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Create a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Age Homeschoolers

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Streamline your morning and set your child on the road to independence with these elementary morning work basket ideas.

How to Create a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Age Homeschoolers

How to Create an Elementary Morning Work Basket

First, a morning work basket doesn’t have to be a literal basket.

It can be a file folder, a letter tray, a bin, or a clipboard.

Whatever the format, a morning work basket contains activities and assignments for the student to complete some subjects independently.

The night before, fill it with the school work to be done the next morning. The assignments should be work your child can complete on their own.

How to Create a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Age Homeschoolers

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Benefits of a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Students

As a teaching parent, your mornings are busy between tending to the needs of your kids and yourself.

Elementary students could practice independence and start their schoolwork independently if they have some guidance.

That’s where the morning work basket comes in.

An elementary morning work basket gives your student everything they need to start their schoolwork independently (with little to no coaching from you).

It allows for a productive start to the day.

How to Create a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Age Homeschoolers

What to Put in an Elementary Morning Work Basket

Do you need ideas for what to put in an elementary morning work basket? We’ve got lots!

Math Practice Worksheets

Colorful, engaging math worksheets are perfect for the morning work basket.

Think facts practice: multiplication, addition, and subtraction.

These worksheets should be for review only.

Do not introduce new concepts in the morning work basket.

Spelling Word Cards

Put in a spelling list or individual spelling words/vocabulary words on cards.

You can then assign ways to practice or review the words, such as:

  • traditional copy work
  • “skywriting” (writing with your finger in the air)
  • sand drawing (etching the words into a bin or sand or grits)
  • doodle drawing (write the word and then turn it into a doodle)

Independent Reading

Include easy-to-read books like picture books for literacy development.

The morning work basket is a plan for on-level or below-level reading. Above-level reading should take place with you.

Handwriting Worksheets

Practice letters and penmanship with handwriting worksheets.

Manipulatives for Counting and Sorting

Use small objects (like teddy bear counters, shapes, coins, or cereal) for counting and sorting activities.

Simple Science Experiments

Older students can undertake simple science experiments if there are easy-to-follow instructions.

Phonics Games

Work on phonemic awareness and reading skills with phonics games and puzzles.

Art Activity

Cover fine arts in the morning work basket by including arts and crafts materials.

You can vary the materials each day.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Spend some time in the backyard by checking off items in the nature scavenger hunt. You can use words or pictures as the list.

This activity promotes exploration and observation.

Sight Word Practice

Include a small stack of cards for sight word review.

How to Create a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Age Homeschoolers

Math Facts Practice

Include a small stack of cards for daily math facts practice.

Logic Games

Puzzle books like mazes, word searches, or crossword puzzles help develop reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Story Starter Cards or Dice

Include story starter cards or dice to exercise creative storytelling skills. Have the student write the story, illustrate it, or record a voice memo.

Spatial Reasoning

An elementary work basket including tangrams or pattern blocks will surely be a big hit!

Both help with shape recognition and spatial reasoning skills.

Educational Apps and Online Games

The work basket can include the assignment of a designated amount of time on a learning app or educational website.

Building Activity

Free play with building blocks or Legos provides practice in spatial reasoning and 3-D art.

Sequencing Activity

Practice story sequencing by including picture cards the child can place in the correct order.

Once the cards are in order, the child can verbally tell the story.

How to Create a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Age Homeschoolers

Fine Motor Activities

Play dough or clay is not only a calming sensory activity, but it is also excellent for fine motor skill development.

Simple Recipes

Your elementary-age child can complete simple cooking activities.

Provide kid-friendly recipes to make a morning snack for the family.

STEM Challenges

Hone your child’s creativity and problem-solving skills with STEM challenges that use household materials.

Here are some ideas:

  • Can you make a circle with twenty paper clips?
  • How tall can you build a structure using only toothpicks and clay (or marshmallows if you are willing to use sugar)?
  • Create a pyramid with six plastic cups. Then make one with 10. How many cups does it take to make a taller pyramid?

Memory Matching

Your memory grows with practice! Boost your child’s memory with memory-matching games.

Check out these free printable games with dinosaurs, unicorns, mermaids, and Christmas items.

Coloring Pages

Coloring helps with fine motor development and pencil grip.

You can increase its educational value by giving your child pages on educational themes like animals, shapes, history, or science topics.

Need some ideas? Check out this free flower color-by-number printable or groundhog color-by-rhyming word activity sheet.

How to Create a Morning Work Basket for Elementary Age Homeschoolers

DIY Musical Instruments

Explore both construction and sound and rhythm with DIY musical instruments.

Have your student create shakers, tambourines, rubber-band guitars, or drums with materials from around the house.

You provide the materials and instructions.

Indoor Gardening

Your child can plant seeds or care for a small indoor garden.

Stretching Cards

Put some yoga pose cards or movement cards into the work basket to add some physical activity (and teach relaxation skills).

Elementary Morning Work Basket Ideas

These ideas for an elementary morning work basket span all the subjects and academic skills.

Create a morning work basket for your child to help them be more productive and successful!

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