Starting the year off with back to school activities can help your students get to know their classmates as well as help build relationships during those first few weeks of school.
We are helping you make planning back to school activities a little bit easier by providing you with some fun activities to do with your class this new school year.
Back to school activities kids will love
Back to School Jokes
Break the ice with your students this year with some good back to school jokes. You will have them laughing and feeling less stressed about the first day.
Beach Ball Introductions
Have your class gather in a circle and toss a beach ball to a classmate in the circle. Once the student catches the beach ball they share something about themselves depending on the question their thumb lands on when they catch the ball.
This activity will take no time to prepare. Just inflate your beach ball and write 8-10 questions on it. Some examples of questions are:
- What was your favorite book you read this summer?
- This summer I went…
- How many pets do you own?
- What do you hope to learn this year?
- I am thankful for…
- What do you like to do after school?
- When is your birthday?
- What is your favorite animal?
- What is your favorite movie?
Depending on the age of the kids this can take a while but it is fun to watch your class work together and figure out how they fall into the lineup. To do this back to school activity, ask the class to line up from youngest to oldest.
This allows them to start talking to each other and helps them communicate with someone they might not know yet. You can also try this activity by alphabetical order of their first name, or height.
The kids will love doing this activity and it is almost guaranteed to help get the kids interacting afterward.
The name game is a classic game. There are several ways you can play this game but it is a favorite because it involves everyone at the same time.
To start playing, have your first student say their first and last name and then followed by something that starts with the same initial of their first name.
Then the next student that follows in the rotation repeats the previous classmate’s name and the word they said with their first and last name.
The game continues around the circle until someone can not remember the previous classmates’ words.
First Day Photo Shoot
Take a piece of poster board and make a frame for your students to hold up for a photoshoot on the first day of school. You can decorate the frame however you’d like. You can add some cute bulletin board paper to the border or even decorate it with your classroom theme.
Write on the bottom of the frame the new school year. Encourage kids to use fun props to take pictures together to get to know one another.
I Wish My Teacher Knew
Pass out to each student a piece of paper or you can use index cards. and have “I wish my teacher knew…” pre-written on the board.
Tell the class that they can tell you anything they want about themselves by writing it on the card.
You can make them feel more comfortable by passing out cards to each of them about something different about yourself. That way each kid gets a different fact about you. You will be surprised by what they share with you. It is a great back to school activity to help you better know your students.
All About Me Bag
On the first day of school, send every kid home with a lunch brown paper bag with written instructions stapled to it for them to fill the bag with a few items that tell something about themselves. Just be sure to specify that all the objects must be able to fit into the bag.
They may decorate the bag as they wish. During the first week of school as the bags are returned have your students share their bag with the class. This will help the kids find others they have things in common with. Some things you might suggest are:
- A baby picture of themselves
- A picture of their family
- Their favorite food
- Something they like to do
- Something special to them
Would You Rather
An excellent way to get to know your students you can make fun cards and let them pick one out of the pile. Have them read the question out loud and answer it. This could be so fun for the classmates to hear the answers and get to know each other better.
Some examples you could use are:
- Would you rather adopt a cat or a dog?
- Would you rather wear flip flops or sneakers?
- Would you rather eat salad or a cheeseburger?
- Would you rather go swimming or skiing
- Would you rather ride an elephant or a giraffe?
- Would you rather ride a horse or a 4-wheeler?
- Would you rather go camping or to Disney?
- Would you rather eat lunch with the president or a famous singer?
- Would you rather eat peas or chocolate cake?
You can also grab this Would you Rather game with even more questions all ready to go.
Meet your match game
Meet your match helps encourage classmates to build relationships with each other by encouraging them to see how alike they are with other classmates.
Start this back to school activity by handing each student a puzzle piece. Only one other piece matches another in the room. Once they find their match, have them chat for a few minutes before going back to their seat.
You can play this over and over by redistributing the puzzle pieces. These are simple to make, just take some cardboard boxes and pre-draw a puzzle on it. Next cut out the pieces. It is much easier to cut when your puzzle has been drawn prior to cutting.
Pass out a list of objects or areas your students need to locate in the room. This is a great way to help the kids navigate around the classroom to find things like the pencil sharpener, chapter books, kleenex box, hand sanitizer, snack bin, as well as different characteristics that involve their classmates. You can add on there a boy wearing blue shoes, or a girl wearing a pink bow.
As they move around the classroom and are trying to complete their scavenger hunt they are also mingling with other classmates and getting more comfortable being back to school by locating things in the classroom.
These back to school activities are sure to make your first week of school a blast! What activities would you add to the list that your students love?