The first day of school can be really exciting for preschool and kindergarten students! You can make it even more exciting and engaging with back to school activities that incorporate learning and fun. I’ve put together all kinds of fun first day of school activities to help you build routines and build lifelong learners too.
In this article I’ll share my favorite activities you can use to get your early learners excited about learning in the classroom, virtually, or in a homeschool setting. Keep reading to discover how you can use these printable back to school activities to make your first day a big success.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, it will help me keep this site up and running! Thank you for your support.
What do you do on the first day back to school?
The first day of school is an excellent time for establishing expectations and routines. It’s definitely a time of adjustment for preschoolers and kindergartners, but you can make it fun too!
On the first day of school, children can feel a bit anxious about meeting teachers, making friends, and even school activities. Back to school activities that “break the ice” and encourage kids to get to know one another (and you) are ideal for overcoming these fears.
If your students are learning virtually, they might need time to adjust to using certain technology. However, rest assured that it’s still totally possible to get to know your preschool and kindergarten learners through the screen. Focus on developing that connection and helping kids feel comfortable with learning online using engaging virtual back to school activities.
Finally, remember to establish any classroom rules, expectations, and routines on the first day. Taking the time to talk about what’s expected and how things work in your school environment will make the rest of the school year much easier for everyone.
How do you make back to school fun?
Don’t worry, there are lots of ways to make the first day back to school fun and engaging for your students while establishing the rules and routines too. I like using cute back to school activities to begin learning right away.
The fun theme helps get preschoolers and kindergartners excited while establishing a baseline you can use to develop lesson and activity plans for the year.
My back to school activity bundle has 15 themed activities to get preschoolers and kindergartners excited about learning this year. There are language arts activities, math activities, read aloud suggestions, freebies and more. Keep reading to see what’s included and get your own printable back to school activity bundle.
BACK TO SCHOOL IDEAS FOR MATH LEARNING FUN
There are so many fun ways to explore early math concepts with your preschoolers and kindergartners this school year! Sorting, one-to-one correspondence, counting, and patterns are all really fun ways you can help prepare your early learners for more complex math in the future. Here are all the great skills your kids can practice with my printable back to school activities and lessons:
- One-to-one correspondence
- Ten frames
- Number sense
- Identifying numbers
- Comparing and contrasting
My printable back to school activity worksheet will encourage your preschoolers and kindergartners to look at the patterns created with school supplies and determine what comes next.
Kids can color the objects to create even more complex patterns. Plus, they’ll build important early fine motor skills as they practice cutting and pasting with these back to school worksheets.
Practicing patterns with your early learners is an important early math concept that helps kids learn to make predictions based on their own observations. It’s a skill that will be important in math and science as they continue to grow and learn.
Next, sort sizes with my back to school activity scenes for helping your preschoolers and kindergartners learn the difference between big, small, and medium. You’ll definitely want to laminate these back to school worksheets for your early learners to use again and again!
Finally, get some hands-on counting skills practice with your kids this school year using crayons. You can print out my handy crayon counting activity pages and use the paper crayon printables or real crayons for a tactile experience.
It’s a fun back to school activity that will help your kids learn to count by rote and develop skills like one-to-one correspondence too.
Back to School Read Alouds
Reading aloud to preschoolers and kindergartners is the best way to help kids develop phonemic awareness, expand their vocabulary, and build reading comprehension skills too. You can turn your early learners into lifelong book lovers with these back to school book suggestions:
- The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing
- The Night Before Kindergarten by Julie Durrell
- First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
- Preschool Here I Come by DJ Steinberg
- The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen
- Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
- Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
Sharing these stories with your kids isn’t just a good way to build early literacy skills, it also helps introduce topics kids might be thinking about or worrying about as they start school.
Talking about these books with your preschool and kindergarten learners is a great way to explore these topics and give them a safe space to ask questions and share their feelings.
After storytime, try some of the no-prep printable back to school activities for reading and language arts included in this themed lesson plan and activity set. These first day of school activities are fun for kids and filled with back to school ideas you won’t want to miss!
Reading and Language Arts First Day of School Activities
Get ready for some back to school ideas your preschoolers and kindergartners will love! These printable pages will help you build important early learning skills like:
- Identifying letters
- Learning letter sounds
- Tracing letters
- Pre-writing skills
- Fine motor skills
- Learning to write their names
It’s so important to build foundational reading skills with your kids from an early age. Letter matching activities are a great place to begin exposing your children to the alphabet. This printable back to school letter matching activity will encourage your preschoolers to explore letter identification, learn letter sounds, and build memory skills as they match the ABCs with a letter match activity.
Another way to make learning letters and their sounds fun for the first day of school is by teaching kids to recognize, spell, and write their own names. I’ve included a super cute crayon box name craft your preschoolers and kindergartners will love!
It’s a great way to learn students’ names, get kids involved in a back to school activity you can display in your classroom, and help kids learn to identify the letters in their own name too.
Finally, don’t miss my beginning sounds school scenes. You can laminate these activity cards for your students to use again and again. This first day of school activity encourages preschoolers and kindergartners to identify beginning sounds and match them with the letter that makes the sound. I just know your early learners are going to have lots of fun with these!
Crafty Back to School Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten
Every year, on the first day of school, I read The First Day Jitters (mentioned above) to my class. Then, we share a cup of “jitter juice” to take away all our jitters about the first day of school.
To add even more learning fun to your first day of school, I’ve created an adorable back to school craftivity idea to match the book. In this first day of school craft activity lesson plan, you’ll get:
- 4 kids to choose from (2 girls and 2 boys)
- 3 pennants (boy and girl options)
- 1 worksheet (boy and girl options)
Pro Tip: Astrobrights skin-toned construction paper is available on Amazon and it’s just perfect for this back-to-school activity. Send these sweet crafts home with your preschoolers or kindergartners as a first-day-of-school keepsake. You can also make an awesome bulletin board for the open house with these cute crafts.
Incorporating crafts into your back to school activities and lesson plans is a fantastic way to learn more about your students while inspiring kids to get creative and express themselves through art. Plus, crafts build self-confidence and fine motor skills while encouraging kids to be curious and use their imagination.
Are you needing more back to school crafts of your favorite read alouds? My book character craft bundle is the perfect additions to your back to school read alouds. Grab the entire bundle of back to school crafts to save big. Or grab each character separately off my TPT store. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Elephant and Piggie crafts
- Pete the Cat craft
- No David craft
- Pigeon craft
- The Kissing Hand craft
- Mrs. Wishy Washy craft
- Llama Llama craft
Back to school coloring pages
How do you make back to school fun virtually?
If you’re teaching and learning virtually this year, you probably have lots of questions about planning the first day of school. Things will indeed be different in a virtual classroom, but there are still all kinds of great ways to have fun with your early learners on the first day of school.
This printable back to school activity bundle can be sent home for kids to enjoy this hands-on first day of school fun right at home. Share your back to school crafts, read alouds in online meetings with your students, and encourage them to talk about their thoughts and feelings.
What back to school activities are you planning for your preschool and kindergarten learners on the first day of school? Will you be in the classroom, a homeschool setting, or learning virtually? Are you teaching a school theme or maybe teaching apple activities? Share your back to school activity ideas in the comment section. I can’t wait to read them!
Free Back to School Activities
If you’re anything like me, you may or may not have prepped as much as you had anticipated this summer. To help out, I teamed up with several awesome teacher authors to bundle together our favorite back to school resources to share with you and get your new school year started on the right foot. The best part is that they’re all absolutely FREE!
Grab the 2022 back to school activities bundle HERE and enjoy over 100 free printables, crafts, and much much more!
The 2021 freebie bundle is also still available HERE, so don’t miss out.
If you’re wanting even more resources and ideas, join the 28,000+ other parents, teachers, and care givers on my social media accounts. Follow The Primary Parade on: