Exciting Back to School Roundup for Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd Grades

I can’t believe it can you? Back-to-school time is already right around the corner! It’s a time of chaos, excitement, and a little bit of anxiety. Whether this is your first year teaching or you are a seasoned teacher, I have some fun BTS ideas that both you and the kids will love. These activities are easy to use in the classroom and at home. Take a look!

Back to School Read Alouds

Books, books, and more books! If you are anything like me, you love reading a book with EVERY activity that you do and back to school is no exception.

Here are 20 of my favorites for this time of year:

  • School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  • We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
  • First Day Jitters by Julie Danneburg
  • Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
  • The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
  • The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton
  • Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt
  • A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
  • Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker Christianne Jones
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  • Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry G. Allard & James Marshall
  • The Day the Crayons Quit
  • The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

What’s even better? I created a Read Aloud Literacy Companion for each of these titles and bundled them all together for you. Each companion has book pockets that go in the back of the books. These allow you to insert text-dependent questions and vocabulary words for students to use while they read.

There is also a read aloud reference guide that you can use while lesson planning. Just prep it ,once and use it year after year when you read the story to your class. Also included are ELA posters, vocabulary words and defitions, text based questions, writing prompts, interactive poster templates, and differentiated comprehension checks. Everything you need to get students thinking about the text.

Back to School Roundup
You can’t go wrong with any of these titles!

If you like those 20 titles, I have 20 more for you in my Back to School Read Aloud Bundle #2! Some of these titles include The Good Egg by Adam Rubin, Because by Mo Willems, and My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook.

Learn how to use each of the activities and more about what’s included in the packs by reading THIS BLOG POST.

Back to School Activities and Bulletin Board Idea

As students enter the room, they may recognize some familiar faces but many will be brand new. One way to build classroom community and to let kids get to know one another is by completing a partner activity. I like to use this Friendship Puzzle to promote teamwork. It’s simple to prep and the kids love coloring the pieces with a partner. When it’s complete, their hard work makes a great bulletin board display.

Back to School Roundup
These always turn out so nice and make really fun bulletin board displays.

This activity is included in my Back to School Activity pack, along with many other resources. I have one for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. You will also find:

  • Jitter Juice Activities
  • Class Survey
  • Getting to know you Ice Breaker
  • New Friends Class Book
  • Writing Activity
  • What’s In A Backpack Craft
  • Back to School Paper Crowns (4 designs to choose from)
  • Paper friendship bracelets
  • Collaborative Friendship Puzzles (3 designs to choose from)
  • and other fun activities.
Back to School Roundup
Kids will love taking these home at the end of their first day of school!

Click on the grade level below to find your activities:

Back to School
Kids love writing a list of everything they need to succeed at the start of the new school year.

Throw Back to School Activities

The key to creating a positive classroom culture is to have activities that invite students to collaborate and ignite passion while they work. I created a pack of Throw Back to School Activities that incorporate fun games but also work on those important skill sets in the classroom. These include things like setting expectations, modeling behaviors, team-building, supporting individuality, and so much more.

One of the activities in this pack is a team-building Tetris game. The kids will work with a partner to fit all of their Tetris puzzle pieces onto the game board. It’s a great way to make new friends during that first week of school and to team-build. I always find that activities like these bring out new friends and a new appreciation for one another in our classroom community. Read more about the games included in this pack in my Throw Back to School Activities post.

Back to School Roundup
Laminate the pieces so you can use them again and again.

Read Aloud Freebies for BTS

Any book told in rhyme is a favorite book of mine. I love the sing-song rhyme scheme of Sounds Like School Spirit by Lucy Ruth Cummins. I like it so much that I created activities to go with it and I want you to have access. Check out the FREE activities that pair with this read-aloud and use them in your classroom during the back-to-school week.

Back to School Roundup
Tons of fun ideas to use with this amazing story. It will quickly become one of your favorites each year.

Meet the Teacher Display

I love sharing my life with my students and one of the best ways to do it is by making a reusable poster that I can hang up during those first weeks. I laminate the template and then use a dry erase marker to fill in any fun information about myself that students might like to know.

This pack comes with a variety of topics to choose from and that can even be used to get to know students. Laminate a blank poster and then pick a different student every day to learn about. Also included in this pack are transportation posters, posters about other teachers in the school (music teacher, etc), ways to be a friend poster, and more. Check it all out here.

Back to School Roundup
Leave it up all year long or just for a few weeks. It’s a nice poster to have displayed for students, staff, and parents to see.

I know you will have an AMAZING back-to-school season with your students. Using the fun activities listed in this post, your classroom will be a-buzz with community and motivation to succeed.


Abby is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher who channels her passion for education into creating engaging activities and resources for the kindergarten and first grade classroom. When not dreaming up or working on her next project, you’ll find her enjoying her family – most likely in her minivan on the way to a soccer field.


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Hi, I'm Abby

Hi, I’m Abby! Thanks for stopping by. I love supporting kindergarten and first grade teachers with engaging, skill-based activities that are easy to use in their classrooms. Let me help you be the best teacher you can be!
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