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First-Day-Of-School Activities To Try This School Year 2021

01 September 2021

As soon as you see those colorful back-to-school signs appear at your local stores, summer officially ends around August. There is a great deal of anticipation for what is about to come for new teachers who are just starting in the business. Some veterans may have that sensation you get when you accidentally run a red light, or you are ready and prepared for the first week of school. Whatever that sensation is for you, you must do some really important things before starting a new school year, and it does not include setting down all of the rules. The first day of school will be a whirlwind of activity and delight for both instructors and children.

When creating lesson plans for the new school year, it can be enticing to plunge right into the math and reading curriculum. But there's always so much to do, and time seems to be running out. However, it is essential to schedule time for social-emotional exercises early on. When these occur within the first few weeks of school, they can make a substantial difference for your students. Making friends in school is one of the most critical determinants of happy educational experiences. Students who have friends in class often rate their school experiences positively, whereas students who do not have peers frequently report being dissatisfied at school. You can implement get-to-know-you exercises as a teacher to assist students in bonding as much as feasible. 

The first day of school is always stressful, no matter how experienced you are, whether you've been teaching for years or this is your first day as a full-time educator. Keeping this in mind, you should continually evaluate what first-day-of-school initiatives can encourage introductions, start students talking, and establish the tone for effective classroom management. Interacting on the first week of school can dramatically boost your students' educational path far beyond their time in your classroom. Students whose schools include socio-emotional curricula frequently have enhanced interpersonal skills, conduct, and even school performance. In the long run, social-emotional learning is associated with better quality of life, improved mental health, and lower reckless behavior in older kids. Get inspired by these first-day-of-school exercises and try them out. They're simple and sure to relieve tension on a bustling first day of school.

Portrait of smiling teacher and multiethnic kids showing pictures

Introduce yourself

Telling your students about yourself is among the most crucial things you could do to start creating a connection with them. Make a short slideshow and show your children photos of places you visited over the summertime, your family, cats or dogs, favorite foods, etc. Students from elementary school to high school want to know who you are as a person to whom they can relate.

Decorate the room

Rather than having kids walk into a wholly adorned classroom on the first day of school, have them assist you in decorating. This communicates to them that their thoughts are welcomed and that their participation is appreciated. Divide students into groups (now is an excellent moment to arrange kids by interest) and designate each group a wall to design. Prepare a couple of themes ahead of time and have groups decide which one they want to adorn for their allotted wall.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a terrific way for students to get to know one another as well as their new school environment. Choose pairs at random to scan the room for things to cross off their checklist, including how many computers are in the room, where the pencil sharpener is, how many dustbins are in the room, what color the homework box is, and so on. Students could use the checklist as a guide for the first few weeks of class until they have found all of the stuff on it.


All you need for this first-day-of-school engagement are a couple of sets of dice and many eager students. Students use a dice roll to answer a series of get-to-know-you questions.

Positive content blindfolded girl in party hat keeping arms outstretched while catching up friends during blind mans buff gamer, she finding other players

Find A Friend

This game is best suited for younger children, but it can be adapted to suit those a little older. There are numerous free printables available to help you plan a fantastic first day of school welcoming activity. This game can also be used to learn new words or to review old ones. Furthermore, this practice fosters a better sense of community in the classroom.

Would You Rather?

The game in which you set two options against each other is excellent for teens in your class to unwind. Quite often, the options are serious, and sometimes they are frivolous. When neither is a good choice, students must select the lesser of two evils. After asking each question, direct students to walk to one side of the room if they choose the first choice and the other if they prefer the second. If you'd like to keep everybody in their seats, give them colored plastic cups or paint popsicle sticks with various color choice markers. Students raise one color for the first option and the other for the second.

Student Surveys

Use surveys to gather and analyze information from a wide range of subjects that will assist you in getting to know your new students and guiding them to succeed this school term. Consider polling students on their preferences for seating configurations, group versus working individually, and classroom noise levels. Use this info to have a better understanding of classroom trends. Examine whether you can utilize the data to instruct students, assessment, and evaluations to improve the learning environment.

About-Me Wall

It's a great deal of fun to see many of everyone is interested in on a wall. On the first week of school, while everyone is still getting to know you and each other, have students make a poster board with clippings and photographs of everything they enjoy. This is a terrific approach to get parents involved in sending in images so that children can make a fantastic piece that truly reflects who they are outside of school.

Schoolgirl presenting to her school classmates

Two Truths and a Lie

Playing this game during the first day of school will undoubtedly teach your students about you and the other students in the class. It's always fascinating and entertaining to learn about new people for the first time, and most of all, this game is entirely free and a terrific educational tool. Furthermore, you will discover that your students like attempting to figure out which one is the lie.

Six-Word Story

Students should be made to discuss what they did over the summer in only six words and write the answer down as a coherent sentence on a piece of paper. Then, have students trade papers with a classmate, who must also comment on no more than six words. You can rotate the sheets to change the length of the story to your liking.

Class Time Capsule

On the first day of school, make personalized time capsules. Fill them with stuff such as handwritten letters outlining what students hope to achieve over the school term. Objectives, clubs they want to join, and targeted grade point averages can all be included in letters. You can also snap pictures of your students, print them out, and place them inside the time capsules on the first day. Retrieve each student's time capsule in the last week of school and allow them to see how they've learned, developed, and accomplished throughout the school year.

Class Calendar Birthdays

Jot down a student's birthday on the class calendar is a thrilling experience for a child. Doing this on the first day of school informs the student that their big day is approaching and everyone will be aware of it. Everyone in your classroom will feel special and significant as a result of this. Make sure your classroom calendar is big and visible to all students every day of the school year. Make notifications about who's birthday is coming up during the month.

Spend some time during the first week of school getting to know your class. These exercises will assist you in appreciating and learning about the students you will be teaching all through the school year. As fun as these seem, do practice social distancing as much as possible through these activities.