Back To School Ideas

For September, we take Polaroid pictures of the children and place them on red apples made from card stock paper. We entitle our board “I am the apple of God’s eye”. the children enjoy looking at their pictures during the first month of preschool.

I am a teacher for a cooperative preschool, so every year I instruct the parents on the importance of play, as they parent help monthly in the classroom. One thing I do is pass around a real apple, then I have the parents help me list everything they could do with that apple…taste it, smell it, cut it, make it into applesauce or juice, etc. Then I pass around a plastic apple, and we go through the list crossing out everything we can’t do with the plastic apple that we could do with the real apple. Then I pass out a coloring sheet with an apple on it and we go through the list again, crossing off all the things we cannot do with the paper apple. Lastly, I pass out a piece of paper with the word “apple” written on it. At this point most of the list is crossed off. After this activity, I explain to parents how important it is for preschoolers to have hands on experiences. I explain how much more they can learn by exploring their world. It is a really great way to show adults how preschoolers learn.

One of my favorite ways to open the school year is with a hand puppet. I bring “him” in as a special guest. This seems to bring some security to pre-schoolers who see the puppet as a friend. This is also a good way to practice our manners and good behavior for the times when real guests are visiting the classroom.

At the beginning of the year I let the children write the classroom rules to reinforce that we are a group and we work together. I stress that the safety of the children is what they should think about when writing these rules. To make them positive statements, rather than a lot of don’ts I have everyone do a painted footprint on a large sheet of paper and label it “Our Feet Can” – the children supply the rest (ex. be on the floor not on the furniture – walk in the classroom, etc.). We then do a handprint paper labeled “Our Hands Can” and we stamp lip prints on another piece of paper labeled “Our Mouths Can”. We hang these in our meeting area and refer to them all year long.