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Back to School Themes

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playdough to make letters on alphabet cards, scissors and cutting cards, counting bears on a bus

Are you ready for school to start again? We have some fun Back to School themes coming for you in our play-based preschool units.

This first, of the back to school themes is packed full of review or assessment activities as well as some fun centers. You will get to test kids on their colors, shapes letters, sorting and more in these fun activities.

There are some other fun hands-on activities as well. You’ll find a Peek-a-boo get to know you craft, a STEM project and lots of other fun learning ideas.

Would you like a preview of the set? Here it is.


Or Get it in our TPT Store

Back to School Themes – Preschool

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Shapes Matching File Folder Game

colored preschool shapes with velcro attached to black and white shape outlines with shape names

Children will get to practice finding and matching shapes in this game. The shapes are labeled as well, so that children can start to associate that word with that shape.

Letter Matching File Folder Game

page with alphabet letters and velcro dots with colored alphabet squares to match and attach alphabet activity page with velcro dots and colored alphabet squares to match and attach

Focus on upper or lowercase letters with these bright, happy alphabet pages. You can also mix and match to help kids pair the upper and lowercase letters.

Scissor Practice Centers

tray with colored paper cutting practice strips and a child cutting with scissors.

Kids can work on scissor skills with these cutting practice cards. I like to print mine on bright colored paper to make them a bit more fun.

My House – STEM Building Project

cards with stem projects. A house built with craft sticks and mini blocks

This is a fun beginning STEM project for back to school or all about me week. Children get to model their house out of different materials in the classroom. Mix and match to allow even more creativity and expression.

Preschool Counting File Folder Game

binder with preschool pages. Numbers with velcro dots and matching dice to match and attach

In this binder game, the kids get to count the dots on the dice, and place them by the correct number. I store the pieces in a Ziploc attached to the back of the previous page, but you could also apply a strip or two of Velcro to the back of the previous page to store them on.

Roll & Count Block Chart

Lego Spinner printable with mega block legos covering a chart

We love playing with blocks to learn. You can turn this into a 2-player race or play blackout bingo.

Thread & Count Bead Cards

giant wooden beads with a shoelace on a table with bead pattern counting cards

Work on fine motor skills while you count with this fun activity. It is great for beginning math because it shows the numeral as well as the corresponding number of beads on each card.

Letter Building Cards

Alphabet cards on a table with playdough cans. Playdough rolled and shaped to letters on cards.

This is such a fun early literacy idea. Practice making letters in a fun, different way.

Color Matching File Folder Game

Binder activity page with colored paper crayons to attach ot matching outlines with the color word.

Kids get to practice their colors and color words with this binder game. You can draw a dot of color on the black and white crayons for extra assistance if your kids are ready to recognize color words.

Pencil Counting Cards

Pencil counting cards next to plastic numbers and a bin with pencils to count.

Kids LOVE fun pencil patterns, and here we practice counting them. Then instead of just writing the number, we played with toy numbers, finding the one that matched.

Bears on the Bus Counting

Yellow bus printable with 10 frame windows. Counting cards and rainbow colored bears to make the number.

Counting bears are always a hit with my kiddos, and here they got to help them ride the bus to school. This is a fun counting game for back to school.

Sort by Size File Folder Game

Laminated binder page with arrows on either side. School supply pieces ordered from smallest to largest.

Practice comparing and sorting by size with this activity. This is fantastic early math practice for kids.

Letter Find Cards

Alphabet cards with large color letter. Smaller circles with various letters. Colored marbles mark matching letters.

There are so many fun ways to use these cards. Use dot markers, buttons, playdough, mini erasers or other fun manipulatives to cover the matching letters.

Number Formation Cards

Pencil shaped number cards. Erasers used to outline the numbers

Practice forming the letters in different ways. We trace them with dry erase markers. We make them with playdough. We build them with erasers. What other ideas do you have?

Phone Number Practice Activity

Giant cell phone made from paper on floor. Child stepping on number buttons to make phone number.

We LOVE this phone number activity. In the set, we included the phone number cards and a small pretend play phone. You can attach the receiver with a piece of yarn as the cord, and let the kids pretend to call home.

OR… Take it to the next level with this amazing, giant floor phone. The kids get to hop/jump their phone number. Then tap the call button. They will absolutely LOVE this!! I do recommend you tape it to the floor, so it doesn’t slip when they jump on it.

Peek-a-boo Get to Know You Craft

child pulling back door of paper house to show picture underneath. drawing with family members and numbers of how many below.

This fun get-to-know-you craft would be great on the bulletin board or in a hallway. Kids get to show who lives in their house with them, and you have to guess who it might be. Then peek to see if you are right.


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Back to School Themes Worksheets

In addition to the fun, hands-on centers, we also included some no-prep worksheets for you. These are print and go for free choice options or to use however you choose in your classroom

preschool worksheet: numbered apples with apple dice to choose the matching number preschool worksheet with bus on tracing lines going towards schools preschool worksheet: shape outlines with shape word inside. Worm with pencil to color. Monsters holding boxes. Cut and paste number boxes to place in correct number order. alphabet letters in circles. a line to write name. Boxes to write number of letters in name and beginning letter. boxes with line and dot patterns for glue practice Two large boxes with word inside and outside. Cut and paste boxes with pictures of things to do inside or outside. Kids holding alphabet balloons. Circles with various letters so kids can match. books with letters or numbers on cover. Worm with magnifying glass to sort and color. School bus with alphabet letters in the windows to trace. Fingers to count next to boxes. Cut and paste number boxes to match to the fingers. Monster on a rug reading books. Numbers in the picture to color by number. numbered apples. Dice with color names as the code to color the apples. Back to School Preschool Tracing Worksheets #backtoschool #preschool #preschoolworksheets #planningplaytime

Aren’t those fun? If you love these back to school themes and this set would be helpful in your classroom, you can purchase by clicking the image below.

Happy Back to School!

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158 Responses

    1. Hi Gale. Unfortunately, these worksheets and activities are not free. This set took over 30 hours to create and $30 worth of clipart and fonts. I only charge $7, so that is a great value. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Amy N.

      1. Hi! After purchasing is it a link thats emailed to you to print? Where do we get the different pieces from? Like the velcro and etc? Any way to just buy the entore package already put together and ready for use?

        1. Hi Asia,

          We sell the printable pages for you to have instant access to download and print your items.

    2. What do use to make them. Like do you laminate sheet cut out. Last question, what do use to make them stick?

    1. Hi Patricia. Click on the Purchase Printables button at the top or throughout the post. It will take you to our shop to buy it there or give you the link to buy it in our TPT store. I hope that helps. – Amy N.

    1. Hi Lauren,

      All of our products are digital downloads. You can login to anytime to download and print. It’s under My Account – Orders.

      I hope that helps. If you have any questions, we are happy to help. Just send us a quick message through the Contact link.

      Amy N.

      1. I really like these ….however…would love to know how to purchase the BINDER to keep them all in…and the plastic the pages go in…….I have bought things of this nature before…BUT so many parts and pieces…..everything gets lost …LOVE the idea of having in all in a binder……..HOW DO I DO THIS….and do you have a phone number to call to order..????.. I hate ordering over the internet…..always want to speak with SOMEONE…….THANK-YOU..

        1. I purchased my binder at Walmart, but you could get one from any office store. I used a hole punch to place the laminated pages in the binder. The bags are Ziploc or sandwich bags. I use packing tape to attach the bags to the back of the laminated pages. You can also use Velcro strips to hold the pieces, but bags keep them contained better.
          We don’t do phone orders, mostly because it is tricky to take phone calls and have office hours while I’m with kiddos all day. You can use Paypal if that makes you more comfortable. We have both options in our checkout.
          I hope that helps.

          1. We do not sell them pre-assembled. You would have to purchase and send the file to a print shop if you don’t have your own printer.

    1. All of our products are digital. You can purchase it by clicking the Purchase Printables button in the post above. Once you purchase, you can imediately login and download your printable.

      I hope that helps.

    1. We provide all of the printables and you can download and print them on your own. That way we can keep the price very low, and you don’t have to wait or pay for shipping.

    1. I do. We have monthly Math and Literacy Printables as well as amazing writing prompts and organizers. There are other things you might find helpful as well. You can search in our shop here on Planning Playtime or in our TPT store at

    1. Hi Ashley. I’m sorry you didn’t see that email. Sometimes your email service might send it to a junk or spam folder.

      However, you can login anytime to to download and print anything you’ve purchased. You can reach our customer service for any questions at if you need any further help.

  1. I’m afrench teacher but i would like to use your material. Do you have it in french ou do we have the rights to translate them?

    1. I do not have them available in French right now. We would love to be able to offer that in the future.

      The copyright laws do not allow you to translate them on your own. Sorry about that.

  2. Do you have an option to purchase it already printed and assembled for you with supplies? 😀 Haha! I’d love that!

    1. Right now we just offer the printables, which is how we keep the cost so low. I have started paying my older kids to cut an laminate for me. It gives them a way to earn a few dollars and start learning to manage money as well as freeing me up to do other things. They get it done fast too.
      If you don’t have kids of your own that age, you might have a neighbor kid who would be thrilled to earn some money. Just a thought. 🙂

  3. Do you have an option to purchase completed binders? I am a teacher, but on leave and do not have access to any of my laminating/printing supplies.

    1. Right now we just offer the printables, which allows us to keep the cost so low and not have to charge you for shipping.

      You can try your local print shop, or I got my laminator (that I have been using like crazy for several years) for about $20 on Amazon. It was a great investment for me, because we use it so often.

  4. How do you stick the letters on the clear paper? Does it come with instructions on how to put the binder together and what items are needed for the binder?

    1. I laminate the pages of the binder and attach the pieces with Velcro dots. I typically buy them on Amazon, because I can get them really cheap in bulk. However, they are also available at your local craft and office stores as well as Walmart.

    1. You can login to print anytime at Then click on Orders and you can print and download there.

    1. I’m not sure which activity you’re asking about, but we used 3 different kinds of blocks.

      Mega Blocks – (At any toy store, Wal-mart or Amazon)
      Math Counting Cubes – Amazon
      Melissa and Doug Wooden Beads – (At any toy store, Wal-mart or Amazon)

      I hope that helps. Let me know if we can answer any other questions for you.


  5. Hi with these purchases is it just black and white printable(already printed for me) or do the coloured Velcro stick one for most of the activities come with them thanks

    1. When you purchase we give you the digital files. About 15 pages of each unit are in black and white. The other 60ish pages will print in color.

      You will need to laminate and add the velcro dots on your own.

    1. We love to do hands-on learning with toddlers rather than worksheets. It’s much better for their enjoyment, learning and development. Try sensory bins with letters and counting songs or finger plays. Activities that work on fine motor skills are awesome.

  6. Hi. I live in the UK and would love to purchase this for my 1 year old son. How do I do that? I tried but I cannot select the UK or England in the countries drop down? If they can’t be posted to me in the UK can I buy and print myself? Thank you

    1. Did you try the link to buy them in our TPT shop? If you click that link, I believe it TPT will allow you to purchase it there.

  7. Hi, these look like great worksheets!!! But my girls are 1st grade, 2nd grade and 4th grade would you happen to have worksheets

    1. We have quite a few worksheets for 1st grade. You can do a search for 1st grade on our site and get a list. I hope that helps.

  8. I am mainly interested in the shapes matching, alphabet matching, I know my colors, and count and match. Do all of these print tables come in the preschool bundle for 7.50? Or what do I need to buy?

  9. What is your TPT store name? I can’t get it to search by planning playtime…

  10. Does the $7 bundle include all the file folder games that are shown in the Facebook ad? thanks

    1. Hi Vanessa. You can get the printables at the link up in the post. It’s a blue button that says, “Purchase Printables.”

  11. Hello,I love your lessons ideas.
    Do I need to become a member to buy any of your lessons? Because I have been trying couples times and I was not able to buy any.

    1. No. You don’t have to be a member. If you can send us an email we will help you figure out what is going on and get you in.

      1. I sent my email already That was the only way that I could login in the website and I have been receiving email that I have one more day to buy a membership. Once again I love your lessons I’m a parent you have great lessons that I could use with my children.

  12. I’m opening a childcare , how long will it take to get here and does everything come with it that shows in the pictures?

    1. All of our products are digital downloads for you to have instant access to download and print. You can find the items we use on Amazon or dollar stores.

  13. Im looking for work for my grandkids now that they have to stay at home for the quarantine. I have a almost 6 years old n a 3 year old

    1. You can find a lot of the little pieces at a dollar store or on Amazon. The 60 pages of activities that show they are in color print in color. The 15 worksheet pages are in black and white.

  14. Hey I was wondering if we would get all the materials for the different practice pages like it shows in the pictures? Or do you just get the print outs and we have to get the materials ourselves?

  15. I purchased the printables but I need help finding the wooden beads to use with the “Thread and Counting” cards. When can I purchase those?

  16. I love this. I am always looking for educational hands on applications for my little ones.

  17. good morning, how are you doing, I have a question in the packet for $7.50. Do you receive all of the documents, color. Alphabet, size, beads, bear counting. Alphabet playdough, all above for the packet of $7.50. I appreciate your time

  18. Do you purchase just the worksheet or do you received everything that is shown in the pictures such as play letter, erasers, the teddy bears markers ect.?

  19. Hello,

    Can I purchase the binder already assembled or I’m just purchasing the materials and I have to put it in the binder myself?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      We sell the printable pages for you to have instant access to download and print.

  20. I purchased this a couple weeks ago and there seems to be some confusion around what is involved so I wanted to share my experience.
    You receive a PDF file that you can also access on the account you create online. After downloading, you print on WHITE paper (the images are in color).
    I made a list of things I didn’t already have and hit up the Dollar Store. (Binder, zipper pouches, paper, some craft items) Got a laminator and sheets from Walmart. ($30)
    After printing and cutting out pieces I laminated and cut everything. Loose pieces went in ziplock bags and into the zipper binder pouches that I put at the back of the binder. Craft items went in a decorative cardboard box with lid I also got at the dollar store.
    Total time for everything was about 4 hours and cost $50. (The bulk of it the purchase of the laminator).
    Additional downloads will obviously be significantly less expensive as I now have the basic items.
    This has been a great interactive and learning tool for my granddaughter and I look forward to more projects in our future.

  21. Hi there, I am interested in purchasing the peekaboo family activity, but I’m not sure which bundle it is actually in. I clicked on the preschool bundle and when I saw it at the TPT store, it did not seem to have that particular activity. I played the video, again that activity was not covered. Kindly advise. I have all the other activities and I just want this particular one to add to my beginning of the school year. Thank you so much

  22. Hello I just want to know if u have any dressing activities because I have a 19 yr old but he’s a special need and we’re looking for dressing activities it would help us a lot.thank u .

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