If you’re looking for some activities to get your kids excited about the school year, or are a teacher prepping for the first week of school, we’ve got you covered with these 20 awesome back to school games!
They’re perfect for team building activities (even for adults), classroom parties or even a church group getting kids excited to head back to school. Some of the minute to win it games are even perfect for teens.
Watch the video below for inspiration, and then keep reading for detailed supply lists and instructions.
Learn How to Play the Back-to-School Games
I’m sharing 20 of my favorite back-to-school games for kids of all ages. My kids and I have played several of these ourselves, and we give all of them our stamp of approval. Click on the link below each game to learn more about the game, print free downloads and more.
To make this a back-to-school theme, be sure to choose words related to the classroom. You could even choose the names of your students in class. You can see us playing this game in the video above. Alphabet Relay by Mom Inspired Life
Shake it Off
Collect empty tissue boxes and string a belt through them (softball and baseball belts work perfectly!) Put an equal number of ping pong balls in each box, and have two kids jump for a minute to see who can get all of the balls out of their tissue box the fastest. It may not be specific to back-to-school, but kids LOVE this game! You can see us playing it in the video above. Shake it Off Minute to Win it Game by My Life and Kids
Minute to Win It Games
Everyone loves a good Minute to Win It Game. Play these at your back-to-school parties or set up stations in the classroom. Most can be modified in some way to make them back-to-school themed. Minute to Win it Games by My Life and Kids
Back to School I Spy Game
This free download is a great way to break the ice with students, but don’t stop there. Be sure to check out the other resources on this website to see more great ideas and free downloads for back-to-school games. Back to School I Spy Game by The Pleasantest Thing
Bears on the Bus
These games are geared at younger kids (think elementary school and preschool), but they’re super cute and very easy to create. While I’m featuring the Bears on the Bus game, this post has several more back-to-school games that could be perfect in your classroom. Bears on the Bus by The Printable Princess
All About Me Bags
You’ll have to purchase this from TPT, but the concept is a good one. Have your students create All About Me Bags and then share in front of the classroom, or with a new friend. All About Me Bags by Teachers Pay Teachers
Again, this is for younger kids, but if your child knows Pete, they’re going to love this sweet game. It’s a great way for your students to get to know each other while playing a fun game related to Pete the Cat. Let’s Play Pass Pete by Kathy Griffin’s Teaching Strategies
Back to School Scattergories
This game works for kids of (most) ages. For younger kids that can’t write yet, team them up with an older student that can do the writing for them. Set a timer based on the ages of the kids you’re working with (older kids get less time.) Have them write a school-related word for each letter of the alphabet. When the timer’s up, see who wins. You can head on over to the link below to download your free worksheet. Back to School Scattergories by The Crafting Chicks.
Switch Sides If…
This fun game will keep your students moving while also helping them learn more about each other. You can make the game last as long as you want it to. And there are even suggested topics. Switch Sides If… by Mommies Hobbies
Getting to Know You Games
These free printables will help your students learn more about each other and about their teacher. Click the link below to grab them all for free! Back to School Freebies by Teachers Pay Teachers
Back to School Centers
If you’re a teacher of little ones and looking for centers or stations to set up as the kids head back to school, look no further. There are even free printables to get you started. Back to School Centers by Miss Kindergarten
Sticky Note Posters
While this activity is geared towards teachers interacting with their students, parents could do something similar at home. Maybe you have a family meeting and use post-it notes to gather everyone’s input on how you can make it a great school year or ways to help ensure that you’ll never miss the bus. Be sure to click on the link below for more ideas you can ask in the classroom. Sticky Note Posters by Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
I think my kids have played a version of this game every single first day of school they’ve had so far. And they never seem to get tired of it. It’s a great way for them to meet the other students in their class. Click on the link below to grab it for free. People Bingo by Teachers Pay Teachers
Who Hid the Button?
This is another game for Pete the Cat lovers. SO cute! Who Hid the Button? by Kathy Griffin’s Teaching Strategies
You’re just going to need to click on the link below to read the full post for this one, but this is a super cute game that will get kids interacting with each other. Save Fred by Ideas By Jivey
Back-to-School Games to Get Kids Moving
When you head over to this post, just skip through all of the books she lists for sale at the beginning, and you’ll get to some great game ideas at the end. Most can be modified for kids of all ages. Games to Re-Energize Your Students by Top Notch Teaching
Bazinga looks like a great game to play with your classroom – even older kids. Be sure to click on the link below to learn ALL about how to play as well as ideas for other games in the classroom. Bazinga by Simplify With Me
Kids will LOVE this newspaper dancing game – whether they’re doing it at home, at church or in the classroom. Back to School Newspaper Dancing by Mrs. King Rocks
These fun back-to-school games are the perfect activity to get your kids excited to be back in the classroom. Team Building Activities for Back to School by The Colorful Apple
As the author states, here are icebreakers that don’t “Suck” or require your students to take social risks in front of kids they don’t even know yet. See them all at the link below. Classroom Icebreakers by Cult of Pedagogy
Back to School Cootie Catchers
My kids would be BEYOND excited if their teacher had them make a cootie catcher on the first day of school to get to know the other kids in their class. SO FUN! Click the link below to download the templates for free. Free Back to School Cootie Catchers by The Teacher’s Notebook
Mastering Back to School Together
Back to school can be hectic, but it doesn’t have to be hard!
With three kids in school, I’ve learned a few things along the way that help to simplify the entire back-to-school process, while also keeping me sane.
And I’m sharing them all with you!
- The organizational systems we have in place
- The routines we use (and how we remember them)
- Why my kids haven’t missed the bus in three years
- How to have the best first day of school EVER
- How to put an end to homework battles
- How I get my kids talking (and talking and talking and talking) every day after school
- How we manage busy sports seasons without going insane
- The simple tech hack that EVERY parents needs to know
- And so much more!
Plus you can see how I made this amazing command center that keeps me crazy organized – using supplies from the Dollar Store!
Pretty great, huh?!?