Back to School Activities: 3 Games You Have to Try

It is almost the first week of school! I’m sure you’re stressing over getting your classroom ready, preparing for open house, and planning lessons. Honestly, planning for the first week of school is so stressful! There is so much to get done, and the first week sets the tone for the year. Thankfully, I’ve got you covered with 3 back to school activities you have to try! You will love putting these must-have, student-favorite activities in your elementary lesson plans! 

Back to School Activities

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First Week Activities 

These 3 back to school activities incorporate aspects students love! Each one has students up and moving. Honestly, this is so important as students have been running around all summer. Additionally, they involve talking, which is so important! Many students have not seen each other all summer, so socialization is key. On top of this, they involve zero prep for the teacher! Yes, zero prep! You can put these activities into your lesson plans and be ready for the first week.  For more great first week activities, check out back to school read alouds and activities

Back to School Activities #1: Four Corners 

Four Corners is a fantastic way to get students out of their seats. It helps get out some of the first week of school wiggles and giggles! Best of all, this activity helps everyone get to know each other even better. 

You can take this activity far and make a PowerPoint, or you can keep it simple and make it a verbal activity. It is completely up to you. Either way, you present a question or topic and give four choices. Then, each corner of the room represents a choice. Students will think about the question, such as their favorite dessert, select their answer, and move to the matching corner. Students then have 60 seconds to talk with the other students in that corner. Honestly, this is a fantastic way to build relationships with each other! 

Again, you can totally make your own game with your own questions. Or, you can use my Four Corner Back to School Game. This has everything ready for you! 

Back to School Activities: Four Corners

Back to School Activities #2: This or That 

I love playing this game during back to school activities with my kids! It is one of my absolute favorite games. I even play this during the first month of school, where we just have those five random minutes, or we are standing in line waiting for lunch. It is that easy to prepare! You can play this on the fly with ideas from your mind or your kids! 

I like to start with something simple, such as cats or dogs. Students then identify which they prefer. If we play in the classroom, I have students stand in the middle. Then, they would move to one side or the other based on their answer. They can even come to the middle line and talk to each other. This is another excellent way to get students to talk to each other. As long as they get up and move, it is a bonus to the game. 


Are you looking for reading activities to start the year? Check out the Back to School Close Reads! Students will learn all about bus safety, being a good friend, homework, and picking the right books!


Back to School Activities #3: Find Someone Who… 

You will want to put this game in your lesson plans! It is fun and helps highlight your students ’ experiences and things they’ve done over the summer. Ultimately, it helps every classmate learn who their friends are as people. It respects individuality and tons of different interests. 

Students will find someone based on different aspects. This may be someone who played in a sports tournament over the summer, traveled to another country or state, or who is an only child. Honestly, there are tons of aspects to include during this fun game! 

Just like the other 3 back to school activities you have to try, this one works off the top of your head. You can just be standing there waiting for the announcements or the next activity and begin shouting things out. This lets students talk, make groups, and learn about their classmates.

Find a Friend Who Icebreaker Activity

These 3 back to school activities you have to try are perfect for the elementary classroom! They help your kids get to know each other, help you get to know your kids, and help them have fun! They get out their wiggles and giggles, interact, and move around their new classroom. Students will love the first week of school with these activities! 

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Back to School Activities


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I’m a wife, a mommy of 3, blogger, and a full time teacher author and presenter. I love to read, shop, and spend time with my family! My hands are always busy, but my heart is so full!

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