Summer break can be an excellent time for children to unwind and have fun, but it can also lead to the 'summer slide' where they risk losing some of the academic progress they made during the school year.
Instead of allowing boredom to set in or too much screen time, a morning basket filled with engaging yet educational activities can keep children learning and having fun all summer long!
So What Is a Morning Basket?
A morning basket is a homeschooling concept that encourages children to explore fun educational items placed in a designated basket at the start of each day. Children can use this time independently or cooperatively with family and friends. Popular items in a morning basket may include educational books, board games, puzzles, card decks, flashcards, or found objects.
What You'll Need to Build a Morning Basket
- A dedicated basket, tote, or shelf where children can easily find morning activities to do.
- A few age-appropriate educational games, toys, and activities to include in your designated basket, tote or play shelf.
- Optional: stay organized by downloading our free Play Tracker or download a few free activities to get you started on your morning basket!
Summer Morning Basket Ideas by Interest
If you're looking to create summer morning baskets for kids, it's essential to consider their interests. Observe what they've been enjoying lately and incorporate a few games, books, or puzzles that follow that theme. Keep reading for a few fun ideas!
Space Themed Morning Basket
3-2-1 blast off! Let's build a space themed morning basket with a few fun astronomy picture books, and don't forget to add Planet Voyagers to the mix for a fun strategy game that teaches kids fun facts about our solar system. An out-of-this-world game for 2-5 players ages 8 and up!
Ocean Themed Morning Basket
If your child is fascinated by the ocean, why not put together a morning basket with an ocean theme? You could include a book or two with fun facts about the ocean, as well as some under-the-sea toys.
For preschoolers, SimplyFun's Shelly's Pearl is a fun collaborative board game.
For ages 5 and up, you can add Ocean Limbo, a drop board game that focuses on early physics and planning skills.
Shore Seekers is an excellent addition and early multiplication board game where kids (7 and up) help sea turtles nest around the island.
Dinosaur Themed Morning Basket
Do you have a child who loves dinosaurs? Why not create a dinosaur themed morning basket? Some ideas include dinosaur fun fact books, action figures, LEGO sets, and SimplyFun's Dinosaur Challenge card game. This game is fun for kids to learn about dinosaurs and practice decision-making skills by choosing prehistoric dinos with the ideal traits to win challenges! Kids can play Dinosaur Challenge is as little as 15-20 minutes with 2-4 players ages 7 and up!
Summer Morning Basket Ideas by Age
When creating a summer morning basket for kids, choosing materials appropriate for their age and ability is essential. Consider including picture books, coloring pages, simple puzzles, board games, or an activity board for younger children. Older children may enjoy chapter books, strategy games, and more challenging puzzles.
Remember that the goal of morning baskets is to provide a fun and stimulating learning experience that encourages exploration, so choose materials that children will love and find interesting. Keep reading for excellent games per age category to include in your morning basket this summer!
Summer Morning Basket Ideas for Preschoolers
Summer morning baskets for 3-4 year olds that can be played in as little as 10-20 minutes!
1. Aargh!:Pirate preschool memory game that builds concentration skills.
2. My Fun Day: Preschool activity board that helps littles learn to tell time and more!
3. Get the Fly: A frog-themed letter recognition and matching card game!
4. Tibbar Rabbit Puppet: A soft plush bunny for independent free play!
Summer Morning Basket Ideas for 5-7 Year Olds
Here are some recommended games to include in a morning basket for early elementary school children.
1. Dinosaur Challenge: Decision making and dinosaur facts card game.
2. Buddy Match: A quick-thinking matching card game.
3. Ocean Limbo: Physics and planning drop board game.
4. Team Digger: Practice teamwork with this early coding game.
Summer Morning Basket Ideas for 8-9 Year Olds
Our recommended games to include in a morning basket for middle elementary school children.
1. Chalk-A-Word: Portable and interactive spelling and vocabulary game.
2. Katachi: Spatial reasoning, planning and matching tile game.
3. Pack It: Hiking-themed predicting, planning, and strategy card game.
4. SavannaScapes: Head to the African Savanna in this ecology and ecosystems board game.
Summer Morning Basket Ideas for Preteens
Our top picks for games to include in a morning basket for upper elementary school children ages 10 and older.
1. Matter: A brain-teaser strategy, predicting and planning board game.
2. Global Ranking: A fun geography and demographics facts board game.
3. Zone to Zone: Spatial reasoning and probability wooden game.
4. Amalgam: Create potent potions in this strategy, planning and memory tile game.
Summer Morning Basket Ideas for Teens
Keep your teens entertained and learning this summer with these morning basket games.
1. Bid-A-Letter: A vocabulary, sequencing and planning tile game.
2. Do You Know Shakespeare?: Fun Shakespeare facts and probability game.
3. Shape Whiz: A geometry and measurement speed game.
4. Pelican Cove: A quick-thinking algebra and spatial reasoning board game.
Additional Considerations for Summer Morning Baskets
Find Fun Games and Activities That Can be Played Quickly on Busy Mornings.
Most of SimplyFun's games can be played in as little as 20-30 minutes, making our games a perfect addition to a morning basket!
Rotate Items Regularly.
Keep your summer morning basket fresh and exciting by rotating items periodically. This will prevent your child from getting bored with the same items every day. Consider swapping out items every week or two, or whenever your child loses interest in a particular item. Regularly rotating objects will keep your child engaged and excited about learning each morning.
Incorporate Outdoor Activities and Nature Exploration.
Remember to include outdoor activities and nature exploration in your summer morning basket! Take advantage of the warm weather and sunshine by including items like a magnifying glass, gardening tools for kids, or a nature scavenger hunt list. You can also include portable games that can be played during a picnic or beach day. Encouraging your kids to explore and learn about the natural world around them is a great way to keep them engaged and curious this summer.
Creating a morning basket for your child is not only a great way to keep them entertained and learning while avoiding the 'summer slide', it can also be a tool for bonding and quality time. Morning baskets can provide an excellent opportunity to read books together, work on fun activities, or use a morning basket to encourage independent playtime or bonding among siblings or peers.
By using the morning basket as a tool for bonding, you'll not only be helping your child learn and grow, but you'll also be creating special summer memories they'll cherish forever!
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