If you’ve never heard of morning basket, you are in for a BIG treat. We have only used a morning basket a handful of times, but it’s definitely something that I want to incorporate into our daily schedule. Today I am really excited to introduce you to Chelsea, the wonderful mama behind Let’s Play School (& Bitty Beginnings). Chelsea has become such a dear friend and I’m continually amazed by the engaging ideas she comes up with to connect and play with her two girls. She is a pro when it comes to putting together morning baskets and I was so thrilled when she agreed to share more about what morning basket is and how to put one together. I hope you enjoy her 5 tips to Create a Simple Morning Basket. Sweet friends, meet Chelsea!
Hi! I’m Chelsea! I am Mama to Lilly Belle (4) and Lucy (1) and a homeschooling, blogging, preschool activity creating, book loving, busy lady! When Ashley asked me to join in for this series on creating rhythms and routines for your family, I was so excited to have the opportunity to share our Morning Basket routine with all of you. Morning Basket is a time of peace, calm and joy in our home. It is the one time of day I can guarantee goodness. With a toddler and preschooler, you just never know how the day will turn out, but in our home, we can always count on beautiful mornings. Morning Basket is such a constant in our home. It is a routine that all four of us have come to look forward to each day and something that I know will be a treasured memory for our girls when they are adults and have their own families.
So now you’re wondering, “What is a Morning Basket?” I came across the concept of Morning Basket through various blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos about homeschooling. Many families practice this routine as a time for learning, beauty, family togetherness and instilling goodness in their children’s minds and hearts. Each family does it a bit differently and there is no one set way to create one for your family. I have some tips for you here to create your own Morning Basket routine with your family! I hope that by reading this that you and your family can start this in your own home and that it brings you as much joy and happy memories as it has for us.
1. Decide when you will do Morning Basket.
In our family, we do Morning Basket as soon as the girls wake up and we do it every-single-weekday. We don’t ever miss a day. Our girls wake us up in the morning usually between 6:00 and 6:30am. We wake up, our 4-year-old heads straight to the table, I grab the basket and coffee, my husband changes our toddler’s diaper and makes breakfast, and I jump right in with the girls. As my husband is making breakfast I am reading poetry to the girls. Around the time they have their breakfast I start reading them their fairytale or nursery rhymes and then the Bible. After poetry, fairytales and Bible, we finish with a few more activities and are usually completely done with Morning Basket (and breakfast) by 7:00/7:30am! You don’t have to do it this way. You can do it at night. You can do it after nap time. You can do it just on the weekends. You do whatever works best for your family.
2. What do you want from Morning Basket?
Decide on what you want your children to learn and what is most important to you and your family. When I am creating our Morning Basket I think about a few things, but the most important being that my girls had beauty and goodness in their day. Things that could be added to a Morning Basket are: Poetry, Fairytales, the Bible or Children’s Bible, Flashcards, Children’s Books, Puzzles, Writing Practice, Drawing, Activity Books, Song Sticks, Hymns, Art Prints, Small Games, or life skills practice (phone number, address, shoe tying).
3. Choose your three most important things.
At the time I am writing this, our girls are 4 and 1. There are amazing mornings when we can sit and do Morning Basket together for an hour. And then there are the days when they both wake up at 5:00am, and we sit at the table together for Morning Basket for as long as our 3 most important things last. Sometimes that is just 15 minutes. When I was choosing our 3 most important things, I kept that in mind. I want to know that when I go to bed at night I can sleep easy knowing that no matter what happened during our day, they got so much goodness from me, even with just 3 things! As a homeschool mom to a preschooler and toddler, there are tough days when we don’t get to school at all and now that we have Morning Basket, I can rest easy on those days because I know they learned so much! In our family, our 3 most important things for our Morning Basket are: poetry, fairytales and The Bible. We do those things every-single-day. I find children’s poetry books, fairytale books and we read from our children’s Bible.
4. Add in extra goodness.
Our extras will constantly be changing. For the new year I have decided to add in just 3-4 extras each month. I like to theme our Morning Basket to what we are learning about or holidays we are celebrating. I also like to think about our girl’s interests or things I know they need to work on. The morning is when our 4-year-old is the most focused. She has my solid attention and I am able to help her as our toddler is not quite in full Godzilla mode yet. I like to use our Morning Basket time to add life skills practice, art and drawing, and also math. For life skills practice, our daughter has now learned my phone number, our address and next month will be learning how to tie her shoes as this is something she has requested to learn. I like to add math here in the form of hands-on games and activities, simple worksheets or flashcards. Our daughter loves to draw. It is one of her main interests right now. I have been adding how-to-draw books in our basket for her with some blank books and a pack of markers. She will sit at the table at the end of Morning Basket every day for at least an extra 30 minutes just drawing! While she is drawing we listen to music, play an audio book from Audible or listen to Maestro Classics.
5. Throw in some Basket Helpers.
There are a few things I like to keep in our Morning Basket to help us stay at the table a little longer. I like to keep our Song Sticks in our basket and if I am noticing it is going to be a morning that will be tough to keep their attention, I sing to them in between stories or activities. I have songs written on popsicle sticks in a little jar and the girls pull out a song for me to sing to them. It breaks up the stories and gets them more involved. It is another part of keeping things full of all the goodness in the morning! It is such a beautiful way to start the morning. I also like to add in 1-2 small toys or books that our toddler can play with while I am reading or while our 4-year-old is working on an activity. Once our toddler is over it, I let her get down and she sits next to us at our book shelf and just pulls out books and looks at them. We are usually done with Morning Basket by 7:30am since they wake up so crazy early. It is nice because my husband can help and participate with us through the whole thing due to the time.
Morning Basket has been such a blessing to our family. We have noticed such a change in our family culture and the way our days begin together. Starting the day so peacefully keeps the moods bright and starts our day out right. I hope this helps you to start this routine for your family!
I don’t know about you, but after reading through this post I am super inspired to incorporate Morning Basket into our weekly routine. I love how it sets a tone of peace, rhythm, and beauty each day. Thank you for the great tips for setting up a Morning Basket, Chelsea! If you loved what Chelsea shared here, be sure to go check out her blog where she shares more specifics about what she includes in her morning baskets each month. She also has two amazing shops (HERE & HERE) that have fantastic printable activities. I absolutely adore following her on Instagram, not only because she shares brilliant ideas, but also because of transparent she is. She truly is so genuine and has such wonderful ideas and resources to help you learn and play with your kiddos at home, so please be sure to stop by her blog (and shop) to say hello!
You can follow along with Chelsea here:
If you enjoyed this post you might be interested in the other posts in this series:
- 3 Tips to Make Meal Planning Work for You
- 4 Tips to Cultivate Connection With Your Kids Outside
- 4 Tips for Connecting With Your Kids Through Intentional Play
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