Have you always wanted to implement a morning menu and/or basket but couldn't figure out where to start?
Morning menus and baskets have various purposes and don't necessarily need to be in the morning.
These can be integrated when you feel it works best towards your rhythm.
If you feel your kids focus better in the afternoon, set this up for an “afternoon menu” or “snack menu.” If you send your kids to school, set this up for an “after school menu.”
But what exactly do we use in our morning menus and baskets?
There are tons of resources out there and this can sometimes be overwhelming.
But don't fret, the perfect place to find all the resources you need to create your menus and baskets is Mornings Together. These thoughtfully designed resources have been created to enjoy individually or together as a family.
Starting off with the morning menu.
We use a 12 page clear dinner menu*, where you simply insert your desired printed pages. Use dry erase markers and enjoy.
Now, let me share how we use Mornings Together throughout our morning menu:
1. First we start off with our calendar.
We use the Mornings Together Morning Books for our calendar intro. There are various morning books available that are tailored for the seasons and nature. We talk about feelings, days of the week and weather. We also include the Editable Daily Rhythm Cards that illustrate the events throughout our day. Shortly after this we engage in a poem which is also included in the morning books.
2. Literacy activities follow.
We alternate through a variety of language resources from Mornings Together. One of our favorites is the Nature Beginning Sounds ABC Activity. We simply sing the ABC’s together accompanied with their sounds. For example, “ The A goes “aaa, aaa, etc.” This can also be interactive by matching the pictures to their designated letter sound. Other favorites I like to alternate between are the ABC Tracing Pages and Beginning Sounds Clip Cards.
3. Math is afterwards.
One of our favorites for the menus is the Mornings Together Shape Explorer Set. This can be used by saying the shape, shape matching, shape sorting and more. We also love using the 12 Months of Count and Clip Cards. Each month I'll change up the theme of the cards for a more inviting experience.
4. Interactive or coloring activity to end.
Tip: Keep in mind not to over stimulate your kids with too many activities. We want our kids to learn through play in a stress free way. In order to achieve this, we should provide the right amount of resources based on their needs and this will ensure success overall by allowing them to feel confident when engaging in these activities. Try starting off with 3-4 activities and work from there.
Let's dig into our morning baskets.
I created our morning baskets as a way for my kids to engage independently while I teach one on one with my other child and vice versa. It provides a wonderful opportunity for kids to practice independent learning through play.
Depending on your child's level of learning, you can cater your baskets specifically to their learning needs.
Here is what we include in our morning baskets using the lovely Mornings Together resources:
- Sea shell threading included in the Seashell Mini Bundle
- Mushroom wand made using the mushroom anatomy from the Mushroom Activity Pack (we use it as a “read around the room” activity).
- Play dough and tools accompanied with Dough Mats (we currently are using the mushroom mats from the mushroom bundle).
- Nature Busy Books these include shape matching, line tracing, nature patterns, mushroom count and match, etc.
- CVC word builder using dry erase markers, my kids will spin the wheel and practice reading and writing the CVC words.
- Mushroom Number Tracing Cards (1-20) purchased through the Mushroom Activity Pack
- Sight word wooden discs accompanied with Editable Sight Word Mushroom Cards (my kids will match the sight words they know using the discs and cards). I only include the sights words they are familiar with in the basket. This helps boost their confidence and works as a review.
- Various coloring pages accompanied with watercolor paints (my kids each have their own portable watercolor set so they can simply set this up independently).
- Seasonal Scavenger Hunts accompanied with wooden scavenger hunt discs (sometimes I'll hide the items listed on their scavenger hunt resource and they'll play a hide and seek game).
- Books related to our season.
I try to include resources that are very hands on. My kids love to engage in these activities and allow me to have that one on one time alone with each of them.
Fun fact: Mornings Together has TONS of bundles and learning packs (autumn, dino, ocean, honeybee, weather, etc) that include interactive learning strands which can simply be integrated into your menus and baskets. These resources are “open and go” which makes prepping a breeze! I highly recommend you check these out as they have been a blessing in our homeschool.
I invite you to give the morning menu and basket a try!
With resources as open and go as Mornings Together, your littles are sure to truly enjoy a unique learning experience through their wonderful school journey.
Lots of love,
*Amazon affiliate link