Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shop your way to Language!

Yes...I know that my titles are a bit cheesy. =)  Lil' Kitten Shopping Cart is a fantastic game, and it's FREE!  The music makes you feel like you are really on a game show!  The app features a kitten who receives lists of food from his/her mom.  Once in the store (beautiful/cute graphics), you must look at your list.  I ask the students, "How can we group these items together?" or "What group does ____ belong to?"  I also talk about that this is 'Mom's list' and not ours...we can't pick what we want, we need to think about others. You then need to select the right aisle based on the group. Then you push an arrow and your kitty/cart go sailing down the aisle until you see your item.  This is great for visual scanning.  Sometimes, I have one person be the 'eyes' and scan for the item.  Once you find your item, you need to pick one that is appropriately priced.  A great chance to talk about, "How much more is the big lobster?"  "How much less is the muffin on the bottom?" "How much will you save if you pick ___?"  You can refer back to your list and check items off.  Depending on the child's ability, you can have them refer back for each item...or if I am working with an older student, I may say, "You need to remember all five items...form a picture in your head or make associations" (This is great for word retrieval skills).  There is even a 'sale' aisle...which some might forget to think about!  Eventually, you can go to the checkout.  Prior to the cashier, I ask the students to make predictions about the price.  You are also given a I can additionally ask them, "How much do you think you will have leftover?".  The cashier then totals the items and you see your savings.  Each turn, if you save money, you can bank it and go to a 'prize store' to earn toys.

Goals that can be targeted:
  • Vocabulary: aisle, shelf, cashier, and of course the food...they have a HUGE selection (lobster, eggplant, cabbage, etc). 
  • Predictions: Many opportunities to ask "What do you think?" types of questions
  • Basic Concepts: Since there are many shelves, I can also give the students directions, such as: "Pick the eggplant that is on the bottom shelf on the right" (receptive) or "Where was the muffin that you picked?" (expressive)
  • Math/Reasoning: Plenty of chances to ask Math-based questions, "How much is____?" "How much more or less?" "What is the total?" "How much did you save?" 
  • Higher Level questions: I ask questions like, "Why do you think mom needs a steak?" "Why might she need flour?" "What could we make with sugar?" 
  • Social: We talk about taking someone's perspective, "How will it make mom feel if we save her money?" "...if we bring home what we want and NOT what she wants?" "How will you feel if you get everything on the list?"  Additionally, we work on role play and turn-taking.  If there are several students, each student is responsible for different items (through group discussion/voting/etc).  One person can push the cart, while the others scan for the items.  We also incorporate whole body listening and eye contact between turns when passing the iPad from person to person and when we are discussing our strategy.  If we earn enough money as a group, we can make a group decision to save our money or pick a toy. 
This game is just really great!  I would have paid a few dollars, but with it being FREE, how cool!


  1. Thank you for your wonderful feedback and suggestions. Your comments are very much appreciated. We are working hard to bring more features and fun stuff in shopping cart. A new update of Shopping Cart 1.02 will be announced very soon. Watch for it!

  2. You are welcome! Thank you for developing such a great app! My students really enjoy it and have commented that they use some of the skills learned when they shop with their parents!