Back to school crafts are one of the best ways to kick off a new school year. They help ease the kids into school routines, and they give teachers a chance to get to know their students better. I am a big fan of using back to school arts and crafts as a way to build classroom community and classroom relationships. But crafts don’t have to be intimidating! In fact, there are plenty of easy back to school crafts that your students will go wild for.
Read on for back to school crafts your students will love!
Back to School Activities
Back to school season is an important time for teachers and our students. This is the time to lay the foundations of a great school year.
As teachers, we need to use these back to school weeks to build relationships, get our students excited about learning, and set expectations. There are lots of choices for great ways to do this! We can do this through games, children’s books, anchor charts, and…back to school arts and crafts!
If you’re looking for more great ideas to use with your students during back to school this year, read this post 21 Amazing Activities For the First Week of School.
Back to School Crafts
You can use back to school crafts in a variety of ways. Back to school crafts for kids don’t have to just be for fun decorations. Actually, we can use them purposefully in our back to school activities. For example, you might use crafts to:
- Learn or celebrate student names
- Set learning goals and get excited to learn
- Get to know each other and build friendships between students
- Learn about classroom routines and procedures
- Talk about feelings and emotions
- Establish classroom rules and expectations
Let’s dive into some examples so we can see these back to school crafts in action!
Back to School Craft Ideas
Here are 15 wonderful back to school craft ideas for you to use with your students this year. This list is organized into four categories: Getting to Know You, Rules and Routines, Kindness, and Social Emotional Learning. These are the most important things to be learning about at the beginning of the school year, so it’s a great place to start!
Getting to Know You Crafts
Here are some amazing back to school crafts for getting to know your students.
Get to know your students by having them create a heart map. Students color in their heart with the parts of their lives that are most important to them.
Creating a class tree can be a fun way to display everyone’s name. You can get fancy or keep it simple. First, students write and decorate their name on an apple. Then create a tree somewhere in your room and attach all the apples to it.
Celebrate being in a new grade with this first day of school crown! Students fill in their name and grade. My students loved wearing these on the first day of school.
Encourage your students to think about what they want to learn this year. Have the write down three things they want to learn, then create their shooting star.
Rules and Routines Crafts
Learning your classroom rules and routines doesn’t have to be boring! Help students process all this new learning with these hands-on arts and crafts projects. You can find more ideas for teaching rules and routines in my blog post 5 Must-Try Classroom Routine and Procedures Ideas.
Setting expectations around care of classroom materials is so important at the beginning of the school year. This classroom materials flipbook helps students remember the right way to take care of their school belongings.
Classroom rules – but make it arts and crafts! After teaching your classroom rules, have students write them down and attach them to this fun and colorful windsock. These make a fun classroom decoration.
Encourage students to show you their best behavior during group lessons. This provides a great time to talk about what listening looks like for different students, and to set the expectations that work best for you and your classroom.
Creating a class promise is a great way for students to feel like part of their classroom community. Have students help you come up with your classroom rules. Then each student places their handprint around the chart to show that they will do their best to follow those rules. You can get this class promise template for free right here!
I always start the school year off emphasizing kindness in the classroom. Here are some simple craft suggestions for integrating kindness into your classroom. Read this blog post for how to do a Week of Kindness with your students.
This craft makes such a fun display for the classroom. Each student chooses a way they can be kind to put on their square. Then put the squares together to create a kindness quilt.
Talk about qualities that you want to see in your students. Have them decorate these crowns to show that they all have these qualities within themselves!
Have students brainstorms ways they can be kind. Each petal gets a different act of kindness.
Teaching about bucket filling is one of my favorite ways to talk about kindness with my students. The Have You Filled a Bucket Today? book explains acts of kindness in such a clear and accessible way for children.
Social Emotional Crafts
It’s never too early to start weaving social emotional learning into your school day. These types of activities help students feel safe and help them build important social skills right out of the gate.
Self-love is becoming more and more important for young people to practice. Encourage your students to think of 3 things they want to celebrate about themselves.
Talking about feelings can be validating for many students who may be feeling nervous during the first weeks of school. This activity helps students remember to check in on their emotions and to communicate how they are feeling.
This is a fun craft for older children to help them remember ways they can calm down. The coping skills wheel turns to reveal different strategies students can use when they’re feeling upset.
Back to School Arts and Crafts
Are you as excited as me about using back to school crafts this year? These ideas are a great starting point, and of course there are lots more you can use!
Which back to school craft idea are you excited to try? Tell me in the comments! xoxo Laura