2 Great First Day of School Collaborative Projects

Back To School Craft for Kids

One of the many great (and, yes, challenging!) things about teaching is that, each fall, the 'reset' button gets pushed. Fresh faces, fresh challenges, a chance to do things a little bit better, etc. While this can be a wonderful opportunity to grow, it can also be a little nerve-wracking because you never really know what to expect until you show up. We're thinking specifically of the classroom dynamic that can change dramatically from year to year.

Each of your new kiddos comes with their own personality, abilities, and set of interests - and they all play an integral part in creating a cohesive community and a successful learning environment! It's important to help your new students understand this very concept and we love the idea of using the first day of school to work on a collaborative project. Here are a few ideas that celebrate each student's unique talents and abilities, while also visually demonstrating how each child plays an equal and important role in the classroom community.

Puzzle Mural

Find a puzzle template online and use your classroom projector system to enlarge and trace the image onto bulletin board paper. For easy assembly, number the back of each piece, then cut the pieces apart. On the first day of school, provide each of your students with a puzzle piece to decorate with pictures, magazine clippings, and other illustrations that show their personal interests, abilities, goals, etc. Arrange the pieces on a bulletin board to display and enjoy during the first weeks of school.

Class Quilt

Similar to the puzzle idea, provide each of your students with a quilt square. Again, have your students create a unique piece that tells about them. Consider letting them have free reign over the design or provide them with key elements to include. For example;

  • Create a border in your favorite color.
  • Draw a box in the center of the quilt square and write your name in the box.
  • Divide the remaining quilt square into four sections, devoting a section to family, interests, favorites, and future goals.

Once the squares are finished, use a single paper punch and yarn to tie the individual squares together and create a quilt to display in the classroom.

These are just a few first day of school craftivities that, not only make for great ice breakers, but also provide great back to school bulletin board ideas/decor!