If You Give The Students A Garden…

31.08.2018     Uncategorized   No comments

By Brittany Simms, M.S., OTR.

If You Give The Students A Garden…

…they will work on functional and academic skills while smiling ear to ear! This is the second summer that occupational therapists at P.G. Chambers School worked with the students to create and plant a beautiful garden. This year, the students chose which vegetables to plant, including tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, cucumbers, and zucchini. The students also planted a variety herbs including, mint, basil, cinnamon basil, lavender and cilantro, as well as some potted flowers. The students learned how to take care of their garden, what to do with the items in the garden, how to harvest their crops and more. The students are so engrossed in learning about how to maintain their garden, they didn’t even realize they were working on so many other functional performance skills!

Did you know that gardening is a fun and interactive opportunity for the students to work on balance, coordination, mobility, fine motor skills, and visual-perceptual skills? They worked on their balance and mobility by reaching, bending and stretching, their coordination and fine motor skills by pinching and pulling items off the vines, and their visual-perceptual skills while looking within the busy garden for the grown vegetables and identifying which were ready for harvest and which were not.


Students even worked on their sensory processing skills, particularly their tactile, gustatory, and visual systems, by feeling the different textures of the plants and leaves, digging in the soil, and smelling the aromas of the herbs.



After seeing the success of the garden, occupational therapists and the students decided to create a Farmer’s Market for the staff to purchase all of the goods! At the Farmer’s Market, students worked on – functional, pre-vocational and academic skills by creating sale signs, greeting customers, answering questions about their crops, tallying their sales, managing money, and creating change! All profits from the Farmer’s Market will be used in order to purchase items for next year’s garden.


“Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” –Robert Brault

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