10 Engaging First Day of Preschool Activities to Ensure a Memorable Start

First Day Preschool Activities

The first day of kindergarten is a monumental step for both children and their families. It sets the tone for a child’s educational journey and can influence their attitude towards school for years to come.

This article provides practical tips and strategies for preschool teachers to make the first day a positive and memorable experience. By preparing thoroughly and engaging both children and families, teachers can create a smooth transition into the school environment.

We will cover essential preparations before the first day for preschool, activities to ease separation anxiety, ice-breaker activities to build connections, fun and educational first-day activities, and ways to maintain continuous engagement with families.

Preparing for the First Day

Orientation Session with Families

Organizing an orientation session is a crucial first step in preparing for the first day of kindergarten or preschool nursery activities. Start by scheduling the session a week before school begins, allowing families ample time to plan. Invitations can be sent via email or printed notes, ensuring they include all necessary details such as date, time, and location. The session should have a well-prepared agenda that includes a welcome speech, a classroom tour, introductions of the teaching staff, and a Q&A segment. This face-to-face interaction not only familiarizes children and parents with the new environment, reducing first-day anxiety but also helps build trust between families and the school.

Detailed Steps for Organizing an Orientation Session:

  • Schedule the session a week before school begins.
  • Send invitations via email or printed notes with all necessary details.
  • Prepare an agenda including a welcome speech, classroom tour, staff introductions, and Q&A.

Benefits for Children and Families:

Organizing an orientation session a week before school starts is essential for easing first-day jitters. This session helps build trust and familiarize children and parents with the new environment, reducing anxiety. Additionally, sending a pre-first day newsletter with daily routines, transition tips, and contact information sets clear expectations and reassures families. To create a welcoming environment, decorate the classroom with personalized welcome signs and cheerful decorations, arranging the space for easy navigation and accessibility. This comprehensive approach ensures a smooth transition into the new school year.

Key Information to Include in the Session:

  • Daily schedule (arrival/dismissal times, snack/lunch breaks, nap times).
  • School policies (attendance, health and safety, behavior expectations, emergency procedures).
  • Drop-off and pick-up procedures.
  • Required supplies list.
  • Key dates for the school year (holidays, parent-teacher conferences, special events).

Pre-First Day Communication

Sending a newsletter or welcome package before the first day of kindergarten is another effective way to prepare families for pre preschool activities. This communication should include essential information about daily routines, tips for a smooth transition, and contact details for the teacher and school office.

Importance of Pre-First Day Communication:

  • Sets expectations for families.
  • Provides reassurance to parents and children.
  • Ensures families feel more confident and prepared.

Suggested Content for the Newsletter:

  • Daily routines.
  • Transition tips.
  • Teacher and school contact information.

Example Templates for creating a newsletter: (first day of school template)

Welcome to [Preschool Name]

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are thrilled to welcome you and your child to [Preschool Name]! Here’s what you need to know to help your child get ready for their 1st day of preschool:

Daily Routine:

  • Arrival: 8:30 AM
  • Circle Time: 9:00 AM
  • Snack Time: 10:00 AM
  • Outdoor Play: 10:30 AM
  • Lunch: 12:00 PM
  • Nap Time: 1:00 PM
  • Afternoon Activities: 3:00 PM
  • Pick-Up: 4:00 PM

Transition Tips:

  • Talk about school positively and read books about starting school.
  • Visit the school playground together before the first day of preschool activities.
  • Create a goodbye routine that’s short and sweet.

Contact Information:

Orientation Session: Join us for an orientation session on [Date] at [Time]. It’s a great opportunity to meet the teachers, see the classroom, and learn about our daily activities. We will discuss the following:

  • School policies and procedures
  • Curriculum overview
  • How to support your child’s transition

We look forward to a wonderful year ahead!

Warm regards, [Preschool Name] Team

By providing such detailed information and creating a welcoming atmosphere, you can ensure both children and parents feel comfortable and excited about the new school year.

Also, have a look at such templates – Free School Newsletter Templates

Creating a Welcoming Environment

Decorating the classroom to make it inviting is an important step in preparing for the first day of kindergarten and the first week of school activities. Personalized welcome signs or messages for each child can make them feel special and excited for their new environment. Ensuring the classroom is arranged for easy navigation is also crucial during this initial period of adjustment.

Tips for Decorating the Classroom:

  • Add personalized welcome signs or messages.
  • Ensure clear labeling of different activity areas.
  • Reflect on the interests and cultures of the children to foster a sense of belonging.

Ideas for a Welcoming Environment:

  • Use bright, cheerful colors and decorations.
  • Create cozy reading corners or play areas.
  • Display children’s names and photos to personalize the space.

Arranging the Classroom:

  • Ensure ease of navigation with clearly labeled areas.
  • Organize materials and supplies for easy access.
  • Set up designated zones for different activities (reading, art, play).

Activities to Ease Separation Anxiety

Comfort Corners and Calming Techniques

Setting up a calming area in the classroom is crucial to help children manage separation anxiety effectively. Here are key components to consider:

  1. Designating a Calming Area:
  • Create a designated corner with soft cushions, blankets, and calming visuals like pictures of nature or soothing colors.
  • Ensure the area is away from noise and distractions, providing a quiet space for children to retreat when needed.
  1. Introducing Calming Techniques:
  • Teach deep breathing exercises or mindfulness activities such as guided imagery or simple yoga poses.
  • Practice these techniques regularly to familiarize children with calming strategies they can use independently.
  1. Encouraging Comfort Items from Home:
  • Invite children to bring comfort items from home, such as a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy.
  • These items provide familiarity and emotional support, easing the transition into the new preschool environment.

By incorporating these elements, educators can create a supportive environment that promotes emotional well-being and helps children adjust positively to preschool life.

Family Photo Wall

Creating a family photo wall in the classroom can significantly benefit children in easing separation anxiety and fostering a sense of belonging. Here’s how to set it up effectively:

  • Instructions on Creating the Photo Wall: Choose a prominent wall space that is easily visible and accessible to children. Use colorful frames or clips to display photos of each child’s family members. Ensure photos are securely attached and labeled with names to reinforce family connections.
  • Benefits of Visual Family Connections: Visual cues of family members provide comfort and familiarity, helping children feel connected to their loved ones throughout the school day. Seeing familiar faces can reduce anxiety and support emotional regulation in young children. Encouraging children to talk about their family members promotes language development and strengthens social-emotional skills.

Incorporating a family photo wall creates a warm and supportive environment that enhances children’s sense of security and emotional well-being in the preschool setting.

Ice-Breaker Activities to Build Connections

Ice-breaker activities are crucial for creating a welcoming atmosphere in the classroom and fostering connections among children. Here are some engaging activities:

  1. Get-to-Know-You Games
  • Engage children with a “get to know the teacher” game where the teacher shares interesting facts about themselves, such as favorite hobbies or funny anecdotes. This helps children relate to their teacher and feel more comfortable.
  • Examples of fun facts can include favorite colors, pets, or hobbies like painting or playing soccer.
  1. Name-Based Activities
  • Conduct a sticker name activity where each child decorates their name tag with stickers or drawings that represent their interests. Provide materials like markers, stickers, and colored pencils.
  • This activity enhances name recognition and creativity while allowing children to express themselves through art.
  1. Favorite Things List
  • Organize a favorite things activity where children share and draw their favorite toys, foods, or activities. Create a collaborative list or display board to showcase their drawings.
  • Encourage children to talk about their drawings and explain why they chose those items, promoting communication and bonding among classmates.

These ice-breaker activities not only help children get acquainted with each other but also encourage self-expression and social interaction in a fun and inclusive manner.

Fun and Educational First Day Activities

Engaging children with fun and educational pre nursery activities on their first day for preschool sets a positive tone for the school year. Here are several creative ideas:

  1. Story Time with Themed Books
  • Introduce children to starting school with recommended books that explore themes of friendship, learning, and new beginnings.
  • Use expressive reading techniques to captivate children’s attention during read-aloud sessions.
  1. Classroom Tour or Scavenger Hunt
  • Conduct a classroom tour to familiarize children with their new environment. Highlight key areas like the reading corner, art station, and play area.
  • Transform the tour into an exciting scavenger hunt where children search for hidden clues or items related to school supplies.
  1. Creating Classroom Rules Together
  • Guide children in collaboratively establishing classroom rules that promote respect, kindness, and participation.
  • Make the rule-making process engaging by using a quiz format or offering small rewards for contributing ideas.
  1. Pass the Ball Game
  • Facilitate a lively game of “pass the ball” where each child shares a fun fact about themselves after catching the ball.
  • Prepare a list of interesting prompts to keep the game engaging and encourage children to learn more about their peers.
  1. First Day Self-Portrait
  • Discuss the importance of self-expression and creativity by inviting children to create self-portraits using provided templates or free printables.
  • Display these portraits in the classroom to celebrate each child’s unique identity and artistic abilities.
  1. Interview Activity
  • Pair children together for interview sessions where they take turns asking each other questions about their favorite activities, hobbies, or family.
  • Guide children on how to actively listen and share their partner’s responses with the group.
  1. Friendship Chain
  • Foster a sense of community by guiding children through the creation of a friendship chain using colorful paper strips.
  • Discuss the symbolism of each link representing a unique friendship and display the chain prominently in the classroom as a visual reminder of unity.

These first day activities promote engagement, creativity, and social interaction, laying a foundation for a successful and enjoyable school year.

Continuous Engagement with Families

  1. Daily Activity Reports
  • Utilize effective tools to share real-time updates with families about their child’s activities and progress.
  • Benefits include keeping parents informed, enhancing communication, and fostering stronger partnerships between home and school.


Preparing for the first day of preschool involves thoughtful planning and engaging activities that create a welcoming environment for children. From orientation sessions and ice-breaker activities to educational games and continuous family engagement, each component plays a vital role in ensuring a positive start to the school year.

We encourage preschool teachers to implement these strategies to foster a sense of belonging and excitement among their young learners. By embracing these ideas, educators can make the first day of preschool a memorable experience that sets the stage for a successful academic journey.

Call to Action

We invite you to share your own creative ideas or experiences in the comments below. Together, let’s build a supportive community of educators dedicated to creating enriching learning environments for young children.