6 Playful Printables to Get Kids Ready for Back- To- School

6 Playful Printables to Get Kids Ready for Back-to-School

By Melissa and Doug, Shared by Jacque’s

As you cling to the last fleeting days of summer, somewhere in the back of your mind you know that the first day of school is just around the corner. It’s time to start moving up your kids’ bedtimes, getting those backpack hooks cleared away, and — yes {sigh} — practicing some school-related skills.

We’ve made it easy for you with these one-click, print-&-do activities. Simply print these easy activities out to do together on a blanket or patio table in the backyard. Your kids won’t even realize the fun they’re having is actually beneficial back-to-school prep!

1. Storytelling Skills

story starters printable

With our Story Starters Printable, kids can practice narrative skills like brainstorming, speaking, listening, connecting ideas, and more. Children color and cut out 6 story starter ideas then use them to play a game, write a chapter book, or do a family Story-Go-Round. TIP: Have kids design six strips of their own with familiar locations, objects, and people to practice telling the story of “What I did on my summer vacation.” Get more great ideas for literacy development in Teaching Storytelling Skills.

2. Prewriting/Scissor Skills

scissor skills

Holding and maneuvering a scissors is a fine motor skill that helps strengthen muscles and hand-eye coordination and lays the groundwork for proper pencil grip. In this activity, kids get to practice staying on the dotted line as they cut out wavy, crooked, and straight lines and shapes. Add interest by printing on colored paper or having your children color the lines and shapes before they cut them apart. Get our Scissor Skills Printables here.

3. Map Challenge


Children start this map activity by drawing a big heart around the state in which they live. Then they identify and color all 50 U.S. states using the color key provided. Download our Map Challenge Printable here. TIP: This a great page to print out and have along during a family road trip if you plan to play the License Plate Game along the way. Read more about engaging learning activities your kids can do while you’re “on the road” in our post ON the GO Backseat Learning.

4. Animal Alphabet Match

This vibrant, full-color page of animals has children trace both upper and lowercase letters that match the first letter in each animal’s name. From the adorable dolphin and baby raccoon to the prickly sea urchin and spiky iguana, kids will enjoy this tracing activity as they practice saying and writing their ABCs. Download our Animal Alphabet Match Printable here. TIP: After they’re done tracing their letters, extend this activity by asking children to name another animal that starts with each letter.


5. “Shut the Box” Math Practice

{FREE Printable} *Score card for Shut-the-Box

Help children understand place values with an exciting game of “Shut the Box.” This classic dice game helps kids practice composing and decomposing numbers so they truly understand how numbers relate to one another when asked to add, subtract, multiply, or divide them. Learn how to teach these math skills at two different levels — prekindergarten and early elementary — plus you can download a free Printable Shu

t the Box Score Card in our article Making “Required” Math Easy.

6. Back-to-School Guide for Parents (and Kids!)

back-to-school guide {printable ebook}

This printable ebook was specially written and designed to get your kids (and you) ready for a new school year. The first half of this ebook includes tips and ideas for parents (such as how to establish a daily routine, helping kids unwind after school, social skills tips, and so on). The back half has puzzles and other educational activities designed to get children’s “Summer Brains” back in gear. View and print this ebook created by Melissa & Doug and Highlights by clicking here: Download ebook.

We hope these activities help your kids feel ready for that first week back to school. For ideas on back-to-school gear and supplies (like backpacks, lunchboxes, and art supplies), check out our list of Back-to-School Best-Sellers or follow our Back-to-School board on Pinterest.

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