All about me printables are an excellent activity for the first week of school. They are a great way to learn about your new students, and they can either make great keepsakes or back-to-school displays for your bulletin board as well!
It's easy to feel overwhelmed at the beginning of each school year - how to get to know your students, as well as set up classroom routines and expectations? Don't worry - I've got you covered! Keep reading for loads of ideas for back to school activities, as well as free resources and back to school printables for kids of all ages!
First Day of School Activity Ideas
All About Me
These free printable worksheets are a fun way to learn more about your students. Depending on the number of students in your class, if you are completing with younger kids, I'd recommend opting for some extra pairs of hands if you can e.g. buddies who are older students or perhaps even parents. If you are completing with older kids, they will be able to complete this task independently.
Students can include the following information about themselves:
- A self portrait where they can show their eye colour, hair colour and favourite outfit
- Their favourite colour
- Their age
- Their favourite food
- Other fun facts or favourite things such as their favourite activities, favourite game or favourite book
- There's also a blank space where they can include a picture of their family members
These free printable pages also include student toppers which can be added on top of the All About Me bunting.
My kids loved being able to find their exact skin tone to match their physical appearance for when they are completing drawings of themselves.
This is a fun keepsake which parents will love! With this activity, students can draw a picture of themselves. I then glue their drawing to a peg or clip, with a magnet on the other side.
The kids can then make an artwork to go alongside the poem:
"I made this little magnet for you on my very first day,
So that all my precious work can always be on display."
This is hands-down one of my favourite things to do at the beginning of the school year, and to then revisit at the end of the year- the growth is always phenomenal. I use these templates to make up a little printable book. We complete some of the activities on the first day, and some across the first week. A booklet isn’t necessary- some teachers just choose a couple of these worksheet pages to do with their classes.
The following pages show some examples of the different types of growth that you can track:
- Early drawing skills
- Early writing skills
- What they're excited to learn/what they're looking forward to e.g. making new friends, learning language skills, science experiments, other kindergarten activities, their new kindergarten classroom etc
- How they write their name
- How they draw themselves
- How they colour in
Students then complete the second half of the activity on the last day of school (or in the last couple of weeks of school). This creates a super memorable keepsake for students to take home at the end of the year. Alternatively, you may like to make a copy for their first grade teachers.
My first day of school photo
At the beginning of a new school year, it's always special to take a photo of kindergarten students (or any young learners) on their first day of school! The parents LOVE them, and I always include the digital pictures our end of year class video! These free templates can be downloaded at Mrs Learning Bee, and they are editable so that you can adjust the text as well.
Playdough Creative Activities
There are lots of different ways to use play dough with young kids at the start of the school year.
Playdough is the perfect way to break the ice and settle students. You could have some playdough for each of the kids to take home, but first they could create and draw their own playdough creation on a sheet of paper. Students can also work on their fine motor skills at the same time! Here are some free templates available at Mrs Learning Bee:
Magic Dough is another super cute first day activity. Place a small amount of coloured playdough inside a ball of white playdough. The kids will love when their ‘magic dough’ turns colourful! This is another free template from Mrs Learning Bee.
First Day Crowns
Crowns are lots of fun to create at the beginning of the year with young students! You have the added bonus of getting some super cute photos as well! These editable templates are free from Mrs Learning Bee.
I survived my First Day of School/First Week of School
These free worksheets are a very simple writing prompts activity for the kids to take home. It also makes a great activity for the end of the first week, which I like to put on display. You can download this free worksheet template off Mrs Learning Bee.
At some stage at the start of the year, I also like to send home a 'My School Routines' handout. This provides parents of young children with the key information that they need to know about our daily routines e.g. library day, sports day, NEWS day etc. You can download this editable template for free from Mrs Learning Bee.
I am a boy/girl
I've always completed this activity page at some stage in the first few days of school. The kids draw themselves in their school uniform and then write or trace the sentence “I am a boy” or “I am a girl”. I’ve also included versions with “My name is _____” too, and students could be encouraged to only use a capital letter for the first letter of their name.
School Uniform Craft
This printable activity makes a great ‘transition’ activity in the lead up to school (you might like to check out all of my activity backs for Transition to School), or alternatively it makes a great first day activity. Provide students with pictures of their school uniform to cut and paste onto the templates. Alternatively, they could just draw their uniforms. These templates are available for free from Mrs Learning Bee.
In the past, I’ve created displays with hand prints that the kids have coloured in, or I’ve taken photos of the kids with superhero masks or snorkels to suit our classroom theme which is always a fun activity! (e.g. Superheroes, Under the Sea).
Crafts can also be a great way to help kids settle in, and teach some simple routines. Here is just one example- the kids can trace the pineapple and colour it in, or stick on coloured paper, pom poms, feathers, or whatever you like.
Both of these are free printables from Mrs Learning Bee.
Other educational activities you could include on your first day or week of school. Many of these activity suggestions are unpacked further in my Free Kindergarten Guide:
- Tour of the school
- Get to Know You Bingo
- Scavenger or Treasure Hunt
- Circle Time- each student shares something about themselves
- Name writing activities
- Fine Motor Groups
- Begin introducing classroom rules
- Imaginative play
- Simple outside games
- Colour craft
- Reading some of your favourite books for back to school
- Theme activities that might relate to your first term topics e.g. History, Geography, Science
- Creating class books
- Completing simple printable activities- you could select some preschool activities to help students feel settled. Top tip - place in write and wipe mats, and ask students to complete using dry-erase markers. Kids will have so much fun with this new novelty, and it is an excellent way to introduce simple classroom routines.
- Early literacy skills activities e.g. tracing, cut and paste activities
Looking for more? Download my FREE Kindergarten Guide
Whether you’re a grad teacher or a veteran teacher simply looking for some fresh ideas, this free printable PDF contains 60+ pages of ideas & suggestions to help teachers prepare for the first few weeks of Kindergarten.
Here’s what you’ll find:
- SECTION 1: First Day Activities
- SECTION 2: Fine Motor Activities
- SECTION 3: Colour Activities
- SECTION 4: Name Activities
- SECTION 5: Literacy Activities (including a list of recommended books)
- SECTION 6: Numeracy Activities
- SECTION 7: Establishing Expectations & Classroom Routines (including a list of recommended books)
- SECTION 8: Simple Art and Craft ideas
- SECTION 9: Well-being
- SECTION 10: Sample timetable
There are plenty of fun activities and resource recommendations for kindergarten children in this guide — including lots + lots of freebies!