Home icon

Let’s Write a Grocery List

young girl standing in room

About this Video

Caregivers can engage children in early writing experiences such as list making to support their early literacy skill development. In this video, we watch 19-month-old Yana and her mother talk about a grocery list they are making for the store. Yana was curious about the list her mom was writing, and her mother gave her the pen and paper and let her practice scribbling.

Yana’s mother encourages her by responding to her ideas and helping her think of more items to buy from the store. Though Yana is in the scribbling phase of her writing development, the opportunity to talk about a grocery list and scribble on the paper supports her early understanding that written marks can convey meaningful information from the conversation she is having with her mother.



Mom: Why don’t you write olives? What else do you want to put on the list for the store?

Yana: How about write orange?

Mom: How about write orange? What else could you write?

Yana: Ogurt.

Mom: Ogurt, yeah, yogurt, write yogurt. What else do you want to buy at the store?

Yana: Pen.

Mom: Write on the paper please. Not on your face.

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three and How They Were Met

Developmental Domain 3: Language Development, Communication, & Literacy
Early Literacy
Children demonstrate interest in and comprehension of printed materials.

  • Indicators for children (16-24 months): Randomly scribbles
  • Action: Yana turns the pages of the notepad and scribbles randomly on the paper in an attempt to write a grocery list.

Developmental Domain 3: Language Development, Communication, & Literacy
Social Communication
Children demonstrate the ability to engage with and maintain communication with others.

  • Indicators for children (16-24 months):
    • Engages in short back-and-forth interactions with familiar others using verbal and nonverbal communication, e.g., says or signs “more” after each time a caregiver completes an action the child is enjoying
    • Demonstrates an understanding of turn-taking in conversations, e.g., asks and answers simple questions
  • Action: Yana looks at her mother as she talks to her about the grocery list. Yana then responds to her mother’s questions and engages in a short back-and-forth conversation about what she should write on the grocery list.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family
  • Teachers / Service providers
  • Faculty / Trainer

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Reviewed: 2018