Community Helpers Grocer Theme for Preschool

Community Helpers Grocer--Grocer, although a term used less and less, can help describe the people who work in our grocery stores, markets and supermarkets. You can also include many words and terms to the children such as cash registers, cashiers, store managers, shelves, freezers, deli, etc. This theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.

A week or two before this theme, send a note home to families asking them to save cereal boxes, labels from cans, plastic milk and juice bottles and other food packaging that you can use in the classroom.

Let the Theme planning begin!

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

Art Activities Block Area Circle Time Activities Cooking Recipes Dramatic Play Ideas Easel Ideas Gross Motor Games Library and Literacy Math And Manipulatives Activities Music and Movement Sand and Water Table Science Activities Writing Activities Miscellaneous Ideas



Art Activities

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Art

Plastic Bottle Grocers

Materials Needed: fabric, construction paper scraps, scissors, glue, wiggly eyes and other miscellaneous arts and crafts supplies, plastic bottles (dish detergent bottles or 16.8oz water bottles with the labels removed work well).

The children use the items to make a face and apron on the bottles. (You may need to precut aprons).

Food Collage

Use macaroni and beans to make art collages. Use heavy tagboard or cardboard. When given enough time and freedom to do their own thing, you'll end up with some great collages! We've seen planets, animals, shapes and names!

Favorite Food Collage

Materials Needed: magazines, glue or glue sticks, paper, scissors

The children cut out pictures of their favorite foods and glue them to paper.

Grocery Store Banners

Materials Needed: Magazines, glue or glue sticks, paper, scissors

Discuss the types of food you will "sell" in your dramatic play Grocery Store. Make a banner of that type of food to hang over the shelves or tables you store the play food on.

They children might make a Dairy Banner, Fruit Banner, Meat Banner, etc.

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Block Area

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Block Center Ideas

Block Store

Place different types of small play food in the block area. Encourage the children to build "bins" and "shelves" out of blocks. They can create "aisles" for their block center grocery store.

Variation: Provide legos to build with!

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Circle Time Activities

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Circle Time Ideas

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!

Where Does It Come From?

Materials Needed: Chart paper to hang at your Circle Area, a marker, pictures of a variety of foods.

Ask the children where they think the foods come from that they find in a grocery store and list.

For example, bananas, oranges, steak, lettuce, etc.

Discuss farms, farmers, etc.

Then discuss how it might be transported from the farm or other country to the store in your city or town.

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Cooking Recipes

Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Community Helpers Grocer Theme!

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!

Veggies and Dip

Ingredients and Items needed: Carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, plastic knives, veggie dip.

Supervise and help children to cut veggies. Count out into plates and scoop some dip. Yum!

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Dramatic Play Ideas

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Grocery Story

Materials: Large refrigerator box.

cut an opeing (large window) in the front and a door in one side.

Place a table inside the box under the window opening.

Place the back of the "store" against some empty shelves in the classrom orcut off the tops from smaller boxes, turn them upside down and stack them to form shelves.

Put a toy cash register and play money on the table.

Add canned goods, empty ceral boxes, etc. on the shelves.

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Easel Ideas

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Ideas for your Easel--More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)

Try painting with different foods such as celery stalks or the fern part of carrots!!

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Gross Motor Games

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together

Alphabet Food Sort

Provide boxes or laundry baskets and label them with letters.

Have the children sort play food or empty food packages by letter (bananas, peas, cereal, etc.)

Going to the Grocery Store Obstacle Course

Set up an obstacle course in a large area.

Use painter's tape (easier to get off floors and carpets) to make arrows for directions.

Use milk jugs filled with sand for a house construction, boxes or chairs for tunnels, carpet squares for a stream or road, shoeboxes for a road construction area, hula hoops for puddles.

Use some of your other ideas!

Tell a story about how to get to the store (oh no...a puddle! Let's go around it, or hop through it!)

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Library and Literacy

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom

Book Suggestions for the Library

10 Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

At the Supermarket by David Hautzig

Market Day by Eve Bunting

On Market Street by Arnold Lobel

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Math And Manipulatives Activities

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!

Coin Sorting

Place four bowls out and tape a different coin inside or to the outside of each bowl.

Provide a large bowl of coins for the children to sort and count.

Coupon Sorting

Materials: Supermarket coupon sections from the newspaper (ask parents to donate so that you have at least 2 of the same).

Cut out the coupons and laminate.

The children can sort the coupons into pairs or can sort by type of food.

VARIATION: For children learning to cut, have coupons and scissors at your math table for the children to cut out themselves before sorting!


Materials: In advance, cut out pictures of many different foods. Glue them to index cards and list a "price" on the card. (numbers 1-10 or 1-20, depending on which numbers your children can identify).

The children can sort the foods by many attributes: Which foods cost the same? Which foods are the same?

VARIATION: Choose two cards with different prices. Which one cost more? Less?

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Music and Movement

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

To Market, To Market

Form a large circle and recite the rhyme while performing the actions.

To market, to market (join hands and walk in circle)

To buy a fat pig (stop and walk to center of circle then back)

Home again, home again (walk in opposite direction)

Jiggety-jig (Stop, clap hands, 1-2-3-4)

To market, to market, (repeat above actions)

To buy a plum bun.

Home again, Home again,

Market is done.

VARIATION: Do this using a parachute!

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Sand and Water Table

Community Helper Grocer Theme Activities for the Senses!

What's That Smell?

Place different foods into different containers (be sure that children can not see through the containers or place the foods in ziploc plastic bags covered by dark construction paper).

Some examples might be cereal, soda, lemon juice, vanilla, vinegar, banana, etc.

Let the children smell and try to identify the foods.

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Science Activities

Community Helpers Grocer Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Match the Seed to the Food

Materials needed: variety of seeds, pictures (or pretend or real food that match the seeds),

Glue one of each type of seed on an index card (peas, oranges, apples, watermelons, etc.).

Glue pictures of each type of food on another card or provide a basket with those foods in them.

The children match the seeds and the food.

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Writing Activities

Writing Activity Ideas for Your Community Helpers Grocer Theme!

Label Names

Provide labels from food cans and boxes, scissors, paper and glue sticks.

The children cut out the letters in their name from the labels and then glue them onto paper to spell out their names.

Provide name cards with the children's names on them.

Survey Time!

List the different grocery stores or supermarkets in your area, each on a different piece of paper. Place them on a clip board (it would be helpful to have a picture of each store for the children to "read").

The children survey their peers, teachers and parents to find out which store(s) each person shops at.

Tell the children to make an "X" under the picture of the store that each person tells them.

Use this information to lead discussions at circle time such as--which store is used the most? The least? Etc.

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Miscellaneous Ideas

Miscellaneous Activities for Your Community Helpers Grocer Theme!

Field Trips

Some ideas for field trips are:

Farmers' Market

Grocery Store



Local Food Manufaacturing Company

Classroom Visitors

Invite someone who is in the food production business (send requests home to parents).

Invite a produce manager.

Invite the local librarian to cme and see you for a story time themed about Groceries!

Invite a local farmer! See if he/she can bring a farm truck with them!

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