Meeting new friends and building a classroom community are top priorities at the beginning of school. These getting to know you activities will help your preschoolers learn about one another as they play games and have fun together. As a result, the school year will be off to a great start when your students discover how much we all have in common!
The Hello Book
I love to use The Hello Book on the first day of preschool! It’s a simple way to help the kids learn who everybody is as you sing and wave hello. Most importantly, it makes each child feel extra, extra special when they realize they’re actually in the book!
I take pictures of my class at our Meet the Teacher event for this project. Then, before the first day of school, I gather the photos and make the book. Using the editable student page makes it quick and easy to assemble. Read the book, sing the HELLO song daily, and your class will soon know who everyone is! The best thing is that you can use it all year long because it’s such a favorite!
Singing a Good Morning song gets the school day started off on the right foot. But it’s also a way to greet the class and get familiar with one another. This song is sung to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” and also reinforces name recognition
Question of the Day
Another great way for students to get to know each other is by using a Question of the Day! It’s fun to see how everyone, including the teacher, answers the question. You can take the opportunity to discuss how we might like some of the same things and be similar in many ways but yet we’re all unique.
Getting to Know You GAMES
Getting to know you games can be played during large group time. This class favorite is the All About Me cube! The game cube has a variety of questions and categories which helps your students find out things about each other. Kids love rolling the cube and sharing about their favorite things. Be sure you take a few turns and roll the All About Me cube so the class can learn about the teacher, too!
You can also play an All About Me game with a beach ball! First, you’ll need to prep the activity by writing the questions on the ball with a permanent marker. The class will then take turns tossing the beach ball to each other. Students will answer the question where their hand is touching the beach ball.
Another way to get acquainted with your new students is with a ME Bag! I usually give out the ME Bag at our Meet the Teacher event but you could wait and send it home the first week of school, too. I use these medium size craft bags for my ME Bags. They are sturdier than lunch bags and can be decorated as part of the activity if you’d like.
Students fill their bag with special objects, photos, and mementos about themselves. Each child gets a turn to show what’s inside their ME Bag during circle time the first week of school. Often, we turn it into a little game where students will clap if they share the same interests or if they have the same item at home. They absolutely LOVE doing this! You learn so much by seeing what’s inside everyone’s bag! However, I have found it’s helpful to limit the number of items they can put in the bag. Otherwise, you’ll be sharing the ME bags for days!
Fun Ideas for SMALL GROUPS
During small groups at the Teacher Table, ask each student a few questions about their favorite things and record the responses. Have the kids decorate the paper dolls. You can even add fabric for clothes or yarn for hair! Display the paper dolls and clues so everyone can try to guess Who Am I!
My preschoolers always enjoy reading “I Like Me” by Nancy Carlson. This book helps build self esteem and sends a positive message to little learners. You can do a creative small group activity after reading the book and make your own class book about each student’s strengths! It will be a treasure that you’ll want to keep in your class library all year long!
Get to Know the Families in Your Class
Lastly, here’s an idea for getting acquainted with the families in your class. This Class Family Album is a FREEBIE from the Learning at the Teacher Table store! Send home the printable pages for each family to customize. Then, print a cover and put everything together for a one of a kind Class Family Album!
Get to know your preschoolers with these activities and create a delightful learning environment! Have a great school year!