85+ First Week of Preschool Activities

by | Jun 27, 2024

The first day of preschool is our children’s first experience of a school setting. It’s important they have the best experience and have a memorable time with engaging first day of preschool activities.

Have you been wondering how you will keep your preschoolers engaged, learning and having fun? I am going to provide your one stop shop to accomplish this.

Using weekly themes helps students learn concepts by repetition and also give teachers ideas of how to teach topics and skills in a fun way. Use these ideas to create a fun plan for your learners.

Did you know?

All the printables included in this plan are free of charge with the Teaching Littles Membership OR from other generous bloggers.

I have tried to include as many activities in various categories for your preschool lesson plans. Of course, most activities may overlap into multiple categories.

I’ve included information about each activity, but you may need to click the link for more information. All activities that require instructions have an active link that you can click directly from the PDF if you have internet connection.

There are resources for varying levels of students from ages 2-5. You’ll have to use your discretion on age and level to decide which activities will be appropriate.

Related Post: Zoo Animal Activities for Preschool

Literacy Activities

Early literacy plays a huge role in shaping your students future learning and academic success. Helping children develop their vocabulary, work on expressing themselves and learn how to read are all tools they need to become great readers and learners.

Name Bus Printable

Have student write their name in the bus with 1 letter in each window. If needed, teacher can write the letters with a hi-lighter and student can trace with pencil or crayon.

Back to School Wordstrips

These word cards are great for emerging readers & spellers. You can place them in a pocket chart for easy display or simply paste them to the wall. 

Alphabet Order Puzzle (Printable)

Use this simple puzzle for students to place the alphabet letters in order. This activity is an added bonus as Pete the Cat and back to school theme.

Beginning Letter Sound Match (Printable)

Have students find the image that represents the beginning letter sound and put them together to complete the image.

Letter Match (Printable)

Have your students match upper & lower case letters and their sounds with this fun literacy activity. 

Letter Sounds Match (Printable)

To play this ABC Game, students will match the lowercase wheels with the correct bus. The bus has both the uppercase, capital letter and pictures that have the same beginning sound.

Rhyming Word Match (Printable)

Cut the pieces out and have students identify the word for each picture, then find the matching rhyming word to complete the image.

School Letter Maze (Printable)

This maze has students identifying capital and lowercase letters  from start to finish. This is a great way to review letter recognition and get kids excited for the school year ahead!

Worksheets for Preschool

Cut and Paste Book (Printable)

As students create their book, they will learn concepts of print and build their beginning reading skills by reading the repetitive text too. 

Sight Word Game (Printable)

For this sight word activity, your children will pick one of the pencil cards. Next, they will read the sight word on it as they “feed” it or put it in the pencil pouch.

Fine Motor

Developing fine motor skills will help your students do things like eating, writing, manipulating objects and getting dressed. Fine motor skills are not only important in school but for their everyday life.

Related Post: Why are Fine Motor Skills Important?

Cutting Strips (Printable)

Have students cut on the lines to practice scissor skills. Be sure that they’re cutting while holding their thumb up to the sky and holding the paper with their supporting hand.

Tissue Paper School Bus (Template)

Scrunching the tissue paper is excellent for working those tiny hand muscles for fine motor skills. You’ll need plenty of glue and yellow, red, and black tissue paper to make this fun and fluffy tissue paper bus craft.

Tracing Pictures (Traceable)

Have students trace the back to school images as they work on fine motor skills and pencil control.

Name Writing Practice (Editable & Printable)

With this Canva template, you can type in student’s names and print them out. Use the names on pencils to hang around the classrooms, or have student’s copy writing their name below.

First Day Coloring Sheets (Printable)

Students work on fine motor strengthening as they color pictures for the First Day of School. There are options for Preschool, TK, kindergarten as well.

Color by Letter (Printable)

Have students review and recognize letters while also practicing their fine motor skills of coloring in the lines with these school-inspired worksheets. Also includes, glue, bus, books, and more.

Pipe Cleaner Beading

In a fine motor tub, place a bowl of  beads along with pipe cleaners. Have students string the beads along the pipe cleaner for a great fine motor task.

Worksheets (Printable)

This packet of back-to-school themed worksheets features plenty of prctice with fine motor skills, inaddition to math and literacy concepts as well.

Place Stickers on a Line

Having students peel on and off stickers is one of the best fine motor tasks for pincer grasp. This activity is so simple in that you can draw any line or shape on a piece of paper and have students place dot stickers along that line.

Word Building Work (Printable)

This activity requires transparent spinners (Amazon) which makes it super easy to have students spin, land on a word, create the word with letter manipulatives, and then write the word on their own.

Movement & Gross Motor

Movement and gross motor skills are the building blocks for so many skills your students need. These skills will be necessary to provide the right opportunities in sports, games, school, and other physical activities.

Movement Brain Breaks (Printable)

These movement brain break cards are a fun, sensory break that gets students out of their seats for a few minutes. 

Exercise Cards (Printable)

Print and cut these cards out and use them in a variety of ways: Put them in a jar. When your student gets the wiggles, let them choose one and act out the card.

Tape Hop

This activity is so simple, yet fun. If you have students that have yet to learn how to hop (which is common for preschoolers) or merely need to get some energy out, try this!

Musical Chalk Colors

This activity must be done outside. First, get a large box of chalk and draw a large circle. Then, section off the circle in about ten different sections. Fill in each section with a color. Find a favorite song and invite your kids to come outside. When the music stopped, everyone ran to grab an item outside that was the same color they had landed on.

Tap the Balloon

Blow up a few balloons. Draw with a permenant marker either shapes, numbers, or letters. Tie a string to the end of the balloons and hang them from the ceiling just low enough that your students can reach them.

Sensory & Science

Introducing Sensory and Science will be the perfect way to keep your students engaged. Exploring their 5 senses with science will be something you can implement daily with these activities below.

Back to School Slime

Mix your 3 ingredient slime together in a bowl. You’ll need glue, baking soda, and contact lens solution along with yellow food dye. Kids will love this gooey sensory activity.

Melting Science Experiment

This back to school science activity will impress kids as they watch the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar to melt the school bus!

Number Match Sensory Bin (Printable)

For this activity, you can use any sensory bin you wish. Place one set of numbers in the bin so the student has to dig through the sensory bin to find it. 

Magic Play Doh

For this activity, you can make your own play doh or use store bought. Wrap Place it in a plastic baggie and explain to students that once they start to play with it, if it changes colors, they will have a great year. As they pinch and play, the inside color will slowly come out. They will be amazed!

Sensory Balloons

Make these DIY sensory balloons by adding any sensory filler including cloud dough, beads, beans, play doh, sand, and more. Kids will love squeezing these and they can even draw a face on them too!

Fun & Games

It’s all fun and games until… that’s it. It really is all fun and games! Kids learn terrific through play so why not apply the games into learning and keep them enjoying the day with it applied to their first day of preschool activities.

Back to School Bingo (Printable)

To play this 1st day of school bingo all you need is the free printable (below.) Simply cut apart the sheet of calling cards and put in a ziplock bag or hat. Then cut the pages with bingo boards apart to make 2 game boards per page.

Classroom Scavenger Hunt (Printable)

Get your students learning about all the places and items in their new classroom with this fun scavenger hunt for the first day or first week of school.

“I have, Who has” Game (Printable)

This is a fast-paced and fun vocabulary building game, as well as an ice breaker for students! These should be easy picture cards for students to say the name of the picture instead of reading the word.

Memory Match (Printable)

Take turns flipping over two cards at a time. If they match, that person keeps those cards and takes another turn. If the cards didn’t match, they turned them back over and then it was the other person’s turn.

Pretend Play Classroom

In a dramatic play center, have students pretend play in a teacher role. They can pretend to have their students line up, do their work, wash hands, etc. They will love playing teacher!

Visual Perception & Visual Motor

Are you looking for different ways to make a difference visually for your students? You will find different ways below to really get the wheels turning in their developing brains.

Dab of Glue (Printable)

Having students place a small dab of glue on a dot will help them understand how little glue is needed for projects, as well as use their hand eye coordination to place the glue right on the dot.

School Supply Tracing (Printable)

This activity targets fine and visual motor skills and tracing with a back to school theme. The student will start at the arrow and trace to the end from picture to picture. This product can be laminated for multiple uses!

I Spy (Printable)

You can have students use a magnifying glass to find some very small images, which adds an extra level of fun and mystery to the game. Have students cross off each image as they count, then write the final number at the bottom of the sheet.

Letter Search (Printable)

Your student will work on recognizing letters by their shapes and matching capital and lowercase letters as they search for letters on the pencil by picking up a letter from the pile, matching it, then covering it.

Q-Tip Apple Painting (Printable)

Using inexpensive q-tips as paint brushes, can be a great way to add color to your paper while also improving visual motor skills. 


Mathematics is something that will never change and introducing it with first day of preschool activities gives such a great head start. Take a look at these fun and creative methods of teaching math.

Counting Number Mats (Printable)

Use these mats for students to count manipulatives. They can use either version with a visual aide or not. Have them place the same number of manipulatives in the circles or on the mat as the number shown on top.

Shape Pencil Craft

Since learning shapes is a math lesson for preschoolers, this is a hands-on way to teach them shapes. Cut out rectangles, triangles, and squares from yellow, pink, brown, and black construction paper. Paste them together to form a pencil.

Number Match (Printable)

Print this activity and have students match the number of crayons to the correct number.

Shape Match (Printable)

Teach shapes and colors with this fun themed activity. Cut to size or have students do some of the cutting on the line. Have them match each shape to its corresponding card.

Number Roll & Cover (Printable)

For this activity, you’ll need transparent spinners that you can simply place over the board to have students spin for a number.

School Patterns (Printable)

Choose pattern images and cut out each square. Have students make their own patterns from the images. You can also start a pattern for them and have them finish.

Count the Room (Printable)

First, hide the number cards around the classroom. Then, the students will move around the room with their clipboard, pencil, and worksheet finding the number cards. Once they find a card, they will count the stop signs in the ten frames. Then, find the corresponding ten frames on their worksheet and write or trace the number. Continue until they find all the numbers.

Number Towers (Printable)

Students will use one color linking cubes to create a tower on the left side of the domino and another color on the right side to match the number represented.

School Bus Measurement (Printable)

Simply print the school bus measuring cards and have learners use non-standard measuring units such as snap cubes, paperclips, blocks, or the apple ruler included in the printable to measure.

Crayon Color Learning (Printable)

Kids will learn colors, color words, and strengthen fine motor skills with this adorable crayon box craft.  Take the crayon box template and cut, color, & paste to make a crayon box craft while they learn their colors.

Arts & Crafts

Make a memorable start to the year with first day of preschool activities that involve arts and crafts. Not only will your students love these activities but the parents are going to have keepsakes forever.

Handprint Craft (Printable)

Add the year as a memorable keepsake. Comes with versions for Preschool, Pre-K, or Daycare.

Pencil Picture Craft (Template)

This craft uses popsicle sticks arranged to create a pencil, paint, and the student’s photo pasted on the front. 

Popsicle Stick Schoolhouse

For this craft, you’ll make a schoolhouse with popsicle sticks, paint them red, decorate with stickers as you wish, and add the student’s first day photo in it.

Toilet Paper Roll Crayon Template

You’ll need different colored card stock to wrap around a toilet paper roll to make this craft. After that, cut the pieces from the template, wrap around, then finish off with a face!

Toilet Paper Roll Crayons Craft

Paper Plate School Bus Shapes

Cut a paper plate in half and paint or color it yellow to start this paper plate shapes school bus project.. Then, add square and triangle windows and circle wheels to complete it.

School Bus Suncatcher 

For this activity, you’ll need to trace a shape of a school bus on clear contact paper sticky side facing up. Have student place yellow colored tissue paper all around and black paper for wheels and windows. Add contact paper to the top to close it off. Hang up in a window for display.

“The Kissing Hand” Book Handprint Craft (Printable) 

This craft is so sweet and bound to bring parents to tears. Paint student’s hands except a little heart in the middle. The quote tells parents that when their child has a tough time leaving them, they can just hold their hand as they leave, place it over the hand, and kiss it. Then it will feel like they are with them all day.

First Day of Preschool Hats (Printable)

Simply print whichever style you like and let preschoolers color their hat with crayon, markers, colored pencils, or whatever art supply you like best. Then cut out the two parts of the hat outlined in the solid lines. Finally, tape the bands together to make the perfect size First Day of School Hat for your preschooler!

Popsicle Stick School Bus 

Lay FIVE popsicle sticks next to each other in a line. Grab the remaining THREE popsicle sticks and glue them the opposite direction to create the body of the school bus. Once dry, have children paint their popsicle stick shape however they like with the yellow paint as the body and the black/pink for the face. Cut out and paste shapes for window and wheels.

Pool Noodle Pencil 

You’ll need a yellow and red pool noodle, silver duct tape, and sidewalk. Cut the pool noodles to size and tape them together. Make a hole in the bottom of the pencil and insert chalk into it. This can even write like a real pencil and kids will love it!

Discussions & Graphing

Setting the expectations on the first day of preschool will get your students ready for an organized year. Above all, there is no better way to ensure the class is set with a good routine than getting them ready for consistent discussions, expectations and procedures.

Review Routines, Expectations, and Procedures

Teaching Arrival and Dismissal Routines

  • How will students greet their teacher/classmates each morning?
  • Where should they unpack when they come into the classroom?
  • Where do backpacks, lunch, jackets, etc. go?
  • Where will they sit?
  • What do they do with their homework? If it needs to be turned in, is there a turn-in bin?
  • What do they do as soon as they unpack? Will they have morning work?
  • Where will their supplies go at the end of the day?
  • How should the desks and classroom look like before everyone leaves?
  • Where will they go at the end of the day?
  • What procedures will bus riders versus pick up students follow?

Review Schedule of the Day and Transitions

  • Explain and model what your day-to-day will look.
  • Have a schedule of the day visible for students at all times
  • Use pictures if needed for a visual aide.
  • Discuss how students will transition from one subject to the next
  • What “attention getter” signals will you use for cleaning up and transitioning? ie. alarm, bell, clapping, etc.
  • Model how to line up when transitioning
  • Model and practice procedures for lunch
  • Explain restroom procedures and expectations

Explain Behavior Management & Classroom Expectations

  • Introduce classroom rules or expectations with your students.
  • Review your behavior management system and how it will be utilized within your classroom.
  • Discuss any reward systems, rewards/consequences
  • How will behaviors be monitored?
  • Voice level expectations

Discuss Any Special Classes They May Visit

  • What subjects are the specials and what will they learn?
  • Who will be the teachers and on what days/times?

Discuss Any Classroom Roles

  • What jobs can students have in the classroom? Ie, weather person, flag holder, paper sorter, etc.
  • Expecations when work is finished early

Explain How to Use Classroom Tools, Toys, and Supplies

  • What tools students should bring of their own and what classroom tools will be shared
  • Where classroom tools are stored and organized and how they should be cleaned up
  • What supplies should be stored at their desks
  • Who and when to use community supplies
  • Pencil sharpening procedures


The best way to keep kids having fun and learning? Preschool activities that involves breaking into song and dance! Let’s get the wiggles out while working on memorization. Below are some awesome songs to start the year off with.

“Name Song”

Higgelty, wiggelty, bumblebee. Who can say their name for me?

(child says name)

Let’s all say it (name)

Let’s clap and say it (name)

Let’s whisper it (name)

“First Day of School” sung to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot

Goo-oo-d morning, how are you?

This is the very first day of school.

I’m so glad to meet you,

others will be too,

just come in the classroom,

there’s lots of things to do.

“Brand New Year” sung to the tune of London Bridge

It’s time to start a brand new year, Brand new year, brand new year,

It’s time to start a brand new year, Welcome new friends.

We’ll learn lots of brand new things, Brand new things, brand new things,

We’ll learn lots of brand new things

Let’s get started now.

“Off to School We Go” sung to the tune of: A-hunting we will go

Off to school we go, It’s off to school we go,

We’ll take our lunch and ride the bus, With everyone we know.

Off to school we go, It’s off to school we go,

We learn our ABC’s and more, With everyone we know.

“We Like to Come to School” sung to the tune of: “The farmer in the dell”

We like to come to school,

We like to come to school

Our school is such a happy place,

We like to come to school.

“Bring Your Smile to Preschool”

Bring your smiles everyone. Hop on down for some preschool fun.

Singing, dancing, playing too; lots of fun for me and you.

Running and jumping in the sun, exercise is so much fun.

Bring your smiles everyone, hop on down for some preschool fun.

“Important Rules” Sung To: “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

Here are rules for you and me, See how important they can be.

Always be honest, be kind and fair. Always be good and willing to share.

These are rules that we should know, And follow these rules wherever we go.

“ABC School Year Chant”

A B C D E School is where I want to be.

F G H I J Learning to read and write each day.

K L M N O Boys and girls I want to know.

P Q R S T Sharing books with you and me.

U V W X Y Now it’s time to say goodbye.

Z Z Z Z Z School is where I want to be.

“We Welcome You” sung to the tune of: “Mary Had A Little Lamb”

We welcome you to school today, School today, school today

We welcome you to school today, Please come in and play

We’re glad to have you here today, Here today, here today

We’re glad to have you here today, Yes, it’s a special day

“Little Children” sung to the tune of: ”

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

Little children, how are you? Keep a smile all day through

Come to school to dance and play. Paint a picture of your day

Little children sing along. Keep a smile all day long

Books to Read Aloud

Are you looking to add to your book shelf and have some great preschooler starters? I have listed some of my favorites and I think you all will enjoy them too.

“The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.

“David Goes to School” by David Shannon 

David’s teacher has her hands full. From running in the halls to chewing gum in class, David’s high-energy antics fill each school day with trouble — and are sure to bring a smile to even the best- behaved reader.

“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. 

In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no—Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom!

“How Full is Your Bucket” by Tom Rath 

Each of us has an invisible bucket. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful. In this book, Felix sees how every interaction in a day either fills or empties his bucket. Felix then realizes that everything he says or does to other people fills or empties their buckets as well. Felix learns to be a great bucket filler, and in the process, discovers that filling someone else’s bucket also fills his own.

“First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneburg 

Sarah Jane has that sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach—she’s nervous and doesn’t want to start a new school year. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. Sarah Jane reluctantly heads to class. Shy at first, she’s quickly befriended by her teacher and is reminded that everyone at school gets the jitters sometimes.

“Our Class is a Family” by Shannon Olsen 

Teachers build a sense of community within their classrooms, create a home away from home where they make their students feel safe, included, and loved. With its heartfelt message and colorfully whimsical illustrations, this is a book that will help build and strengthen that class community. Kids learn that their classroom is a place where it’s safe to be themselves, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s important to be a friend to others.

“Time for School, Mouse” by Laura Numeroff 

In this board book, Mouse searches high and low for his homework, finding lots of other things in the process. Time for School, Mouse! teaches kids new words while celebrating the fun of going to school! This board book with sturdy pages is perfect for preschoolers and toddlers.

“You’re So Bright” by Rose Rossner” 

Celebrate remarkable little ones, with this book combining popular school and craft supplies with charming rhymes and inspiring messages of love and encouragement, this punny and heartfelt board book is just the write book for the start of the school year.

“How to Get Your Teacher Ready” by Jean Rega 

The kids are in charge as they learn how to get your teacher ready for back to school. A class of adorable students gives tips and tricks for getting a teacher ready—for the first day of school, and all the events and milestones that will follow. Filled with charming role-reversal humor, this is a playful and heartwarming celebration of teachers and students.

“The Crayons Go Back to School” by Drew DeWalt 

The crayons are getting ready to go back to school, and each crayon has a subject they’re looking forward to the most. They’re also ready to meet new friends. . . and let loose during their very favorite time of day: art class. A humorous, small hardcover back-to-school story from everyone’s favorite school supplies.

“The Book with No Pictures” by B.J. Novak 

Kids find this book hilarious so it is a great way to start off the school year. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .BLORK. Or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again.

“How to Dinosaurs Go to School?” by Jane Yolen 

Everyone’s favorite dinosaurs are going to school. Fun dinosaur antics await as these prehistoric pupils are in a class of their own with their rambunctious natures.

“My Mouth is a Volcano” by Julia Cooke 

Louis always interrupts! But when others begin to interrupt Louis, he learns how to respectfully wait for his turn to talk. This book takes an empathetic approach to the habit of interrupting & teaches children a witty technique to help them manage their rambunctious thoughts & words. Told from Louis’ perspective, this story provides kids with an entertaining way to learn the value of respecting others by listening & waiting for their turn to speak.

“How Will I Get to School This Year?” by Jerry Pallotta

Embarrassed by getting dropped off at school by mom or dad or taking the bus? If you could choose, how would you get to school? In this book, you’ll playfully imagine all of the different ways a child could get to school from jumping with frogs to riding on the back of an elephant.

“Pete the Kitty’s First Day of Preschool” by James Dean 

It’s a big day for Pete the Kitty: his first day of preschool! He meets his cool teacher, sings a few fun songs, and gets to paint. Who knew preschool could be so much fun? Just don’t forget your groovy backpack and yummy snack! Little ones will enjoy exploring what the first day of school is like with Pete the Kitty.

Teacher Resources

Are you interested in amping up your current resources for preschool activities? Look no further as I have you taken care of with ease. Have fun exploring new options to enhance yours and your preschoolers experiences.

Behavior Punch Cards (Printable)

At the end of the day, use these to stamp each students’ card based on the color that they earned. You can give each student all the colors and have them mean different things for behaviors or just one color and they get punches when they have good behavior.

Hallway Transition Posters (Printable)

Grab these 11 different signs and sayings for hallway transitions. There are fun slogans to help teach students how to keep their mouths quiet and hands to themselves while transitioning.

6 Fun and Simple Hallway Transitions - KindergartenWorks

Ready Confetti for the Night Before the First Day (Printable) 

Build relationships before the first day of school with these sweet back to school poems! Print, fold, and attach a small bag of “jitter glitter” or “ready confetti” to give to students. Mail these to students before school to read them on the night before the first day of school.

Meet the Teacher (Editable & Printable)

This editable template makes the start of the school year more organized for you as a teacher and your families. You can give this out the first week of school so parents can get to know you better. You’ll make a great first impression among both parents, students, and other educators

Bathroom Rules (Printable)

Use these posters for students to learn bathroom rules. Hang them by the restroom or make a small book for them to learn.

The first day of preschool activities are very special for our students. Setting the right tone for their first day of preschool is going to make a lasting mark on their growing minds.

Enjoy a new year with those smiling faces and be ready for the fun of learning through these preschool activities. Embrace the challenges of learning new skills and watch all them grow throughout a wonderful year with you.

Want all of these awesome activities in one easy-to-access location? Try our Starting School Lesson Plans!

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