Student Store

Many skills can be taught through a student store, snack bar, or some kind of a small canteen or shop.  Products may be made by the students themselves (such as baked goods being made in a cooking class) or commercially-available products may be sold.  Some of the skills that can be taught through this activity include:

  • math skills (making change, adding totals)
  • money identification

  • communication (greeting customers, asking what they would like, vocabulary)

  • social skills (interacting with customers and peers, manners)

  • motor skills (lifting, grasp and release, bi-manual coordination)

  • literacy (reading menu, price list, shopping list, labels; writing signs, describing experience)

  • basic cognitive skills (matching, sorting, sequencing)

  • orientation & mobility (perceptual-motor & spatial relations of person to person/objects/environs)

    Girl working in student store

Materials: 
  • items to sell (snacks, school supplies, etc.)

  • cash register or cash box

  • signs advertising products

  • display racks

Procedure: 
  • Determine what items will be sold.  Students can be included in this discussion and simple business concepts can be introduced, such as profit, capitol, etc.  This activity is also a good opportunity to address nutrition, hygiene, and other life skills in a functional context

    Boy stands behind cash register
  • Assign different students to different work stations, depending on their needs and abilities.  A non-verbal student with limited motor skills may begin by working on stocking shelves, while a student working on multiplication may run the cash register)

  • Make signs in print, braille, with picture and tactile symbols to advertise products

  • Decide when the store will be open (during school break, recess, after school, etc.)

Variations: 
  • Try selling different types of things in different seasons, such as holiday-related items or food that is typically eaten at a certain time of year

  • Rotate the students through the store, depending on their interests and skills

Collage of Student Store