Back To School Ideas

For my helper bulletin board, I use a medium color paper as the background then using a small hand as a pattern I cut handprint shapes out of vinyl placemats (solid colored). I take a picture of each child the 1st day of school and glue each one on a hand and put Velcro on the back. Under each helper heading (flag holder, leader, etc.) I put the other side of the Velcro to hold the hands in place for the day. At the end of the year the children get their “helping hands” I find this works very good for 2 to 5’s who may not recognize their own names or their classmates names!

At the beginning of the year, we take small group time to do a tour of the building and meet the people that the children will interact with during the year. I created a small “tour book” It is a 1/4 of a page of paper and at the bottom it has the person or place that we will be visiting and I give them a symbol. It is attached to a piece of string and hung around the students neck. I prearranged with individuals that the children will see during the year and gave them an idea of what I would like the children to know about them. These are people like the principal/director, janitor, other teachers. I give them stickers, made from mailing labels, with the same symbol as on the tour book page. When we visit that person, we get to meet them, find out what they do in our school and get a sticker from them (which the children match to the appropriate page in the tour book) and go on to the next. We also visit important rooms like the gym and the church. It gave us the opportunity to inform the children of what that particular room was used for and the rules. The final part of this small group activity was to send home a map of the school and include a brief description of the different places we visited and draw an arrow to that room on the map. There is quite a bit of prep to this activity but very informative to students and parents alike.

I got this idea from a Child Development Teacher who was also a preschool director. She brought in a Curious George stuffed animal on the first day of school and hid him. The children got a tour of the facility while they hunted for Curious George, going from room to room. Then after he was found, they discussed rules – with her saying “Curious George is curious. He wonders if it is okay to just walk outside whenever he wants to.” The kids get very involved in the discussion and it makes the boring ritual of setting down the law fun!

Have the children pick out a symbol in which they would like to have by their name. Whenever you write their name draw that symbol also. This works great when trying to get them to sit down for a story if you have a paper with their name and symbol on it taped to the floor. This will provide self esteem to those children because they can find their own name by that symbol. Once you take the symbol away after a period of time they should recognize their name without having the symbol.