Beginning of The Year Activities For Older Kids

Beginning of The Year Activities For Older Kids


by Rachel Wells

Check out these super fun activities that are perfect for older kids during the first few weeks of school!


Getting To Know You Art

Students will create a line art collage that represents different things about them.

Supplies Needed:

  • Markers
  • Prompt poster
  • Paper

Step by Step:

  1. Create and draw out a code that students will use to complete this activity. Each prompt will have an individual line style associated with it.
  2. Show students the code you created. Explain how each line style represents a different prompt.
  3. Using the code, students will add the lines that go with the prompts that describe them to their collage. They can add the lines anywhere on their paper they want.


Saving Sam

Students will use problem solving skills to figure out how to save Sam the worm.

Supplies Needed:

  • Paperclips
  • Gummy worms
  • Gummy lifesavers
  • Clear plastic cup

Step by Step:

  1. Put students into small groups.
  2. Each group will receive an upside-down cup to represent a capsized boat, with a gummy lifesaver representing a life jacket trapped inside. Sam the gummy worm needs to be laying on the top of the upside-down cup.
  3. The challenge is for students to use 2 paperclips to turn the boat right side up, put the life jacket (lifesaver) on Sam, and then put him safely inside the boat.
  4. Rules for the challenge are that students can only touch the materials with the paperclips, and they may not poke or skewer Sam to move him in any way.


Getting To Know You STEM

This two-part project combines a getting-to-know-you activity with the fun of teambuilding STEM.

Supplies Needed:

  • Index cards
  • Pencils
  • Scissors

Step by Step:

  1. Put students into small groups of 3 or 4, and give each group 20 index cards.
  2. Explain to the class that they will have 10 minutes in their groups to ask each other questions and figure out things they all have in common. Give them guidelines about what is acceptable to write down, for example they should not write “we all have hair” – but they could write “we all have brown hair.”
  3. The groups will need to write one commonality on each index card.
  4. When time is up, have the groups put down their pencils and give them the next set of directions.
  5. For part two of this activity the groups will now have 10 minutes to use any remaining blank index cards and scissors to build the tallest free-standing tower they can as a team.


Time Capsule

On the first day of school, have students start a time capsule that they will open on the last day of school. Have students write a note to themself, some goals they have for the year, and some of their favorite things before placing all the contents into a large mailing envelope. Students love to end the school year by reading what they wrote at the beginning of it!

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper
  • Large mailing envelopes
  • Pencils, pens, and coloring supplies


One-Word Project

A one-word project is a fun and simple way to start the school year. All you need to do is give each student a 4×6 notecard and have them think of just one word they want to embody this school year. They will need to write the word in the center of the card and then decorate the card to represent them.

Supplies Needed:

  • Unlined index cards
  • Markers or other coloring supplies



Kindness Clips

Get kids in the habit of lifting each other’s spirits with this simple activity.

Supplies Needed:

  • Clothespins
  • Markers

Step by Step:

  1. Students will use markers to decorate and write positive messages on clothespins.
  2. At any point in time or throughout the school year students can clip the clothespins to their friends’ backpacks for an instant mood boost.



Classroom Quilt

Work on building classroom community by making a special classroom quilt to display on the walls. Everyone receives a paper quilt square, that they will decorate with things that are important to them.

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper
  • Pencils and coloring supplies
  • Tape



Snowball Fight!

Give each student a few pieces of paper and have them write little-known facts about themselves on each. Then have them crumble them up and have a “snowball” fight all around the classroom! Have students take turns reading each other’s facts and trying to figure out who wrote which ones.

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper
  • Writing supplies


Popular posts