The Trading Post!

The Trading Post is open!

Every November I open a trading post in my classroom.  I found a great character at a thrift store in Dillon, Colorado who I call Trader Joe.  He comes to my classroom with a box of nature treasures.

Everyday until Thanksgiving break, Trader Joe opens his Trading Post in the classroom.  The children can bring nature items to trade such as leaves, nuts, pods, shells, rocks, pebbles, wood, pinecones and feathers.

Student waiting to trade her leaf at the Trading Post.

I introduce the trading post for several reasons.  First, it is a dynamic way to have the children observe the signs of autumn.  Autumn brings an abundance of nature treasures to “ground” level!  You do not have to go far to find something for the trading post.

Second, it brings a respect and appreciation for these gifts.  Nothing is quite as magical – like the velvety pod a child brought to school yesterday.  A curious girl asked me, “Why is it so soft and covered in velvet?”  We pondered for a moment.  She held it tight, “I think it is because it is so special.”

Finally, it opens the door to my next science unit that integrates math as we look at collections.

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  1. Wendi says:

    This is a GREAT idea! I’m going to do this with my kids. Thank you!

  2. I love your blog already and can’t wait to read more! We got around the faceless photos by just blurring out the faces- check out my blog for examples. It took only a couple seconds to do and made the blog look a little better- I got sick of only taking pictures of hands and backs! haha!

  3. Tan Family says:

    How wonderful! Beautiful blog. 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for the encouragement. I waited months to actually post and it is so rewarding to know it is providing something for folks. Thank you!

  5. George187 says:

    I just want to say how proud I am of you for teaching the children about the Native American people. Thank you. You are also very talented and creative. Blessings, Whispering Eagle

  6. Thank you so much for your kind words Whispering Eagle.

  7. would you mind if I post your pictures on my art website. I am an art teacher and would love to have parents do this at home. My art website is


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