Simple and Easy Activities to Welcome Kids Back to School

 Welcome Back to School Activities

Welcome back to school activities

I need first day of school activities for elementary students!

Do you need first day of school activities for your upper elementary kiddos? Well, you are in luck! I have a few that I think you will enjoy and may find helpful during the first few weeks back to school. I linked the following activities to other blog posts as well as my VIP Free Resource Library so that everything is easily accessible!

Back to school BINGO

Y'all... this is an oldie but goodie. "Find a friend" BINGO is my jam. It's super easy and requires barely any teacher prep... or assistance! First, each student gets a BINGO board and a pencil. They will walk around the room asking other kids in the class to "sign their board." Each student can only write their name once on someone's paper. Once they get 5 in a row, the student will shout "BINGO!" and sit down. I usually play with blackout BINGO, meaning students must fill out the entire board in order to get BINGO (then the game takes longer and they will talk to most every student in the class. This is a perfect way for kids to make new connections and see what they have in common with others.

Snag Back to School BINGO for FREE here!

Back to school read alouds

Back to school books
Nothing relaxes kids like a read-aloud... especially when they are nervous the first day! Check out my blog post where I talk about my favorite back-to-school books that you and your students will enjoy. I searched high and low for unique books (aka not First Day Jitters), so most likely you won't have half your class spoiling the ending! Make sure to read the blog post here. You may see some of your favorites there, but you may get some new ideas for books to read this school year!

Creating our Hopes & Dreams for the year

Responsive Classroom Hopes and Dreams
Create hopes and dreams for the school year to introduce your students to goal-setting. What are your hopes and dreams for your students? I dream that my students will come every day to class ready to learn, and to create a warm and safe environment to learn in. Not only teachers have hopes and dreams for the school year - so do students! Want to learn more? Check out my Hopes & Dreams blog post to utilize this goal-setting in your classroom as well. It has a lesson and read-aloud.

I created cloud templates if you want to make a bulletin board similar to mine for the school year. You can grab these Hopes & Dreams clouds at my VIP Free Resource Library - click here to access!

Back to school multiplication

This is a perfect math activity for your upper elementary students (of course, only use with grades who learned their multiplication facts the year before! I would not use this with my third-graders, since they do not learn their multiplication facts until midyear). Students will practice properly using their classroom materials, and how to share if they are using community supplies. Coloring will also help relax those fears or feelings of anxiety that many students often experience the first week back. You can grab this Back to School multiplication activity at my VIP Free Resource Library - click here to access!

All About Me bags

This is a great one for kids to get to know each other and make connections. Pass out paper bags, and ask students to bring in five objects that describe them/are special to them/are meaningful in their lives. However, every item must fit in the bag! Each student shares these bags to the class, then classmates can ask five respectful questions. We share about five of these bags a day. This is a great time to start talking about how to be a respectful classmate, and work on speaking to others. 

Practicing and modeling classroom routines

Welcome back to school activities
I create anchor charts for every single routine and procedure in the classroom. We first discuss, then I ask a student to model what it looks like. Then another student models in. Then, we model as a class. I do this for EVERYTHING. On the first day, we put our backpacks back on and practice how to walk into the classroom and put them away. We practice how to use scissors. How to put a cap on a marker. How to close a Ziploc bag. We must start slow to go fast. Take this first month back as a time to get those routines set in place. Practice doing Morning Meeting, Closing Circle, and Quiet Time. The tighter that you can get those routines in place now, the better the rest of the school year will be.


What do you like to do on the first week of school? Let me know down below in the comments.

Don't forget to sign up to be a VIP member - you will get unlimited access to the Free Resource Library where many of these resources are available for free!

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Welcome back to school activities

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