10 Picture Books and Activities About Starting School

Starting school can be an exciting yet daunting time for children and parents alike. It represents a major step in a child’s life, filled with new experiences, learning, and growth. To help ease the transition, sharing stories about school through picture books can be incredibly beneficial. These books provide a comforting glimpse into what school life is like and can open up conversations between children and parents about any worries or questions. Here are ten delightful picture books related to starting school, each paired with a fun, related activity.

1. “The Night Before Kindergarten” by Natasha Wing

Activity: Create a “School Countdown Calendar” where kids can mark off the days until school starts with stickers or drawings.

2. “Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney

Activity: Prep a ‘First Day of School’ keepsake box where children can keep items that remind them of home.

3. “Wemberly Worried” by Kevin Henkes

Activity: Have children draw pictures of what they think their classroom might look like to familiarize themselves with the setting.

4. “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn

Activity: Create ‘kissing hand’ crafts with a handprint and heart to remind children of their parent’s love during the school day.

5. “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes” by Eric Litwin

Activity: Decorate an old pair of shoes with paints and markers to make some ‘cool school shoes.’

6. “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg

Activity: Role-play different first day scenarios to discuss feelings and how to handle them.*

7. “David Goes To School” by David Shannon

Activity: Set up ‘classroom rules’ brainstorming session and create a poster featuring the agreed upon rules.

8. “If You Take a Mouse to School” by Laura Numeroff

Activity: Pack a special ‘mouse-sized’ lunch and have a pretend school lunch at home.

9. “Monkey Not Ready for Kindergarten” by Marc Brown

Activity: Organize a ‘kindergarten skills’ scavenger hunt at home or in the backyard.

10. “School’s First Day of School” by Adam Rex

Activity: Make a ‘My First Day’ book where kids can write or draw their first impressions of school.

These books not only serve as enjoyable reads but also as tools to support emotional readiness for school. The activities complement the themes within the books and can help build enthusiasm as well as equip children with coping strategies for any anxiety they may feel about starting school. Enjoy reading and getting creative with your little one as they begin their educational journey!

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