At Little Prints St. Cyril, we put on a Fall Harvest event where each child was given $10 in pretend money to purchase produce from the “Little Prints Farmer’s Market”. We printed out a flyer that taught the children about the various types of squash, and listed each squash at $5 in pretend money. The Farmer’s Market also listed potatoes for $1 each in pretend money. At the end of the event, the children were given two recipes, one for Crispy Smashed Potatoes and one for Roasted Maple Squash, which they could use with their families to cook the fresh fall produce they took home from the Little Prints Fall Harvest.

5 Ways Children Learn from a Pretend Farmers Market

1. Financial Literacy
Pretend shopping at a market helps children understand the concept of money, its value, and how to make choices within a budget. Through this play, they learn basic arithmetic, budgeting skills, and the importance of saving for desired items, laying the groundwork for financial literacy.

2. Social Skills
Engaging in a simulated market encourages interaction with peers, fostering social skills like communication, cooperation, and negotiation. Children learn to take turns, collaborate, and understand the perspectives of others while engaging in role-play scenarios as buyers or sellers.

3. Language and Communication
Role-playing as customers or vendors in a market setting provides opportunities for children to expand their vocabulary. They learn the names of various fruits, vegetables, and other products, as well as practice descriptive language, improving their communication skills.

4. Critical Thinking and Decision Making
While “shopping,” children encounter choices about what to purchase. This experience encourages critical thinking as they weigh options, make decisions based on preferences or needs, and consider consequences—all essential skills for problem-solving and decision-making later in life.

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5. Fine Motor Skills and Coordination
Handling pretend money, picking up items, and placing them in a basket, bag or cart involve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These activities help in refining their dexterity and motor abilities while mimicking real-world actions involved in shopping.

Overall, pretend shopping at a market serves as a valuable educational tool, offering a holistic learning experience that touches upon various developmental aspects crucial for children’s growth and understanding of the world around them.

Recipes for Crispy Smashed Potatoes & Roasted Maple Squash