education coffee break

Morning Activities for Students – 20 Morning Bin Ideas

What are your mornings like in the classroom? Are kids being crazy, are you scrambling to get lunch counts done and attendance taken, are your kids doing morning work, are they interrupting you with questions about their morning work or not completing it at all? These are all problems I had in my classroom up until last year. I implemented morning bins/tubs for morning activities for students. These morning activities for students are not always educational. They are fun creative tubs to get kids settled and ready for the day. This gives them time to interact with others, learn through play, and get themselves ready for the day.
morning activities for students

What are Morning Tubs?

Morning tubs or bins are quick, easy, and creative morning activities for students to work on during the morning. There are no completion papers or work that they need to show you. It is a time for them to interact with peers, talk about their day, and engage in meaningful play and learning. I have between 3-5 tubs set out the in the morning. Students can switch tubs whenever they want. Some can be educational games and activities but they don’t have to be. Morning bins give you the freedom to have a stress free morning. It gives you time to address all the needs and paperwork of the classroom. Your class will not be interrupting you, but instead be busy with their morning activities for students learning how to talk and work together with others.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Morning Tub Labels

Favorite Morning Activities for Students – Morning Tub Ideas

So what goes in the morning bins or tubs? Here are some of my favorite ideas:

  1. Drawing papers, markers, stampers, crayons. This allows your artists to get their creativity on paper 1st thing in the morning.
  2. Tangrams- I have large floor tangrams that my students love to build with. I also have the smaller ones. My students always love building or making pictures with them.
  3. CVC word games. My kids always love the game pop. We play this with a variety of different words and seasonally pictures. ***Link with centers** or dessert tubs.
  4. STEM bins- There are some great ideas on TeachersPayTeahcers.
  5. Letter cubes or magnetic letters. Students can build words- real or nonsense.
  6. BrainQuest Cards. Students love learning about all different fun facts.
  7. Sequence. I have a ABC sequence game and other ones that follow our phonics skills.
  8. Dominoes. Student can build, add together, or make a pattern.
  9. Connecting links and cubes. The possibilities are endless.
  10. Plastic coins, fake money, and a cash register. Students will play store. They love learning about money and are fascinated in learning how they buy things at the store.
  11. Whiteboard and markers. Math problems, stories, drawings, or word practice. Students will enjoy this time with their boards.
  12. Coloring pages
  13. Nature/ Science Bin. I include items for the season or our science unit. I add magnifying glasses and paper to make observations and record their scientific findings.
  14. Playing Cards- Students can play go-fish, War, addition games, or just build with the cards.
  15. Geoboards
  16. Lace Letters and Numbers: Great for beginning of 1st grade and Kindergarten! The fine motor skills are great practice and allow students to learn how letters and numbers are formed. The lacing also helps with learning to tie shoes.
  17. Puzzles
  18. Kynex or Legos
  19. Word Jenga: I wrote sight words on the Jenga pieces. Students flip a card and have to read the word, find the word, and remove that piece.
  20. ANYTHING fun and engaging!

morning activities for students - morning bins

The Goal for Morning Activities for Students

The goal is not for students to learn something new. This time is for students to bond with their peers, build relationships, problem solve, and work together. I am a firm believer in learning through play and these activities are great. They can be educational along with fun morning activities for students. The main goal in my classroom is that my students are building relationships with others, engaging in conversations, and having fun. It’s the perfect way to start the day.

Where to Get These Materials?

There are many items on Amazon and Lakeshore along with many other teacher stores. Not ready to foot a big bill? I have had great success with using Donor’s Choose website.

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