Early finisher activities for kindergarten and first grade. Paperless games and activities to keep students learning after center activities are complete or during extra time throughout the day!
Early Finisher Activities
I am sure you would love to have a collection of perfectly timed activities in which all of your students complete their tasks at THE. EXACT. SAME. MOMENT… that is not reality. If you use any of my center activities, you know that some of them are never-ending, meaning they are never done. However, some centers do have a beginning, middle, and end. That is where early finisher activities come in!
Dessert Tubs... AKA Early Finisher Activities
Some time ago… I started making “Dessert Tubs.” I got the term “dessert” from my clever friend, Cara Carroll. That is what she called them and… well… I DO love dessert!
When students have finished an activity, they simply go and grab their “dessert tub.” When I used these, it cut down on the visiting and gypsy-like movements in my classroom. And of course, my students ALWAYS had the option to read a book at their desk instead.
What goes in the tub?
There are a variety of activities that can be used in dessert tubs. For my tubs, I had 3 guidelines:
- I wanted the activities to be self-explanatory and something students were already familiar with.
- I wanted the activities to be “paperless” meaning… no paper product. Students may only be at these tasks for a few minutes. I didn’t want MORE paper in my life… save the TREES!
- I wanted the tasks to be meaningful practice.
Games and Activities
Number and Letter Formation
I may have a million of these little ABC games. They are quick and fun to play. They can be played with a partner or they can pretend to play with “Dexter” (my dog… who was not in the classroom). That would always make my students giggle.
As the year progresses, you can add CVC and CVCe word cards.
This is a brand new game to practice math and literacy skills that will be available soon. Check back for the link!
Time Me Games
Time Me! is a fun activity. You can start the year with the alphabet cards then move onto sight words. You can create several sets of cards and therefore differentiate this activity. SIMPLE! (There is a free sample at the end of this post).
This game is editable so you can add your own sight words.
Sequence is a fun game that my students seemed to never grow weary of. Students will spin a spinner, then look for a picture that starts the same. The example below offers blends. BUT (once again) I have a bunch of versions… from letter ID to more complex phonics.
Roll, Say, Keep
Another card game that has a TON of different versions!
Again, this game is editable so you can add your own sight words.
There are also Roll, Say, Keep games to practice math skills! Check it out here:
Eraser Sort (FREE FILE #1)
I get so excited about new erasers in the dollar bin at Target! This eraser sort is a fun math activity that you can add to the dessert bins any time of the year. Just change out the erasers for the season!
Your students will LOVE this early finisher activity!
There are math and literacy BUMP games. You can see more about these games in this blog post.
100 Chart Mystery Puzzles
These differentiated mystery puzzles are so fun!
Your students will love the fun puzzles for each season of the year! You can try out a free sample from this blog post.
FREE FILE #2: Dessert Tub Labels!
If you are going to have dessert tubs, you need dessert tub labels!
FREE FILE #3 : Time Me!
Add your email address below for a free download of the Time Me! Activity.