Activity for second grade: Browse 2nd Grade Hands-on Activities

Опубликовано: August 31, 2023 в 10:55 am


Категории: Miscellaneous

The Best Back to School Activities for Second Grade

I am SO excited to share the best back to school activities for second grade with you today! You and your second graders will love them!

This set of thirteen Back to School and First Day Activities for Second Grade will save you time as you prep for the first week of school. Additionally, it will engage your second graders in meaningful and fun activities. The beginning of the year is a special time for second graders, as they transition into the school environment and adjust to new friends and rules. There are lots of changes and lots of things to be excited about!

These are the best back to school activities to complete the first few weeks of school as you welcome in your new second graders. They will help them accommodate to their new role and schedule, and create new friendships with their classmates. Hopefully, these activities will help make the transition to second grade fun and engaging!

Why teachers and students LOVE these activities

💖 Teachers love how engaging and simple these activities are to prep. They also help teachers get to know their students and build classroom community. There’s so much going on at the start of a new school year. This resource will help relieve the burden of finding things to do.

💖 Students love these activities because they help them share about themselves, get to know their classmates, and have fun the first week of school. They also help ease them into the routine and structure of a new classroom.

13 of the Best Back to School Activities for Second Grade

Jitter Juice is a tried-and-true class favorite that my students continued to talk about and reference as one of their best memories from the school year. This is an original poem that I wrote to help ease the first day jitters, all while reading along and enjoying a yummy cup of Jitter Juice (recipe included)! Your students are guaranteed to LOVE this activity.

The Second Grade Survey will help you students share about themselves with you and their classmates. Find out how they’re feeling about starting second grade, what they’re good at, and what they’re excited to learn in your classroom. The self-portrait is always fun to draw and look back on at the end of the year, too!

Grab the included templates and some sentences strips to create the cutest back to school paper crowns around. There are four different designs to choose from.

After a second grade-themed back to school read-aloud of your choice, find out how your students spent The Night Before Second Grade. Students will briefly draw and describe what they did before the big first day of school!

Follow up any of the get-to-know you activities with paper friendship bracelets. Give each student a page of bracelets to color and cut. Then, they can exchange them with their friends and promote conversations at home!

What’s in a second grader’s backpack? is a simple writing craft. Students write down things that a second grader needs to be successful. Then, create the backpack and place the writing paper within the pocket. This would make a super cute hallway display!

Collaborative Activities

Partner students together to color, cut, and create these super fun friendship puzzles! There are three puzzle designs to choose from. Students work in pairs to share and assemble their puzzles. It’s a great way to support cooperation!

Looking for an easy Ice Breaker? Find-a-friend is the perfect way to encourage your students to get to know one another. The prompts are easy (i.e. “Find a friend who lost a tooth!”) and they get to collect signatures as they move around the room finding new friends!

Create a Class Book that shares all the new faces in your classroom! Students will draw a self-portrait and you’ll combine each one into a class book. Then, you can read and share it with your new class so they can get to know one another better. This will make an excellent addition to your reading center – the kids love to look at the drawings they made!

The following activities will pair perfectly with any books that you have about second grade or going back to school!

  • Activity #1: Complete a whole group tree map about second graders
  • Activity #2: Discuss the similarities and differences between first and second graders. Complete a whole group double bubble map and then have students complete the individual double bubble map
  • Activity #3: Journal activity using the included sentence starter

Create a My First Week of Second Grade Book (2 versions included) to share all the fun from the first week of second grade!

Free back to school activity

Fill out the form at the bottom of this post to grab the FREE writing paper pictured below! It’s a great prompt to use at the end of the first week of school. (This example says kindergarten, but there are prompts for K-2 included!)

Looking for more back to school activities?

I hope you find that these are the best back to school activities for second grade, too! They are all available for purchase here. You can also check out these posts for more activities to use as you prepare for the first day of school!


Abby is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher who channels her passion for education into creating engaging activities and resources for the kindergarten and first grade classroom. When not dreaming up or working on her next project, you’ll find her enjoying her family – most likely in her minivan on the way to a soccer field.

Classroom Games for 2nd Grade


There are a number of games that can be played with second graders that are both educational and community-building. These games are great for a rainy day and for a fun lesson. They are best played with classes of 10 to 20 kids.

Explore this article

  • Monster Game
  • Circle Skip Counting
  • Community Ball Toss
  • Guess My Number
  • Sight-Word Bingo

1 Monster Game

The students are instructed to draw a monster on a piece of paper. On a separate sheet of paper, the students are instructed to describe the monster they have just drawn. When this is finished, all students pair up. The students are instructed to take turns reading the descriptions of the monster, while the partners draw the descriptions as they are read. When this is finished and all students have read their descriptions, the drawings of monsters are compared to the originals.

2 Circle Skip Counting

The teacher instructs the students to stand in a circle. The teacher chooses a number to count by (twos, threes, fours, etc), and picks a starter player. Beginning with the starter player and moving around the circle, each student says the next number in the sequence. Any student that says an incorrect number sits out until all students have been eliminated and a winner is declared.

3 Community Ball Toss

The teacher instructs students to stand in a circle. The teacher throws the ball (if indoors, use a squishy, non-bouncy ball) to a starter student, then the students are instructed to put their hands behind their back once they have had the ball, and the ball is tossed around until all students have had the ball just one time. The last student to receive the ball sends the ball back to the teacher. Next, the teacher sends the ball back to the same starter student, and the ball is tossed in the same sequence it was thrown in previously. The sequence is repeated once or twice, and then gradually the teacher begins to throw more balls into the circle, again following the same sequence, until there are five or six balls being thrown in the circle, at different points in the sequence.

4 Guess My Number

The teacher puts up a number line and says, “I am thinking of a number between…[insert two numbers]”. For example, the teacher thinks of the number 18. The teacher says, “I am thinking of a number between 5 and 33.” The teacher shows this on the number line with a sticky-note placed on 5 and a sticky note placed on 33. One student guesses a number–for example, 24. This is not the correct number, so the teacher moves the outer sticky note from the number 33 to the number 24, and says, “I am thinking of a number between 5 and 24”. This continues until the number has been guessed.

5 Sight-Word Bingo

This game is played just like ordinary Bingo, but the numbers have been replaced with sight-words. Each student is given a laminated card with a grid of sight-words on it (the center square is the “FREE SPACE”). The teacher draws the sight words from a hat, and the students mark the words on their laminated cards (with bingo chips or dry-erase markers) as the words are called. The first student who gets a line of marked words down his Bingo card shouts out “Bingo!” and wins the round.


  • 1 Nora Robinson; Larchmont Charter School; Los Angeles, California
About the Author

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.

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