Tackling the Post-Holiday Back-to-School Blues

By Sharon Taylor on January 1, 2014
  • Grades: PreK–K

For many students the winter break is a time for rest, relaxation, and rewards. Some of our students will return to school slowly, dragging their heels. So, how can we get our students back on track and motivated that first day? Here are a few activities I have planned for my students to help them get excited about their return to school.







Have a class pep rally.

Welcome your students back from their long holiday break with a class pep rally. Kick off that first day back to school with some fun and excitement. Talk to your students about upcoming school activities such as field trips, fund raisers, and more. This will get your students excited and motivated. Try to keep this momentum going for the rest of the day.



Create a holiday memory book.

After the holiday break students will have so many stories they want to share. Have your students write a sentence about the best part of their winter break and then illustrate it. I allow my students to share their work during our morning meeting. Collect your students' work and create a class book to include in your classroom library. 






Cuddle up with a few good books.

Story time can be a great way to help your students with the transition from home to school. There are tons of great winter books available. Allow your students to snuggle up on the carpet as you read some of your favorites. You could also allow them to choose their own books and read to themselves. 




Create your own snow.

After reading a wintry book, allow your students to make snow paint. Snow paint is inexpensive, easy to make, and tons of fun. To make snow paint simply mix equal amounts of white glue and shaving cream together. Cut out various winter shapes such as snowmen and snowflakes from cardstock. Allow your little ones to spread their snow all over their shapes. When the snow paint dries, it will become puffy. Your students will have a blast with this activity!




Warm their hearts with a cup of hot chocolate.

Nothing warms the heart like a cup of hot chocolate. Make some hot chocolate with your students. This is a very easy activity that students love. Create a class graph of how your students like their hot chocolate (with marshmallows or without). 

My students love this little hot chocolate song that I found a few years back. We usually sing it while we are busy making and enjoying our hot chocolate.



Have a snowball fight.

Write sight words on sheets of white paper. Crumple the paper to make snowballs. Place the snowballs in a bucket. Throw the snowball to a student and have them read the word written on it. If the student gets the word correct, they keep it. If they are not able to read the word, they must throw it to another student. This continues until all the words are read correctly.




Play musical snowballs.

Get your students moving with a fun game of musical snowballs. Musical snowballs is played just like musical chairs, but instead of chairs, you use circles cut out of white paper for each student.

What activities do you have planned for your students when they return from the holiday break?


great ideas I am an infant and toddler teacher and i like your ideas i will modify them according to children chronological age and abilities. these ideas can help for children develop all their developmental skills. Great.

Great ideas that I plan on trying the first few days back! Thanks

Can you add glitter to your snow paint before you use it to make sparkly snow?

Shaving cream has a lot of harmful chemicals that no man/woman should be putting on their face, much less children on their hands! Please consider finding alternative ingredients or natural shaving creams for this project.

I'm not sure where you got the information on shaving cream being toxic, but I would appreciate a verifiable link, rather than just conjecture. Here is a link I keep handy, stating that there is no danger in shaving cream.
If you are going to throw information like that out, please be responsible enough to back it up.

why not use a craft stick or paint brush to spread mixture on.

I am going to use the snow paint setting up my Christmas. Village. Each house store or whatever will be on a piece of cardboard this paint will be more realistic than batting. Can't Iwait to get started.

I really like the puffy snow paint idea. I teach art, and this is a new idea for me to use. Thanks!

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