Back To School Theme for Preschool

Welcome your preschool kids into your classroom with this Back to School theme!  Starting school for the first time can be intimidating for some young students. Making children feel comfortable and excited about school is the purpose of this theme.

Start by "theming" your room!  Decorate your classroom with typical school items like pencils, notebooks, and backpacks. Check out this page for other Back To School bulletin board ideas.

My preschool classroom was set up into centers (dramatic play, science, construction, etc.) so these activities are divided by where they would be placed.

It is not necessary to set up your preschool activities in centers, however. Just do these activities wherever you have the space!

Dramatic Play Center

Time for School

Let children have a turn at being teacher! I supply this center with a desk, small chalkboard, an apple (plastic), a pair of glasses, and lots of paper and crayons.

Gross Motor/Outdoor Ideas

Who's Missing?

This is a fun game to help children get to know each other. When you are outside, gather children in a group. Have everyone close their eyes and pick one child to go hide. Have the rest of the children open their eyes and try to figure out who is hiding. Take turns until everyone has had a chance to be "missing!"

Field Trip

If possible, arrange for a school bus to come visit your preschool center or classroom (outside of course!). Have the bus driver explain the parts of the school bus and the rules of riding on a bus. 

Themed Book Ideas

These are some read-aloud books that will fit in perfectly with your preschool Back to School theme unit: 

Curious George's First Day of School by H.A. Rey
D.W.'s Guide to Preschool (Arthur Adventures) by Marc Brown
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Little Critter's This Is My School (Road to Reading) by Mercer Mayer

Math Center

How Do We Get to School?

On the first day of school, create a graph with your students about how they get to school: car, bike, walk, bus, etc. Tally up the totals for each column. Then, in the math center, place the chart where children can see it, and also a toy school bus, a shoe, a toy car, and a bike basket. Have children place the correct number of counters in each "transportation" mode.

Science Center

Fingerprint Exploring

In the science center, place an ink pad and index cards with children's names written on them. When children visit this center, have them choose their name card and print their fingerprints on it.

Allow children to use magnifying glasses to explore the unique features of their fingerprints and to compare their to other classmates. Make sure to talk about how everyone is unique - just like their fingerprint!

Back to School Theme Snacks

These snacks are a delicious way to welcome children back!

School Bus

Have children take a bite out of the top left corner of a Twinkie. Place 4 gummy Life-Savers on the bottom for wheels. Push in chocolate chips along the sides for people in the bus!

Jell-o Jigglers 

Cut out in alphabet or number shapes.


Give each child a graham cracker square and triangle piece. Have them spread the crackers with red frosting. Place a Hershey's chocolate rectangle on as a door, and assemble as a schoolhouse!

Back to School Theme Songs

What could be more fun than to learn songs to go along with your preschool Back to School theme? Here are some favorites:

Look Who Came to School Today (Sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Look who came to school today
School today
school today
Look who came to school today,
_______________(child's name) did!

The Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus go round and round
Round and round
Round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round
All through the town!

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish...........
The doors on the bus go open and shut..........
The money on the bus goes clink, clink, clink..........

We Like to Come to School (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

We like to come to school
We like to come to school
Our school is such a happy place
We like to come to school 

Want More Back To School Theme Resources?

I have a week long theme with over 45 more free activities on my sister site, a Back To School Theme Resource pack and more!  Click the links below!

Go to the Back to School Main Page

Go to Preschool Professor's HOME Page