As you can see here, my son loves grocery shopping – both real and pretend. When we decided to go so far as to open a pretend market in our backyard for his third birthday party, I wanted to give the kids an opportunity to make a list of things they would be shopping for in our play market. I thought they’d like modeling this very adult activity (list making), not to mention it would avoid the crazy overflowing cart free-for-all that has occurred at nearly every children’s museum grocery store exhibit I’ve ever visited.
I happened to have just cleaned out our media cabinet and finally decided to toss the empty DVD cases that take up so much room in our storage drawers (most of our DVDs are in DVD wallets). Just before I tossed the cases, I had a brainstorm: you could replace the movie banners with any insert, so my cases had to be useful for something. We played around with the cases by inserting family photos beneath the clear plastic and doodling (eyeglasses, beards, crazy hair) with a dry-erase marker. The plastic cleaned up easily.
Here’s what I worked out for the party:
FRONT OF CASE: Looseleaf List-Like Paper for writing on with a dry-erase or washable marker (contained inside the case), which I printed on 5 by 7 white card stock on my home printer.
DOWNLOAD: Shopping List Template
FONT: American Typewriter or any basic typewriter font
BACK: Chalkboard-Style Magnet Board for attaching magnetic images of list items.
I used adhesive-backed magnetic sheets, trimmed to size (about 5 by 7), to attach a magnet to the DVD back, just below the clear plastic casing.
I printed the food items on regular printer paper, then attached it to sticky side of the adhesive-backed magnetic sheets, then trimmed with a scissor.
DOWNLOAD: Shopping List Magnets Download
Our party-branded (Noah’s Fresh Market) CD with Noah’s current playlist and a slim non-toxic dry erase marker).
I ran out of magnet sheets, but you certainly could line the inside of the case opposite the DVD insert with magnet for easy storage.
The lists worked great for our party, but would work equally well for pretend or practical play at home or school. For one time use, you could simply print out the list pictures and have the kids tape or glue them on a shopping list.
My rule-following birthday boy adhered stringently to the items on his list, going so far as to ask me to “put back” the twirlers and lollipops he initially put in his cart.