21. Time Capsule
Create a time capsule as soon as school reopens. Let students write about their goals for the year or term. For instance, the grades they want to attain, the co-curricular activities they wish to join and so forth.
Before you lock their answers in a box, allow them to tell the class of their answers. Open the time capsule by the end of the school year.
22. Beach Ball Introductions
Sit your students in a circle and throw a beach ball at the closest student. Students will share information about themselves using the sentence that both their pointer fingers are nearest to.
You can use a marker pen (preferably permanent markers).
- Write the first half of the sentence on one side of the ball
- Write the word for the second half of the science on the opposite side.
- Left side: This vacation I ________
- Right side: During
- They can answer with something along the lines of “This vacation, I went to the zoo during the month of December)
23. Autograph Scavenger Hunt
Give the scavenger hunt sheet and sit back. Your students will work themselves into a frenzy as they attempt to find a new classmate for each activity. It is bound to get loud (not that there is anything wrong with that) and it won’t just break the ice but completely smash it open!
24. Silent Line-Up
Silent Line-up works well as both a first day of school activity and for when your kids need a break from the books.
Simply ask your students to line up by the day of their birth (January to December). The plot twist? They can’t talk. They will have to use sign language, their fingers or a combination of it all to line up in the right order. Be warned, for younger kids, it can take some time to line up!
Once they have finally lined up in the right order, ask them to do it again in the opposite order (December to January) but allow them to talk to each other. As you may suspect, the second task with talking will finish quicker. When it’s done, discuss how tasks and activities can be completed sooner when people effectively converse and communicate.
The day of birth isn’t the only criteria you can use; shoe size, height, and first name in alphabetical order are some other ideas to consider.
25. Everyone loves a compliment!
This is a light hearted confidence boosting activity that will encourage everyone to share compliments with each other.
Tape a blank sheet of paper to every student’s back. Each classmate must then think of a compliment to write on it. When it’s done for everyone in the class, instruct your students to remove the paper and read out the compliments to the class!
26. Discover each student’s learning style
If you are handling an older grade, this is an excellent activity to try out. Use the first day of school to find how each student learns. You can find several learning style inventories with a quick search online. Use a multiple intelligences assessment to find the different ways that students learn.
Other than the obvious benefits to you, this motivates and encourages students who have constantly struggled with studies as they will discover things they excel at. In addition to that, it’s a great opportunity to address the common “I am dumb/he is dumb” accusations that crop up sooner or later.
27. Decorate the classroom
One of the most productive get to know you games for kids is classroom decoration. Invite the students to help you decorate the classroom in their style. This sends a message that you value their ideas and welcome their efforts.
Split the class into groups of four (depending on how many walls you have!) and designate a wall to each group. Give them the necessary materials like markers, tape and posters. To really personalize it, ask them to come with a goal and summarize it in a couple of words. If it’s good, you can go ahead with it.
28. Back to School “Survival” Bags
Another great idea for the first day of school is to make treat bags for your students. It does sound like a lot of work but it can go a long way in proving to your new students that the classroom for the upcoming year is one that is both caring and welcoming – it can go a long way in easing nerves and ensuring everyone gets along with each other. I would generally place the bags on the desks early on before students walk into class. Each bag has the student’s name on it with a note that says “Your Grade 3 Survival Kit!
This mysterious note ensures they remain excited and curious as to what is inside the bag but don’t let them open it until they are about to leave for the day. At the end of the day, take the items out one by one and discuss the meaning it’s supposed to convey. Do make sure that the items you choose will put students in the right frame of mind and indicate to them that they are in a caring classroom.
By now, it is very clear that smartphones and social media are going to dominate the lives of every generation. This fun little activity reminds the students of this fact. As this Pinterest pin shows, there are plenty of ways to be creative and create your very own art-phone. You can switch it up; ask students to make an Instagram wall, social media profile or chat session, the options are endless!
30. Fit in puzzle
Begin by creating a large blank puzzle that you can adorn the classroom wall with. Hand a blank piece to every student in the classroom and ask them to decorate each piece with something that appeals to them. It could be their favorite superhero, animal or a little fact about themselves. Once everyone has completed, piece together the puzzle with the students and hang it up on the wall.
Here are 31 activities which you can use to help your students with start-of-the-school socialization. With the mentioned activities, you and your learners’ first days in school will be fantastic!
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