Raise your hand if you find mornings chaotic! What if I told you that I could change that AND get your students excited about starting each day? Want to know how? Three words: kindergarten morning tubs.
Want to know a secret? I used to hate the first half hour of the school day. It felt so stressful and overwhelming to me. I dreaded it. But once we started using morning tubs? The difference was like day and night.
With students staggering in, folders being checked, attendance being taken, families being talked to, lunches being checked, and so much more, having a seamless plan in place to get students started with their day is essential. That’s where morning tubs come into play.
In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about implementing kindergarten morning tubs and taking back control of your mornings!
What are morning tubs?
Maybe you’ve heard of kindergarten morning tubs. You probably even know that people use them in kindergarten but may not really know what they are. Let me help!
Kindergarten morning tubs are pre-filled containers that hold morning work for your students to complete. Instead of worksheets, morning tubs contain exciting, hands-on activities such as games, sorting activities, learning mats, and more!
Morning tubs contain a variety of activities that can target:
- fine motor skills
- alphabet practice
- counting needs
- color skills
- CVC practice
…and much more!
Benefits of Kindergarten Morning Tubs
Kindergarten morning tubs are a great alternative to paper morning work, and they have so many benefits in the kindergarten classroom!
Check out some of the benefits of kindergarten morning tubs below.
Morning tubs are great because they:
- Include open-ended and hands-on activities
- Provide students with a chance to “wake up” their brains in the morning
- Give students a chance to learn in a non-intimidating way
- Allow students to learn through play
- Offer a morning routine that’s fun for students and easy for you
…and many more reasons!
Organizing Kindergarten Morning Tubs
Morning tubs can be stored in anything but I highly recommend some kind of bin with a lid to be sure that everything stays together!
This isn’t the best picture, but you can see some of the containers I’ve used to store our morning tubs.
I found that most of our kindergarten morning tubs fit in the plastic shoe box containers, and I was able to get sets of 10 of them for less than a dollar a piece at Walmart.
Some morning tub materials are larger. I use the book boxes to hold those.
You can grab the free morning tub labels pictured above here.
Managing Morning Tubs
A question I get a lot is, “How do you manage morning tubs? Is it a free-for-all?”
There are a few different ways you can manage kindergarten morning tubs, and it will mostly boil down to your classroom management style and your students’ needs.
Here are some ideas:
- Let students pick a tub and take it around the room. Set a limit of how many students are at one morning tub (3-4 is a good number!).
- Have students who need more structure bring morning tubs to their tables. This means that students have to stay at their own tables. Set a limit of 2-3 morning tubs per table (students can only play with one tub at a time). 1-2 students may share a tub.
- Give one morning tub per student.
Like I said, it’s all about what works for you!
What do you put in kindergarten morning tubs?
There are so many different kindergarten morning tub activities out there! From fine motor activities to math activities, literacy activities, and more, the opportunities are endless!
My monthly morning tub packs contain all of these types of activities. Plus they are available in a variety of themes including seasonal, holiday, and evergreen activities.
To bring these activities to life, I love to have manipulatives on hand and ready to go! Here are some of my favorite manipulatives to use with these exciting hands-on activities:
- Connecting cubes
- Play dough
- Plastic Links
- Mini erasers
- Dry erase markers
But no matter what you do or don’t have on hand, don’t feel pressured to buy more! Look through your storage cabinet and make what you have work! Morning tubs aren’t meant to be an expensive investment.
Fine Motor Morning Tubs
While fine motor morning tubs are not necessarily academic, they still give students practice with important tasks that will help them strengthen their fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills are necessary for writing and coloring, independent tasks such as zipping and tying, and they help build hand-eye coordination.
My fine motor morning tubs change monthly to have new themes, but the activities are often similar. Some of the fine motor activities include using beads and pom poms to create pictures.
The gator tweezers shown above are a little easier to squeeze than traditional fine motor tweezers, so they are great to use at the start of the year until students are ready for a more traditional pair.
Students also love any chance they get to build with connecting cubes! They could start with the pictures provided in the kindergarten morning tubs and then make their own pictures!
Literacy Morning Tubs
Literacy morning tubs focus on many important skills such as forming and recognizing letters, practicing sight words, and more.
The activity pictured above asks students to roll “snakes” out of play dough and then form the letters of the alphabet. These play dough letter mats are from the August set of kindergarten morning tubs, and they are always a hit!
Students love using plastic links (like the ones above) to match up their letters and sounds as well as matching up other literacy tasks.
I also like to pull activities from my kindergarten morning tubs to make hands-on literacy and math centers.
Math Morning Tubs
Math morning tubs provide practice with counting, number identification, sorting by color, and more!
In the picture above, students use either play dough or mini erasers to count out the number pictured on the card. This is a great hands-on activity that helps students practice counting and number identification.
Sorting by color is another important beginning math skill that can be practiced during morning tubs. In the activity above, students will sort objects by color. Consider adding small manipulatives or toys to make this even more fun.
Begin Kindergarten Morning Tubs in Your Classroom
Want to learn more about morning tubs? Check out these related posts!
- Everything You Need to Know About Morning Tubs
- 6 Benefits of Morning Tubs You Need to Know
- The Best December Morning Tubs for Preschool and Pre-K
Ready to take back control of your mornings? Let me know below what’s stopping you from getting started!