Hurray! It's summer! Time for a break from homework and the rush of the school year. It is also a great time to work on helping our kids build life skills. We know our kids will someday have to "paddle their own canoe" and we want to help prepare them for independence.
In our house this summer, we are working on planning meals, shopping for groceries, and cooking and serving meals for the whole family. In order to make this a little more FUN, we are doing something called "The Landes Grocery Games".
We divided the kids into teams: a big kid and little kid on each team. Team one is up this week.
They are in charge of planning, shopping, cooking and serving the meals for five days. They can earn points by doing things like staying within their budget, serving meals on time, including fruits and vegetables, and making at least one meal vegetarian.
On Sunday, the team looked through the recipe books (and at the calendar for the week) and planned out their meals and made their grocery list. Monday morning, we went to the grocery. After I took a couple of pictures, I gave them the cash and let them loose! They took a calculator to add up their prices as they went (although they forgot to use it at first and had to re-trace their steps!) I went to the Starbucks in the front of the store and enjoyed my coffee, available if they needed to stop by and ask a question.
There were a few questions, such as
"Does a stalk of celery mean one or the whole bunch?"
"How do I know how many pieces of frozen fish are in this bag?"
"Mom, your recipe just said 'ham'. That was not very specific. Could you explain what kind of ham and how much?" (Yes, I confess, my recipes are not always detailed!)
(It took them a long time because they didn't really know where things in the store were shelved. They made several laps around the store, but that is all part of the learning process. (and more time to enjoy my coffee!) I did hear some discussion about prices, as they started to compare similar items for the best deal.
After they checked out and told me their total, I realized they had only spent 1/3 of their weekly budget! And they were pretty sure that is all they needed for the week. Hmmm. Either I am terrible at budgeting or we are going to be a little hungry this week! We saved the extra cash in case they need to go back again this week. (Experience is telling me they might need to...)
The first lunch and dinner were a success! We were in the kitchen in case there were questions about using the stove or preparing the food, but we are not offering advice unless asked. We had fish, salad, watermelon and rolls for dinner! And served on time (with only 30 seconds to spare!). This is going to be a fun game! More updates to come!