Best back to school games for teachers and homeschooling families! Educational activities that focus on skills, but ease kids back into a new school year. Great for back to school activities week to help start the year off right and make school fun this year!
Best Back To School Games For Teachers, Homeschool, and Co-Op
The first day of school is rarely productive for starting lessons. Why not creative games and activities that engage, get creative juices flowing, and help ease your way back into a new school year, while also promoting teamwork, practicing critical thinking, and using problem-solving skills in fun ways!
How do you welcome kids back to school?
- School Supply Mystery Bag Game
- Back-To-School Poetry Slam
- First Day Of School Icebreaker Bingo
- Book Scavenger Hunt
- Back To School Mad Libs
- Emoji Storytelling
- Chalk And Talk Back to School Game
- DIY Personal Memory Jar Time Capsule
- Back To School Garden
- Group Art Collaboration
- School Supply Scavenger Hunt
- Back To School Hangman
KEEP SCROLLING for back to school games for elementary students, preschool back to school activities, and even back to school games for high school activities! Tons of fun back to school game ideas below and fun fun back to school games for teachers / parents to do with kids!
Fun Ideas for Back To School Games For Teachers, Homeschool Co-Op, And Home School Activities
Here are creative school activities for students for your first week back at school — from fun back to school game ideas and hand-on activities to skill-building and team building activities. So ditch the lesson plans and add these first day of school activities everyone will love and fun school games for kids for the new year!
Creative Things To Do On The First Day Of School (or First Week of School Ideas)
Icebreaker Bingo: Create bingo cards with different statements or characteristics. Students have to find classmates who match each statement.
Back-To-School Poetry Slam: Have students write and perform their own poetry or spoken word pieces based on a theme.
School Supply Mystery Bag: Place different school supply objects inside a bag and have students reach inside, feel the objects, and guess what they are without looking. If they guess correctly, they get to keep that school supply item.
Book Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of specific books or book elements (e.g., a book with a blue cover) for students to find in the library.
Year-Long Garden: Teach students about gardening and growing. Plant window sill gardens and care for them throughout the year. Bonus if you grow something you can eat or use in recipes.
Human Knot: Students form a circle, cross their hands, and grab hands with two different people. They then have to untangle themselves without letting go. Great for team building skills!
Book Sensory Bins: Read a book and then let each student create a sensory bin based on the book.
About Me Poster: Have kids create an about me poster based on different facts (favorite color, favorite song, favorite food, something fun from the summer, etc.). Provide different materials to meet different styles – paint, fabric, crayons, markers, magazines and glue, etc.
Group Art Project: Working as a group, have students collaborate on a larger art project or mural from idea to finished product in a week or two (or, making it an ongoing project).
Emoji Storytelling: Use emojis as prompts for students to create their own stories or write a narrative.
DIY Weather Forecast: Assign students a city. Have students research the local weather for the week for that area. Then, they can create their own weather forecasts using green screens and video recording.
DIY Memory Jar Time Capsule: Have students decorate and fill a jar with slips of paper containing positive memories or moments from the summer and also goals they want to complete for the year or things they want to accomplish. Then, open them on the last day of school with an end of year party or last day of school party.
DIY Chalk Art And Talk: Take it outside! Let students create colorful artwork on pavement, driveway, or sidewalk with chalk. Or, have a chalk and talk where you talk about a concept or theme and let them draw it while you talk about it.
Marble Run: Let students build marble runs using marbles, tubes, and other pieces and test them to see which ones work best.
Scattergories: Provide categories (e.g., animals, colors, foods) and a letter. Students have to come up with words that fit the category and start with the given letter. (You can also grab the game to play.)
DIY Bookmarks: Have students create their own bookmarks, incorporating illustrations or quotes from their favorite books. USE THESE
Back-To-School Charades: Act out words or phrases that have to do with a back to school theme without speaking, and students guess what they are. Give out fun school supply prizes to winners.
DIY Board Game: Have students create their own board games based on a specific subject or theme or have them work together to create a board game. GET DIY BOARD GAME PIECES
Historical Role-Playing: Assign students historical figures to research and have them role-play conversations or debates.
Guess Who: Each student writes down an interesting fact about themselves on a piece of paper. The papers are collected and read aloud, and students guess who wrote each fact. Don’t want to make it personal? Grab this instead.
DIY Word Wall: Assign each student a word to research and create a visual representation to display on the class word wall.
Pictionary: Students draw pictures to represent words or phrases, and their teammates guess what they are. This is a fun team-building game. GET THE GAME
Team Building Towers: Provide students with various materials (e.g., marshmallows, toothpicks, plastic cups, craft sticks) and challenge them to build the tallest tower. Give funny prizes like to categories like tallest tower, ugliest tower, etc.
DIY Classroom Newspaper: Have students collaborate to create a classroom newspaper, covering current events and topics of interest.
MORE BACK TO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES: Happy First Day of Homeschool Activities and Ideas
Classroom Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items or places within the classroom for students to find. Give prizes for winners.
DIY Magnetic Poetry: Provide magnetic words and let students create poems or sentences on a magnetic surface. Give prizes for funny categories like shortest poem, funniest, wackiest, best word use, etc. THIS IS A GREAT KIT FOR THAT
School Supply Scavenger Hunt: Hide school supplies and give a list of hidden supplies. Any of the school supplies they find, they get to keep!
DIY Mad Libs: Create your own Mad Libs-style stories and have students fill in the missing words.
LEGO Challenges: Assign specific LEGO building challenges or themes for students to construct.
Simon Says Welcome Back! Game: Play the classic game of Simon Says, giving students commands to follow. It gets students up and moving and maybe shaking out the extra jitters from the first day.
Story Cubes: Provide students with a set of story cubes featuring different images. They roll the cubes and create a story based on the images that come up. (You can also make a theme like Harry Potter cubes.)
Balloon Pop Game: Attach questions or challenges to balloons. Students pop the balloons and complete the tasks inside.
Art Gallery Walk: Have students work on an art or creative piece during the week. As the end of the week, display students’ artwork around the classroom and have them explain their pieces to their classmates.
Guess the Sound: Play different sounds, such as animal noises or musical instruments, and have students guess what they are.
Memory Game: Place various items on a tray, let students study them for a short time, then cover the tray and see how many items they can remember.
DIY Escape Room: Create an escape room experience with puzzles and clues related to a specific topic (or get an escape room activity like this if you don’t want to make your own back to school escape room for teachers). This is a great way to ease back into problem solving skills.
ALSO CHECK OUT MORE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL FUN: Unique All About Me Activity Ideas For Back To School
Story Starters: Provide students with sentence starters, and they have to continue the story individually or in groups.
Create a Class Playlist: Have students suggest songs, create a class playlist, and discuss the reasons behind their choices.
DIY Mini-Golf Trivia: Set up a wacky mini-golf course using these and have students correctly answer trivia before taking a shot.
Classroom Olympics: Organize a series of mini-competitions or challenges in different subjects or skills. Make some silly and some practicing skills for the new year.
Tangram Challenges: Provide students with tangram puzzle pieces and ask them to recreate specific shapes or objects. You can also break out into teams, give each a puzzle, and see who solves their puzzle first. GET TANGRAMS
Minute to Win It: Set up a series of short challenges where students have one minute to complete each task. (You can use this if you don’t want to create your own.)
DIY Comic Strip: Have students create their own comic strips to tell a story or explain a concept or even about their summer.
DIY Trading Cards: Have students design trading cards featuring historical figures, literary characters, or scientific concepts.
Paper Airplane Contest: Have students design and test paper airplanes to see whose can fly the farthest or stay in the air the longest.
Guess the Picture: Display close-up pictures of objects or scenes (or things you’ll be studying for the upcoming academic year), and students have to guess what they are.
Jigsaw Puzzle Race: Split students into teams and provide each team with a jigsaw puzzle. The first team to complete the puzzle wins a prize.
DIY Quizzes: Have students research a theme or topic of interest and create their own quizzes with questions and answers for other students or for the teacher / parent! (Kids love when they can prove adults wrong!)
Geography Challenge: Ask students to identify countries, capitals, or landmarks on a map. You can also use a giant floor puzzle like this. Then, you can give hints or trivia and see if they can figure out the correct state and place it on the map.
Blindfold Drawing: Pair students up and have one student wear a blindfold while the other gives instructions for drawing a specific object.
DIY Storybook: Have students write and illustrate their own storybooks, then share them with the class.
DIY Classroom or Co-Op Time Capsule: Have students contribute items or messages to a time capsule to be opened at the end of the school year.
YOU’LL ALSO HAVE FUN WITH THIS FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL GIFT IDEA: How To Make a Back to School Cone (German Schultute)