Starting preschool is a big milestone in a child's life, and it's both fun and helpful to mark the occasion with some special activities. Whether you're a classroom teacher, childcare provider, or parent, there are lots of great back-to-school activities you can try.
Back-to-School Craft Projects
Hands-on craft projects are an excellent way to involve kids in the new school routine. Consider some of these crafts.
Make a Locker or Cubby Tag
Welcome preschoolers back to school by helping them create a locker or cubby tag with their picture and name.
- Give each child a different color of cardstock.
- Use an instant camera or a digital camera and printer to print out a photo of each child.
- Help them paste the photo on the cardstock, and then write their names underneath the photo.
- Give them access to paint, markers, glitter, and glue to further decorate their tags.
- At the end of the day, when the tags are dry, help each child put the tag on his locker before going home. That way, it will be easier to find the cubby or locker on the next school day.
Try Fall Crafts for Preschoolers
Preschoolers can celebrate the season with fall crafts by making leaf displays, creating fall-themed soaps, and more. These ideas help kids focus on the excitement of the back-to-school season.
Experiment with Crafts Offering New Experiences
School itself is a new experience, and it's fun to use a craft that celebrates that novelty. Preschool painting techniques, like finger painting with edible materials, are a hit with young kids, and they provide children with a new and exciting experience at school.
Learning Something New
The first few weeks of the school year are a good time for preschoolers to learn something new. They'll be encouraged by their new knowledge, and this can add to their excitement about school. Try some of these ideas:
Help Them Share What They Know
Preschoolers can show off their knowledge, and get to know one another in this fun sharing activity. It's a low-pressure way to introduce kids to participating in circle time, especially on the first day of school.
- Explain that each person is going to tell the class something she knows. It can be anything.
- Start by telling the class something very simple. It can be the color of your shirt, your name, the day of the week, or anything else that seems fun and easy.
- Ask each child to share what she knows. There are no wrong answers. Thank each child for sharing after she has finished.
Try Out Worksheets and Printables
Preschool worksheets and other printables can help little minds start the school year off well. These activities will give kids practice with sitting still, but they'll also help them stay engaged and enjoy learning. Choose just one printable activity for the first day back to school.
Use Fun Reading Activities
Although most preschoolers can't yet read, they can learn about literacy through reading activities. Reading a book together and working on predicting the story, recognizing letters, and other important tasks are both fun and educational. Choose from books that are perfect for preschool kids.
From beginning counting to sorting and understanding the concepts of "less" and "more," there are a number of math activities that can help preschoolers get excited about school. Math-related rhymes and songs are also fun.
Work Together on Listening
Listening is an important skill for preschoolers, one they will practice and refine as they enter kindergarten. You can use listening activities to start working on this important skill as soon as kids begin the school year. Activities like the game of "Telephone" are great for refining this important learning goal.
More Fun Ideas
There are so many ways to celebrate the start of a new school year, especially with the youngest students. Consider one of these other options.
Create a Getting-to-Know-You Book
Meeting lots of new kids can be overwhelming for preschoolers, who may not have had much previous experience with peers. A getting-to-know-you book is one way to ease them into the classroom setting, and help them become familiar with classmates. All you'll need are a few photos of each child, an 11 x 14-inch sheet of cardstock, and some basic art supplies.
- Sit down with each child individually to create his page. Paste the photos of the child on the page, leaving plenty of room to write.
- Ask the child about his interests, activities, family, and pets. Write down as much information as you can on the page.
- Punch each page across the top with a three-hole punch. Use binding rings to create a book out of all the pages.
- Go through the book together as a class, and allow kids to take turns taking it home to review with their families.
Make a Special School Snack
Get lots of preschool snack ideas to make this mini-meal fun and interactive for kids. You can even get kids involved in making the snack, and teach math and early cooking skills at the same time.
Play Preschool Games
For a lot of preschoolers, spending time with peers is a fairly new experience. You can help break the ice, and encourage interaction with some preschool games.
Play with Educational Toys
Play time is work time for little minds, and some fun educational toys can make the back-to-school experience more relevant and engaging. From stringing beads to modeling dough, there are lots of toys that can help preschoolers' minds grow.
Instill Enthusiasm in Preschoolers
No matter which ideas you choose to use, actively celebrating going back to school will help instill enthusiasm in the youngest students. Preschoolers will love the excitement of trying new activities, crafts, and games that focus on this important period in their lives.