We are big fans of open-ended learning around here, and one of our favorite ways to engage young minds is through morning baskets! Whether you're a seasoned morning basket curator or this is a new concept, we're here with 11 of our best tips, tricks, and ideas to help you incorporate a morning basket into your homeschool!
1- The basics. Designate a physical holder or location for your morning basket activities, be it an actual basket, a specific shelf, a simple bin, a spot on the table, or any other container or space that you can dedicate to this invitation to learn. Find some of our favorite baskets here.
2- Hands-on supplies. This may include a sensory bin left out for your child to stumble upon, manipulatives with gentle directions, coloring or art supplies, puzzles, or anything that connects brain and body. See our favorite supplies here.
3- Remember that you can either help direct learning and play or simply leave it out in the open as an invitation to learn. Have you ever heard of the concept of "strewing", which entails leaving items out for your child to discover freely? Morning baskets can be a wonderful medium to employ the strewing technique!
4- You also have the option to have a designated morning basket time. This can be a lovely way to gather and engage for the day, dive into reading with hands-on play for the littlest ones, enjoy poetry, and discover concepts in open-ended ways. Our morning basket packs are a wonderful way to explore and review ideas that will help your child build a firm foundation as they begin their homeschool journey.
5- Just add books (lots and lots of books)! Perhaps you'll keep your current read-aloud and poetry book tucked away in your morning basket, or maybe you'll leave child-friendly reference books with tidbits of information or puzzles and games out for your child to explore. Maybe you will choose to select a few picture books that pair well with the current Harbor + Sprout unit theme your family is working through!
6- Take your freedoms with morning baskets. There is no right or wrong way to experience morning basket time, and anything you want to add (or not) is up to you! If your child or children will love something, throw it in. Put your own spin on your morning basket! We've supplied the bones with our morning basket packs and with the supplemental section of our curriculum unit studies, now it's up to you to make it your own. Be sure to watch our morning basket highlight bubble on Instagram @harborandsprout for our ideas on how to curate morning baskets!
7- Don't let the title "morning" basket hold you back. Perhaps morning basket is a misnomer for your family's rhythm and you find yourselves delving into these activities while the baby is taking a nap or in the afternoon when everyone needs a bit of down time.
8- Be prepared. Printing, cutting, laminating, and prepping your morning basket items ahead of time is an integral step to fully enjoying the peaceful learning time, be it spent together or with some independence. An hour spent once every month preparing your print items will go a long way!
9- Recycle. If your child loves an activity one day, use it again! Be sure to store your loose parts and pieces to cycle through again anytime you'd like. You may even use the same activities every day in a week. They're yours to use over and over in different ways until you're ready to move on!
10- There is no age limit. Your four year old may enjoy a sensory bin while a 13-year-old draws and listens to a read aloud. You can even use this time to invite siblings to work together, teaching one another and learning side by side! Let an older sibling take the lead with a little one and see what unexpected paths they discover among themselves. Morning basket time can be enjoyed by everyone!
11- Just try it! As with any new activity or idea, it may take some trial and error for the idea to catch on. Adjust as you need to and try new approaches. Your family will quickly fall in love with morning baskets and all the fun they entail!
If you'd like to see more morning baskets in action, be sure to watch our Instagram story highlights @harborandsprout. We've got lots of ideas to make them unique and tailored specifically for your family, and we love talking about ideas that will capture the minds of your little learners!
Happy learning! XO, the Harbor + Sprout Team