Student Store

By Charlotte Cushman on Aug 14, 2015

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


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

  • cash register or cash box

  • signs advertising products

  • display racks


  • 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.)


  • 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

Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.