Ever wonder what to teach during your first week back to school? Many preschool teachers like to do a back-to-school theme. Try these free lesson plans for back to school that’s all about back to school!
These also make a great supplement to any comprehensive preschool curriculum.
Back-to-School Lesson Plans for the First Week of Teaching
Sometimes, due to circumstances well beyond our control, the preschool year starts to look a little different. A little uncertain, if you will.
Maybe your preschool has had a recent turnover in teachers and staff. Maybe your state is enforcing new policies for early childhood learning. Maybe you know in your heart of hearts that your child needs to have homeschool preschool, and you’re unsure how to provide that.
But the truth is, no matter your personal or professional situation, preschool looks a little different this fall than it did last year. And all we can do is adapt.
So what will your first week of preschool look like? What kind of back-to-school activities do you have planned?
I’ve written some free back to school preschool lesson plans that can be used both in the classroom and within the home, and this week they feature a “back to school” preschool theme, too. Plus, they are printable… and did I mention FREE?!
Enter: my Learn-At-Home Preschool Lesson Plans.
Frequently Asked Questions About a Back to School Theme
Easing nerves and making the start of a new school year exciting is so important for setting the stage for a great year! Back-to-school activities help children develop relationship skills, learn their own names, and establish school time routines.
Preschool at home is a lot like school in the classroom! The best way to help preschoolers learn is through hands-on play, engaging and fun activities, and lots of social-emotional opportunities. For more info on must-haves when learning at home, check out this post.
There are lots of options when choosing a curriculum for preschoolers! A great preschool curriculum should include developmentally appropriate systematic math and literacy instruction. It should include varied and engaging activities, opportunities for music and movement. We highly recommend our daily lessons in preschool math and literacy curriculum!
Important Info About These Back to School Lesson Plans
The Learn at Home Preschool Lesson Plans are free lesson plans you can use to teach your preschooler at home.
All the preschool learning activities are quick and easy to set up, designed to save time, requiring hardly any (if any at all) prep and only requires the most basic of household materials. This makes them especially easy for parents to implement…and this makes preschool teachers especially happy, too!
Just glance over the lessons each day, gather the very few materials needed, and you’re ready to go!
But don’t be fooled by the name “at home” preschool lesson plans! These activities work wonderfully in the classroom as well, and if you’re a preschool teacher who is remotely teaching you can send these lesson plans to your student’s parents.
Hands-On Activities for Back-to-School Preschool Theme
Back to school is always a fun theme to teach in preschool. Preschoolers are always so excited to start school, so it’s the perfect theme to start off the year!
I’ve put together some free back-to-school preschool activities that are centered around the back-to-school theme. They are designed to ease your child into being in a school-like setting, even if it’s at home.
Because these are part of my Learn-At-Home Preschool Lesson Plans, they can be emailed to students’ parents if teaching remotely; they only require basic household materials, making them easy for parents to teach at home!
But rest assured, the back-to-school activities in these preschool lesson plans are great for the first week of school in a classroom setting, too.
***Remember, these homeschool preschool lesson plans are a free download you can grab at the end of this post.***
Back-to-School Theme Literacy Activities
Preschool at Home “Rules”- Encourage emergent writing skills by creating a list together. With your preschooler, make a short list of rules for preschool at home using a large piece of construction paper. Share the pen with your preschooler and encourage them to write a letter, a scribble, or a picture as part of the rule. **Keep these rules simple and positive, like “work hard” and “have fun.”
Playdough Names – Perfect for the first day of school! Write your preschooler’s name on a piece of paper and put it in sight for their reference. Encourage the child to roll out some playdough on a table or tray. Using a variety of materials, (alphabet cookie cutters, popsicle sticks, unsharpened pencils, or additional writing materials) invite them to practice stamping or writing their name in the playdough. You may also choose to roll the playdough into logs and shape them into the correct letters. Take it another step further and have your preschooler add small manipulatives to the playdough, thus spelling their name again. Check out this post for more details.
Back-to-School Theme Math and Science Activities
Color Block Sort – Help your preschooler learn colors all while building fine motor work skills, too. Using colored blocks, chips, crayons, craft pom poms, etc., invite the child to match the colors to the task cards using jumbo tweezers to pick up the colored items (if available). Modify this activity by using squares cut from colored construction paper.
Sink or Float School Supplies – Using any school supplies you have on hand, invite your preschooler to select a handful of items. After filling a clear plastic bin with water, have your child choose a school supply and make a prediction about whether that item will sink or float. Allow them to drop it into the water. Discuss what happened. Repeat with the rest and discuss the child’s predictions.
Back-to-School Theme Playful Learning Activities
Color Changing Playdough – Give your preschooler two balls of different colored playdough. Tell them if they smoosh them together and the playdough changes color, that means they will have an awesome preschool year! This is my all-time favorite playdough activity and fun craft. We do it every year on the first day of preschool.
Build a Tower – Help your preschooler bring out their inner engineer by building a huge tower! Allow the child to plan out the shape, size, height, and items they will use to make it. Take it up a notch by having your preschooler “draft plans” on paper before building. Plus, it’s a fine motor skills activity!
Play Uno Card Game – Play a modified version for preschoolers by using only five cards per player. Lay the cards face up for each player. Play as usual to build their color identification and matching skills. Read this post for specific details on how to play Uno with preschoolers.
Back-to-School Theme Social-Emotional Activities
Recognizing our Feelings – A large part of preschool is helping young children learn to cope with BIG feelings. Sing along to “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and mimic the movements with your preschooler. Discuss what might make you feel happy, sad, scared, or any other emotion.
Kindness/Helpfulness Challenge – Set a big goal for your preschooler to do kind things. Make a simple chart to track when your child does something on their own to be helpful or friendly. Simple things like greeting friend, putting their shoes away, holding a door for someone else…these simple actions are a great place to start!
Make “faces” together – Help your preschooler recognize body language by making the faces and body movements that correspond with various feelings. For example, make an angry face and cross your arms over your chest. Or jump up and down and giggle to show excitement.
Back-to-School Theme Online Activities
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book The Pigeon HAS to Go to School by Mo Willems. Discuss how the Pigeon felt throughout this book. Help your preschooler recognize the different emotions he experienced and how to navigate big feelings. Create a school bus craft to go along with the Pigeon’s school bus dream! Plus, preschool back to school crafts are so sweet and a favorite to put in their portfolio to keep forever!
Alphabet Song – Go to YouTube and check out this catchy song that helps your preschooler learn to identify the names of letters and the sounds they make. Then have your preschooler try to find matching items at home that begin with different letters. Be sure to sing the alphabet song while you do it!
Tooty Ta Brain Break – Time to get those little bodies moving! This fun and interactive song and dance is a preschool favorite! It’s important to offer even preschoolers movement opportunities. Let them get the wiggles out before transitioning to something else. A super fun back to school brain break!
Back-to-School Activities That Are Just Plain Fun
Scissor Practice Collage Art – This no-prep activity is ideal for increasing hand strength and developing coordination. Using several pieces of colored construction paper, invite your preschooler to cut out pieces, big or small. Once there are plenty of colored pieces to choose from, grab a glue stick and start gluing! Allow them to choose whether they would like to randomly glue or make a design. Read this post for more details.
School Bus Dramatic Play – Line up chairs and encourage children to pretend to be a bus driver or a passenger. Time to open the door and pick up/drop off students! This is an especially fun activity when you involve the whole family, if done at home. Encourage them to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” as they drive.
Make Your Back to School Theme Even More Interesting!
Use These Free Printable Back to School Preschool Lesson Plans for Homeschool & Classroom
Since these are free preschool lesson plans that are designed to be done at home and taught by the parents, they are also easy to use for distance learning purposes. These lesson plans are designed to be shared in a secure and non-public manner under the direction of a teacher.
As a preschool teacher, you can do any of these activities in the classroom, or you can send them home to your students’ parents if you are distance learning. If you are doing homeschool preschool, these are great lesson plans for you, too.
Get Your FREE Preschool Back to School Lesson Plans Below
Want to try these back-to-school themed preschool lesson plans? Have at it! Click the image below and they will be sent to your email. I hope you have a great school year!
Looking for a Full Preschool Curriculum?
The Complete Preschool Curriculum has everything you need to teach your preschoolers literacy and math in a fun and engaging way, without all the boring worksheets!
This resource includes 36 weeks of:
- oral language lessons
- phonological awareness lessons
- phonics lessons
- math lessons from all five disciplines of math (number sense, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis)
- 10 weekly alphabet, letter formation, and beginning sounds centers
- 72 math centers to support all five disciplines of math
- editable preschool portfolio
- editable preschool portfolio monthly planning checklist
With detailed lesson plans offering an array of daily teaching options, you can cut your lesson planning down to a fraction of the time while still offering your preschoolers the best possible learning experience.
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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.