No Prep Activities for Back to School in 2024

If you are an elementary teacher looking for fun, no-prep activities for back to school, then you found the right place! This post shares tons of simple activities that are sure to be a big hit in your classroom. They are all included in my No-Prep Back to School Activities Packet. Learn about them below!

no prep back to school activities

No Prep Back to School Activities

You can access all of these no-prep back to school activities in my No-Prep Back to School Activities Packet.


Creating self portraits was one of the very first activities I did each year in my own classroom. It is an activity that children can do independently, it will show progress later in the year, and most importantly, it is a great way to take your first informal assessment of the new year. You can learn so much about a student by analyzing their self portrait and their process of completing it.

Biography Poem

This activity is a great way to learn more about your students and the finished projects make a wonderful bulletin board. You can display them next to the self-portrait frame above by attaching both pages to a 12×18 piece of construction paper. These are beautiful keepsakes that families will cherish for years to come.

Classmate Bingo

Who doesn’t love bingo? In this activity, students fill out a simple template where they create their own board and provide information about themselves. Just pair this activity with bingo markers (uncooked pasta works) and you’ll be good to go!

Get to Know Me Gazette

Students use words and/or pictures to complete this personal newspaper about themselves. You can use the completed pages to create a bulletin board display, bind them into a class book, or encourage them to share their work with others by reading their “newspaper” as a presentation to the class.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

The first week of school would not be complete without the classic “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” activity. It’s a great way to channel students’ excited energy into an academic writing task.

All About Me Poem

In this activity, students write a poem all about themselves following given prompts (e.g. I wonder…). The final drafts make for great bulletin board displays!

Guess the Classmate

This activity was designed to be displayed on an interactive bulletin board. Students love trying to figure out who each classmate is! These are also a lot of fun for open house, meet the teacher night or as a hallway display during parent teacher conferences.

New School Year K-W-L

This activity is a great way to introduce or review how to use a K-W-L chart. Students first brainstorm a list of things they already know about their new grade level (or classroom or teachers). Next, they generate a list of questions they have in the middle column. Bring the class together to share their lists. You may want to compile them into a master list on an anchor chart. Finally, at the end of the 1st week of school, redistribute the worksheets and have the students complete the last column by recording things they learned about their new grade.

New Teacher KWL

Students write about what they already know about their new teacher and list questions they have about them – later in the week they write about what they learned. It’s a simple activity that helps students begin to make connections with you at the start of the school year.

Math About Me

In this activity, students think about what numbers relate to themselves and their life. Some examples are their age, number of siblings, and house number.

New Classroom Scavenger Hunt

In this activity, students explore their new classroom and record something that fits into each category onto the chart. They can either use words, pictures or labeled illustrations to document their findings.

Create a Time Capsule

This time capsule kit includes printable templates (e.g. trace your handprint). In my classroom, I had my students complete these activities at the start of the new school year and again at the end of the year. It was always a fun way to show their growth.

All About Me Writing Paper

This activity involves put together a writing piece about themselves. It includes differentiated lined paper and a drawing paper titled, “All About Me.” These activities are great to do at the beginning, middle and end of each school year as they really show the progress the child has made as a writer and artist. They also make a quick and easy bulletin board display.

Celebrating Diversity Activity

This activity is a good refresher on Venn Diagrams. Pair students together to have conversations and discover what they have in common and what makes them unique. This is an activity I would have my students do each morning at the start of the school year until everyone had the chance to meet with each of their classmates. It helped to build friendships and ensured all of my students had time to get to know all of their peers.

Let Us Know If… Activity

This activity involves students sharing information about themselves based on prompts. It helps you learn more about them and lets them get to know one another. It is another activity that is especially good for minimizing those first day jitters because it allows students to participate simply by raising their hands.

Would you Rather Activities

In this activity, students choose between two options. There are many ways to use these fun and silly question cards. Pose the question and have your students respond with hand signals, A or B cards, or different colors of paper. Some teachers use them as writing prompts. You could even make copies of the deck of cards and have the students discuss them in small groups or with a partner.

Doodle Drawings

This activity shows that everyone is unique and that people often see things differently. The black squiggles are the start of a picture. Encourage the children to use their imaginations to incorporate each squiggle into a drawing.

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Why Teachers Love these No Prep Back to School Activities

Some of the reasons teachers love these no prep back to school activities include:

  • These back to school activities require no prep – Just print and go!
  • Many of the printables can be used to create fun back to school bulletin boards.
  • The activities are open-ended, so you can continue to use them even if you change grade levels.
  • They are great fast finisher tasks or for when your lesson finishes early.
  • Students are highly engaged when working on these activities.

In closing, we hope you found this information about these no-prep back to school activities helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these other posts:

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