the importance of good nutrition to a child’s physical and cognitive development, and 2) to develop early math skills and introduce concepts of financial literacy. A two-generational approach will encourage family engagement and provide additional resources for families and childcare providers.
The exhibit includes life-like examples of a variety of produce, dairy, wheat and frozen food products, as well as two check-out lanes complete with cash registers, and a farm-to table section highlighting regional products. The exhibit also includes the Discover Savings banking area with materials to encourage children to develop early financial literacy and budgeting skills.
As children enjoy using the exhibit and using their imaginations to develop the level of play, parents and caregivers can take advantage of the bilingual informational panels in each area to identify what skills are being built and how to extend learning at home.
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Believe it or not, kids can have quite a lot of fun when learning new math skills. We incorporate math elements into every feature of our Little Sprouts Grocery Store exhibit. Children learn about basic arithmetic using decimals when adding up the cost of their shop. They count the number of fruits and vegetables left in the bins in the produce section.
It's easy to incorporate math into your daily lives! Parents and caregivers can easily create shopping lists with numerical values for children that children can use during a trip to the grocery store (or play pretend at home).
For example, you might write, "1 loaf of bread, 5 apples, 2 containers of juice." With younger children, it's essential to include a picture of what they should be looking for while they shop.
The updated exhibit is the result of a collaborative effort of community partners including the Washington County Birth through Five program, Washington County Public Schools, the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, OnTrack Washington County and the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.
Discovery Station would like to thank the following for their generous support of the exhibit: Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, The John R. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation, The Waltersdorf Family Donor Advised Fund, The Michael G. Callas Charitable Trust, Aldi’s Smart Kids Foundation, Hagerstown Rotary Club, Many Individuals Helping Individuals (MIHI), Washington County Early Childhood Advisory Council, and Nitzalis Rivera, Spanish 4 All.