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Morning tubs for kindergarten and first grade

Do you struggle to tame the chaos of your mornings? There are SO many things you need to attend to during this time. You are greeting students, unpacking, lunch count, attendance, announcements and SOOO much more. So how can we ensure that our mornings go smoothly??

Drumroll pleeeease…..🥁🥁🥁

Morning tubs!!

Just imagine a classroom environment filled with students who enter the classroom each morning eager to get to work. 🤩

Imagine students who are engaged in skills review activities.

Imagine a calm chatter of students socializing.

Imagine you having time to do alllll the morning teacher things without stopping to give students 1,742 reminders.

Imagine taking attendance BEFORE the secretary emails or calls down to you. 🙈

Oh, AND–imagine these activities don’t involve printing a ton of worksheets or hours of prep work. 😮

*Spoiler Alert*

You don’t have to imagine these things! You can actually have these mornings in your classroom!

Read on to learn why I will never NOT use morning tubs in my kindergarten and first grade classrooms.

Benefits of Morning Tubs


morning tubs are Engaging

Morning tubs give your students purposeful work to do as soon as they enter the room. But more than that, this work is hands-on and engaging. Your students will enter the classroom eager to jump right into an activity. This gives you time to greet students, check folders, take attendance, calm any tears, and do any other administrative tasks you need to.

Morning tubs help with Classroom Management


Having a predictable routine each morning decreases behavior problems as students know exactly what to do each upon arrival. My morning tubs largely conisist of repeated of types activities throughout the year with a seasonal twist each month to keep engagement high. This way, students know expectations but I don’t have to teach new activities every couple weeks.

Morning tubs also give you time to complete your morning tasks and check in with your students. Who knows who had a rough morning, was late getting up, etc., and may need a little mindset check-in with you. These few minutes of your time can make all the difference in setting the tone for the day, especially with any who may be struggling.

promote Classroom community/social emotional time

It is SO important students are given the chance to have social interaction as they come in each morning. After all, don’t you want the chance to chat with your co workers each morning rather than diving straight in to work tasks? Students do too! And I’ve learned the hard way that they will do it either way–in their way or mine. So I decided to make sure it is done my way. 😉

Rather than fighting their natural urge to talk in the mornings by making students sit and work quietly, morning tubs promote classroom community as students have a chance to work and talk together on fun activities or games first thing in the morning. This allows students time to engage with each other while staying on task. This eleminates roaming around the classroom and avoids the constant nagging of me reminding them to ‘sit quietly and do your morning work’. A much nicer way to start the day!

Morning tubs are Low Prep! NO GRAding!

morning tubs seeds

As I said before, I keep a lot of my morning tubs consistent or repeated throughout the year with a seasonal spin to keep it engaging. This means less time spent training students to do tons of new games/activities throughout the year.

Most activities are also low prep and once they are made you can store and reuse them year to year. Most are simply print, laminate, and cut with a paper cutter. This cuts down prep time for me as I don’t have to worry about having morning work prepped and printed each day. I simply prep these once and the whole month is DONE!

Best of all–NO GRADING! These activities are meant to be review and a soft start for your students–no need to worry about ‘holding them accountable’ through worksheets or other things they turn in for you to check or grade. This has saved SO much time in my mornings–students simply clean up and come to the carpet after announcements!

fine motor practice

Calling all early childhood teachers–can I get a Hallelujah??

morning tubs fine motor

We KNOW students need SO much more fine motor practice than we are ‘allowed’ to give them nowadays. Morning tubs are the perfect remedy to that! Playdough, pipe cleaners, cubes, mini erasers, poms, tweezers, you name it–the possibilities are endless for incorporating fine motor practice into your morning tubs!

PS: If you are looking for even more fine motor practice, check out my Fine Motor Mats!

Want to try morning tubs for free??

Want to get started with morning tubs? Or looking for a new activity to use? Enter your email address below to grab a FREE morning tub activity!

Are you looking for done-for-you morning tub activities for the ENTIRE year? Check out my Year-Long Morning Tub Bundles by clicking the images below and have morning activities prepped for the entire year. All you have to do is print and place the activities in your own tubs, along with the suggested materials. This will make keeping up with morning tubs from month to month so much easier, leaving your mornings stress-free, and so much more enjoyable!

Danielle Murphy

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