If the start of your school day is as crazy as mine, I know how stressful it can be! Between parents who have questions, students who need immediate attention, or a call from the front office, it’s hard to split your attention in 5 different ways AND still be in charge of your class! That’s where Morning Work Tubs come in!

Kindergarten morning work ideas

Using Morning Work Tubs

Teach your students first thing in the morning to hang their backpacks, put their lunchbox away, and grab a morning tub! The management is up to you however, whether you want to assign partners to specific tubs or let your students choose. All the skills are perfect for beginning of the year kindergarteners and they can work on everything independently, giving you time to focus your attention on other needs!

Setting up morning tubs. What do you need?

I like to place all the materials for each activity in a tub or tray. The Target Dollar Spot always has fun colorful tubs or trays that work perfectly. I also print each activity on card stock paper so it is thicker and more durable. After that, you will also need to laminate the activities so they can be used over and over again.

Ways to set up morning work

Other helpful materials:

To make your morning work more hands-on and engaging, I created several tubs that incorporate manipulatives to make the learning fun! These items include things you most likely already have in your classroom for instance, or can be purchased pretty inexpensively.

  • dry-erase markers
  • colorful magnet letters
  • Velcro dots
  • Colored pom-poms
  • play-doh
  • clothespins
  • pipe-cleaners
  • plastic buttons
  • plastic links
  • seasonal manipulatives
  • dice
  • dominoes
  • unifix cubes
  • base-ten blocks

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite morning work tub ideas!

Literacy Tubs:

Name writing practice

For obvious reasons, name writing is a super important skill for your kindergarteners, so we try anything to make it fun! This morning work tub is always a favorite! Have your students use a dry-erase marker to practice writing their names and their classmates’ names. I have an editable document that allows me to type each student’s name to personalize for my class. You can have your students use magnet letters or other manipulatives to work on spelling their name as well!

Name writing practice

Fine Motor Letters
Have your students practice the alphabet while strengthening their fine motor muscles! They can use mini pom-poms or play-doh to form each letter. I found these awesome plastic tweezers at the Dollar Tree, perfect for growing those teeny fine-motor finger muscles!

Using tweezers for fine motor practice

Letter Tracing and Writing Practice
Another fun idea is to have your students practice writing the uppercase & lowercase letters with dry-erase markers. They can also use different colors to differentiate between the upper and lowercase letters.

Sight Word Writing Practice
Tracing, building, and writing sight words is great morning work practice. The nice thing is, as your students learn more words, you can update and add to this tub as the year goes! I also like to encourage my students to read the words to a friend which they love to do!

Fun sight word practice

Rhyming Words & Color Words
Velcro dots are our friend! Have your students match the picture cards on the mats. The velcro helps to keep the cards from sliding all over the place 😉
Rhyming words matching cards
Sorting pictures by color
Using clothespins is always fun and another great way to strengthen those fine motor skills. Have your students clip the number that correctly identifies how many syllables for each picture.
Counting syllables in words
Beginning Sounds Practice
Have your students practice identifying beginning sounds in words.
Word family cards

Math Tubs:

Number Tracing Practice
Using a dry-erase marker, your students can practice writing numbers 1-10 as well as writing number words.
Number tracing practice
Fine Motor Numbers
Have your students practice number formation using pipe cleaners, mini pom-poms, or play-doh.
Using pipe cleaners to practice number formation
Use mini pom-poms to match the number on the card using one-to-one correspondence.
Using pom poms to practice counting
Number ID
Identifying numbers in several ways, your students can work on matching the picture cards onto the correct mat.
Showing numbers in different ways

Showing teen numbers in different ways

Teen Numbers Practice
Using seasonal erasers or manipulatives is always a hit! Have your students show teen numbers in a ten frame and practice writing the numbers with dry-erase marker.
Ten frames to build teen numbers

As the year progresses, so do your students’ needs! Make sure you are switching out your tubs periodically to keep up excitement and motivation.

Morning Work Tubs for You!

If you are interested in ready-to-go tubs for the ENTIRE year, check out my Morning Work Tubs Bundle! It includes tubs for the beginning, middle & end of the year. Check out my Morning Work Tubs in my shop below!