As you may already know, I LOVE incorporating centers into my classroom learning for so many reasons! Centers in the classroom are fun and exciting for students, they can help you differentiate the learning in your classroom so all your students get what they need, and they can be easily changed out each month to keep engagement high!
Whether you are just starting out in your teaching career or you’re simply looking for more centers to use in your classroom to help your students practice new skills, help review skills, or give students the opportunity to work collaboratively with their classmates, you’re in the right place!
Choosing the right centers for your classroom may feel a little daunting at first, so I wanted to help you out and share the different types of centers I have used and what I like about them! Once you have tried a few centers with your students, you can get a better idea of what works best for you and your students, and keep them going year after year. Here’s a look at some of my favorite low prep center activities I have used successfully in my classroom over the years.
What Are Centers In The Classroom?
Centers are a designated space within your classroom for students to work semi-independently or with a small group to review information or a skill they have previously learned.
Some ideas for centers in the classroom could include:
- Reading centers or listening to reading centers
- Word work activities
- Writing centers
- Math centers
- Art centers
- Building centers
- Digital centers with tablets, computers etc. that can be used to access digital learning materials
Centers are not only engaging for students, but they are also great for teaching students to work independently or with partners, solve problems on their own, review important skills, and provide an easy way for the teacher to differentiate learning for students.
Prepping Centers For Your Classroom
If you’re just getting started with centers in the classroom, you might want to start with centers that don’t require a lot of planning or prep to get going. I know I am always looking for ways to save myself a little time. It’s important to me though that my students are getting the full benefit of a center activity no matter how much time I spend getting it prepped and ready to go.
With these LOW PREP centers, students can practice important skills at the appropriate time of the year using many manipulatives you may already have in your classroom!
These math & literacy centers cover:
- Alphabet letter sounds
- Alphabet matching
- Phonics and reading practice
- Sight word spelling
- Number sense and counting
- Addition & subtraction
- And TONS of more important kindergarten skills
With this Low Prep Kindergarten Math and Literacy Centers Year Long Bundle, you and your students have access to fun and interactive activities all year long. I love how easy these low prep centers are to set up and store. By using photo boxes, plastic baggies, bins, and zipper pouches I can quickly store and find all of the laminated resources and manipulatives students will need.
An extra added bonus is I organize these no prep centers by months or seasons of the year. That way, I can easily pull out the center activities I need each month during the school year.
Have Limited Supplies?
One of the harshest realities of being a teacher is the lack of supplies we are provided with. Sometimes, we don’t get classroom manipulatives, and we don’t have anything left to purchase new ones. I created these hands-on math and literacy centers during my first few years of teaching kindergarten as all-in-one centers so we didn’t need to use many additional supplies.
Putting together center activities in your classroom with limited supplies is actually easier than you think.
With these Hands-on Kindergarten Math and Literacy Centers, all of the manipulative pieces come ready to go. Simply print out the pieces, cut them apart, and laminate them to use over and over. Then they are ready to be put into containers or pouches for students to use as a center activity any time of the year.
These centers are also organized by the months of the year so you can easily find which ones you can use throughout the year.
Incorporating Technology in Centers
After the last few years of distance learning, we realized the importance of teaching our kindergarteners how to use technology for their learning. They also get so excited to use the technology in our classroom. It enhances their learning, while also helps them practice math and literacy skills with fun and educational games and activities. I know how much screen time kids get these days, so when I plan technology focused centers, I do it with a purpose.
Kindergarten Boom Cards™ are my and my students FAVORITE activity to use in our technology center. Boom Cards are interactive activities that can be used on computers, tablets, or even smartphones. They are also self-correcting and give immediate feedback, so I KNOW my students are learning rather than mindlessly clicking.
With Boom Card centers, your students can practice:
- Letter formation
- Lowercase and uppercase letter identification
- Drag and drop counting
- Color sorting
- Sight words
- and SO MUCH MORE!
Boom Cards are an easy, low prep center activity your students will be so excited to use, plus they can also be used at home if extra practice is needed. You can learn more about how to use Boom Cards in Kindergarten in this post.
Even More Centers
I told you I love centers 🤣 I have even more to share with you! Believe it or not, worksheets are a fantastic resource to use in centers, and they don’t have to be your traditional print and write worksheets either. Worksheets can be used as a way for your students to record their work and be held accountable for completing their work in their center.
My students LOVE to use letter and number stamps, so I created these fun See and Stamp Math & Literacy Centers to incorporate that extra level of engagement.
However, if you’re not a fan of using stamps and ink pads in the classroom…don’t worry! I also included a See & Write version of these centers for your students to use with pencil, markers, or crayons.
With these centers, your students will pick a card and stamp or write the corresponding answer on the recording sheet. They can practice identifying and writing the alphabet, CVC words, sight words, numbers, tally marks, and addition problems to name a few!
Manipulatives Hands-On Centers
Using manipulatives in a center is important to help your students grasp a concept in concrete ways. Hands-on manipulative activities also help students build and strengthen fine motor muscles. Fine motor skills are important to build as they help with handwriting and stamina in later years. With a few clever activities, your students will be practicing math and literacy concepts in fun, hands-on ways.
Some hands-on center ideas using manipulatives include:
- Dice for counting
- Snap blocks
- Magnetic letters and numbers
- Jumbo tweezers and cotton balls
- Straws and beads
Hands-on centers can be easy to put together with common classroom or household supplies you may already have on hand. Store your manipulatives along with any other resources in bins or bags for easy access and easy clean up.
Get Ready To Start Using Centers In Your Classroom
Now that you know the different ways you can use centers in your classroom, it’s time to get started! Don’t be afraid to jump in and try out a few center activities tomorrow! Rotate centers monthly or seasonally to give students lots of different activities to work on throughout the school year. I know you and your students will love these center activities as much as my students and I do!
Save These Center Activity Ideas
Be sure to save these center activity ideas to your favorite Pinterest classroom board so you can come back again and again for more center activity ideas in the future.