Green Tomatoes – Children’s Activity

In this activity children learn about the process of ripening and the passage of time. Once the tomatoes are ripe they can be used in salad, sandwiches or cooking.

Materials required:

  • green tomatoes
  • newspaper
  • cooler box or bag
  • ripe apple or banana.


Pick green tomatoes. Ripen the tomatoes in a dark place where the temperature is cool. Wrap each one in newspaper. Put in a cooler box or bag, depending on final location. Add a ripe apple or banana that will give off ethylene gas to help ripen the tomatoes. Check them often for ripeness. They should ripen slowly.

Therapeutic or educational value:

Cognitive: language development, attention, concentration, gaining new information, organisation, decision making, setting goals, communication skills, planning, memory, following directions, reasoning, problem solving.

Physical: gross and fine motor skills, accessibility of garden, increase physical abilities, maintain physical abilities, strength, balance, flexibility, range of motion, sensory stimulation, dexterity, constructive, nutrition, co-ordination, feeling and sensation, speech , nutrition.

Emotional: impulse control, self esteem, exploration, achievement, confidence building, co-operation, pride, personal responsibility, self care.

Social: peer interactions, gaining new information, orientation to time, routines, environmental stewardship, giving back, prevent isolation, safety, re-involvement, explore new interest, reminisce, link with reality, creating relationships.

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