Back To School Activities

Here's a week's worth of fun and crafty activities to keep the kids hands busy as they head back to school. Here are some fun ways to keep their school supplies organized and accessible!

Monday -- Make Your Own School Supply Holder: For this activity you will need between four and six empty juice cans, coffee cans, or two liter soda bottles. Rinse and dry all containers thoroughly. If using soda bottles, cut the tops off just before they start to curve in. Glue paper to the outside of each container -- it can be white, colored or cut up brown paper bags -- and decorate with paints, magic markers, or glue and glitter. Using a glue gun or commercial glue, fasten the containers together in two rows or two or three. Or take three different sized containers and glue together in a triangle shape. Attach a piece of yarn or string to each end as a carrying handle and fill the containers with crayons, markers, scissors and glue sticks, ready for any upcoming school projects!

Tuesday -- Refrigerator Magnet "Paper Clips": Looking for a way to display all those special and important papers that come home from school? Take five or six refrigerator magnets and glue pinch type clothespins to each one. Have your child decorate the clothespins with a variety of paints, markers and or glue on beads, sequins or shells. Another idea is to write each child's name in fancy script on one or two clothespins for special school schedules and homework assignments . Now you have a handy place for soccer schedules, field trip permission slips, and telephone trees for each child!

Wednesday -- Wooden Spoon Teacher Puppet: Asking a child in elementary school to describe their teacher is often an exercise in frustration. Instead, ask them to make a puppet and act out what the teacher does! Start with a wooden spoon and ask your kids to draw their teacher's face on it. Does she/he wear glasses? Lipstick? Now move on to hair, choose the right color construction paper and cut it out, or offer different colors of yarn. Is it short or long? Curly or straight? Take an old sock and attach it to the spoon with a rubber band, add jewelry or a tie as appropriate, and have the "teacher" act out the morning routine!

Thursday -- Make a Back to School Picture Frame: Back to school means school pictures. Get ready for them by making an individualized frame. Cut the back off a cereal box and cut out the appropriate size opening in the center. Use one cereal box back for each 8-by10 or 5-by-7 picture, or cut the cardboard in half for wallet sized. Make each opening slightly smaller than the picture size. Now decorate the frame with markers or paint, or get creative with glue. Cut flowers out of felt or use old puzzle pieces. Cut out pictures of sports equipment or school supply catalogues and glue those on. To make the frames last longer, spray with clear urethane or mix up a batch of white glue diluted in water to brush on. Once those are done, make individualized frames for relatives too!

Friday -- Make a Back to School Bookshelf: Let each child make a bookshelf or two to keep books neat and handy. Take a thick cardboard laundry detergent box or one of similar size and sturdiness. Cut off the top of the box and cut the front two sides down at an angle from top to bottom. Cover the outside with construction paper and put on your artist's cap. Make a back to school collage with magazine pictures, or draw a picture of the school and playground. Or make a giant rainbow or an under water scene. Store books and folders in this freestanding bookshelf. If you like, do the same with a larger box as a backpack holder just inside the door!

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