We all know the first day of school can be hectic for most teachers.
At many of the schools I've worked at, we've had a “Meet the Teacher/Bring Your Supplies Day” before school officially begins. However, there were a couple years when we didn't have those days and students brought all their supplies and met their teacher on the first day of school! When the first day comes, with all the supplies to put away, it does get very hectic! Instead of expecting children to settle down with a worksheet, I placed a Ziploc bag filled with play dough and some work mats on each desk. This is a highly engaging activity that requires no teacher guidance - allowing time to collect and assemble supplies. In addition, it also provides the children with a fun activity to calm their back to school jitters!
When I used this activity in my classroom, I had each child practice making numbers and their name with the play dough. Then I had them make something to represent their favorite summer activity. This became one of our first “getting to know you” activities. Each child shared about what they made.
Click here or on either picture above to download the recipe and some fun work mats! Use these work mats or create your own for your students. Be sure to laminate them. :)
Some additional ideas for how to work the play dough into an educational/getting to know you activity:
-use the dough to represent a favorite hobby or food
-use the dough to mold elements from a favorite book or story, etc.
-use the dough to create letters or build their name
What ideas do you have for incorporating play dough fun with the first day of school?