All children go shopping with their parents and others who look after them. Different shop environments therefore provide the ideal opportunity for examining, discovering, reasoning and learning. The general idea is to show your child as much as possible and therefore to spark off an interest in their environment and a genuine desire to find out why things are the way they are.
Before you even get inside any shops, there will often be a number of interesting talking points. Many shopping malls have entry doors which work on a ‘magic eye’ system and open automatically as you go past them. Show your child where the ‘eye’, which detects something passing, is likely to be. Explain that this triggers a mechanism for opening the doors. When you go into large department stores, a number of them will have revolving doors as well as conventional ones. Show your child how these doors turn round as you push them and how they have compartments for several people to enter the shop together. Help your child to enter and leave these doors safely, by watching carefully to find out when he needs to move quickly in or out.
You will come across escalators in some of the malls and bigger shops. Let your child watch people going up and down on these. Are they climbing the staircase? Explain that they are actually standing still whereas the staircase itself is moving. When he has watched for a while and worked out what is going on, help him to get on and off the escalator safely. Make sure that he realizes that he should continue to walk slowly forward as he steps off the escalator.