In this post: Looking for ideas of what students can do for morning work in kindergarten? These morning tubs are the perfect no-prep morning work activity that gets your students engaged and excited to learn.
It’s another weekday morning. You’re standing at your door greeting students as they enter. You’ve already put morning work on your students’ desks for them to complete after they eat their breakfast. You’re hoping for a smooth and easy start to the day.
But it isn’t. Again.
Because 3 students have decided that they’re “done” with their work already, another student needs help with the math problems on the worksheet, and 2 more are complaining that they don’t have a pencil.
You hoped morning work worksheets would be something simple for them to work on independently while they wait for their day to begin allowing your caffeine to kick in and your sleepiness to fade away.
But instead of an easy start for you and your students, it’s a bit of an overwhelming start. You wish mornings didn’t have to be this way, but how could you change them?
Here’s your answer: morning tubs!
I hope that this blog post makes you feel more confident that you can transform the beginning of your day by using morning tubs in your classroom.
What is a morning tub?
Morning tubs are pre-filled containers that hold morning work for students to complete. This morning work goes beyond meaningless worksheets by giving students hands-on activities that get them excited about learning.
Morning tubs can contain academic centers, fine motor practice activities, or open-ended activities like blocks and STEM choices.
My morning tub resources can be bought as a bundle that contains all of the months or by individual months. Within each month, there are 24 morning tub activities.
These activities are engaging and fun while also helping students gain additional practice related to content standards.
The best thing about the work in these bins is that students don’t even realize they’re learning!
The variety of captivating activities hold students’ attention while teaching them valuable age and grade-appropriate skills.
Will morning tubs work for me and my students?
You’re probably thinking that morning tubs sound great and all, but they couldn’t possibly work for my rowdy crew.
Similar to centers, some teachers assume that their students won’t be able to handle morning tubs. That’s far from the truth!
Even students who have never been in school before or who have trouble focusing can benefit from morning tubs. They have a little bit of something for every student to engage with and learn from.
They also give your students a “soft start” way to transition into the classroom in the morning, which will help draw in even the most reluctant of learners.
By using morning tubs, you can give your students rotating activities to practice. They’ll practice a variety of skills (math, reading, fine motor, etc.) using manipulatives.
What does your morning routine look like with morning tubs?
I love morning tubs because they give students the ability to work at their own pace.
Some students come in each day ready to start working, while others like to take their time unpacking, eating breakfast, and settling in. These morning tubs work perfectly for both.
Students are able to grab their morning tub whenever they are ready to begin.
Another possibility is to use your morning tubs activities for early finishers. This takes the pressure off of you while also setting the expectation of what students can do when they are “done” with their work.
How do you prep a morning tub?
Just grab a bin and grab your supplies and go! It can really be as simple as you make it.
Prepping morning tubs could mean printing and laminating the activities and then putting them in a bin with the necessary supplies.
It can also mean simply filling a bin with open-ended activities like blocks, dominoes, pattern blocks, and more.
If you’re using my morning tubs, for each month’s activities, I have a list of recommended supplies (that should already be in your classroom!) to go along with the tub.
Simply print the resources (in color or black and white) and grab the accompanying manipulatives that go with them.
Don’t have one of the manipulatives listed? No problem! Feel free to swap it for anything that you have. Swapping manipulatives is another way to mix up these games and allow students to experience them in a different way.
What are some sample activities from morning tubs?
I often get asked what types of activities I put in my morning tubs. I like to keep them academic focused, but still hands on so they feel like play. Here are some examples:
- Dough letters
- Scissor cutting practice
- Color sorting
- Counting seeds
- Letter match up
- Creating social pictures
- Building CVC words
- Fine motor mats
…and much more!
*Note: Because these morning work bins are available for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade, the activities may differ depending on the grade level bundle purchased.
Take a peek into the August morning tubs:
Check Out These Images!
View the different grade level bundles here:
What are the benefits of morning tubs?
- They give students a ‘soft start’ to the day which causes less stress
- They make students excited to come to school and start their day
- They are open-ended and can be used in many ways, so there’s no more hearing “I’m done” from students
- They allow you to add in extra academic and fine motor practice in a fun way
- They let students socialize and learn how to work together and problem solve in a non-threatening way
- The work is done for you! Just print and find the manipulatives. No more planning on your part
- It’s a lot of printing at once, but these activities are reusable. Put them up and use them next year and the next!
- Each activity has a corresponding “I Can” statement
Do students like morning tubs?
My students LOVE morning tubs. They come in excited to grab their tub and get going. They love seeing the new activities as we swap the bins out as well.
Do you allow students to work together?
There is flexibility with this. Students can complete tasks individually, with a partner, or as a group.
It’s completely up to your discretion and what you feel works best for your class on that particular day. We all know that the mood in a class can change day to day!
How do you store morning tubs?
There are several ways that you can store these. What I’ve found to work the best is plastic shoebox containers from Walmart. When I went I found 10 of them for $8.
Depending on how many bins you plan to use at a time, you could have one bin per student or a certain number of bins depending on your pairs or group sizes.
I organize my monthly materials in large storage bins. After we finish up a month’s worth of morning bin activities, I put them in Ziploc bags and throw them into my monthly bins for storage and easy access for the following year.
How often do you switch out the morning tubs?
I like to have a mix of morning tubs centers and open-ended morning tubs.
All of the morning work tubs activities in the bins will be swapped out at the end of the month to prepare for the next month’s activities. The open-ended tubs will stay the same all year.
Getting a new bin with different content is one of my students’ favorite parts.
Have more questions?
I hope that I answered many of your questions about what morning tubs look like in my classroom, but if you have more questions, feel free to ask them below! I want to be sure that I cover all of the important questions surrounding my morning bin resources so that you can be ready to implement them in your classroom.