The first week of school is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time for parents, teachers, and students. These first week of preschool activities and printable forms are sure to ease first day jitters for everyone and aide in classroom management!
No matter how many years I teach, the excitement of starting a brand new school year never goes away.
When a new school year is upon me, it doesn’t just mean waiting for a bunch of little ones to show up with their eager parents in tow…it means being reminded of those first-day jitters. They’re a thing for both students AND teachers, after all! The nerves of not knowing if they’ll like my class, whether or not I’m fun enough to capture their attention on the first day of school, all while trying to make sure none of them get too upset during transitions.
Ever had a student with separation anxiety? Then you know what I’m talking about!
But even before any students have arrived, I’ve already got one victory under my belt: we’re back in person! There’s no better feeling than walking into your classroom on the first day and seeing all the bright faces looking up at you with smiles from ear to ear.
Ok, my class might not actually look exactly like that on the first day, but by the time we get to end the of the first week of school, that’s exactly what it looks like!
I come prepared with all the right activities, like my complete preschool curriculum, editable name spelling sheets for each students, fine motor task boxes, and my personal favorite: playdough activities!
And it’s helpful to have a bunch of proven, tried-and-true, preschooler-approved, first-week-of-school crafts and learning activities, too!
FAQ about Back to School for Preschoolers
When starting a new school year with preschoolers and kindergarteners, it’s important to help them feel comfortable and at ease in your classroom. This is true for parents, too! Greet everyone with a kind smile and speak gently but with excitement. Don’t forget that for some preschoolers this will likely be their first time ever being without a parent for a period of time. They need to feel nurtured and safe after their parents leave.
Keep the first day light and fun with a get-to-know-you circle time where the kids can get to know the other students and adults in the classroom. Have first-week-of-preschool activities prepared where children get to work and play together in a casual and fun way. Sing lots of songs, and do a lot of talking with (not to) the children.
Just remember to keep smiling and have fun!
It’s normal for 3 and 4 year olds to get tearful at drop-off. To ease this transition, parents should try not to prolong saying goodbye. This is tricky for parents! Remember that leaving a crying child is difficult for parents, and they’ll worry. But just a quick hug and an “I love you, I’ll be back at lunch to pick you up,” is best.
Once mom or dad has left, teachers can help calm the child down with a good distraction. Ask the preschooler to help with a special job, or engage them in a favorite activity. With time the child will be a pro at coming to preschool. You can read more about preschoolers’ emotional development here.
The first week of school should be about teaching kids the rules of the classroom and school, as well as having loads of fun getting to know one another. They need to learn how to behave at certain times of the day and how to get along with the other children. They need to learn what to expect in their preschool schedule as well as all the things they get to do (and not just the things they won’t be allowed to do).
You’ll also want to spent time in the first week establishing a learning routine. Children new to preschool may not be familiar with learning center rotation or other preschool methods. They may not know that their time will be somewhat structured and that some things are off limits during certain parts of the day.
It’s also wise to limit the amount of material they have access to for the first week. This will help the children not get too overwhelmed and give them a better opportunity to learn the procedures of the classroom, as well as how to properly use classroom materials and learning centers.
Picture Books for the First Day of Preschool
One of the most powerful things I do on the first day of preschool is read some picture books to my students. It seems to remind them of being in a safe place, since picture books are usually accompanied with snuggles at bedtime. Now, I can’t snuggle each of my preschoolers while reading to them, but I can carefully hand-select just the right picture books for the first day of school.
First Week of Preschool Activities, Craft Ideas, and Teacher Forms
You’ve been thinking about teaching preschool all summer long…and now that the school year is in full swing, you’re finally ready to get up close and personal with a whole new set of kids! Consider this week an orientation process. Here are some back-to-school ideas for teachers so they can hit the ground running on Monday morning.
The first week back to school doesn’t have to be stressful for anyone. These back-to-school activities and printables will help teachers get organized, finalize their lesson plans, and go into the new year with confidence!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.