Need an easy (and free!) idea for a bulletin board craft for open house? The beginning of the year in kindergarten can be exhausting and chaotic which sometimes means that parent night (or open house or curriculum night) can sneak up on you! This free printable template goes along with one of my favorite back-to-school read-alouds, School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex (affiliate link).
(Read more about this book and other fantastic beginning-of-the-year read-alouds in this post.)
Told from the point of view of a freshly built elementary school, School’s First Day of School beautifully works through so many of the concerns and emotions children might have as they begin school. If you read this book a few days into the new school year, it can facilitate a really great discussion about what the children expected their first day of school to be like compared to what happened in reality. You can then follow up with this relatively simple craft. (We all know that nothing is really THAT simple at the beginning of kindergarten, though, so I’m including some ideas to adapt this craft to meet the needs of your class.)
The free printable template for this craft includes two pages: A school building outline to color and cut out and a background page to glue the school building onto. The final product is a school with doors that open to reveal a drawing of the student.
Print both pages on white paper. Have the students color the school building before cutting it out.
(This requires a lot of coloring. Children with low hand strength may find this tiring which may result in a less-polished end result.)
Another idea is to print the background page on white paper, but the school building on colored paper. Students can still color portions of the school building, but do not need to color the whole thing in order for it to look complete. Consider copying the building onto a variety of different colors of paper and letting the children choose their favorite. This can make for a bright and colorful display!
You will definitely want to do this project in steps with a lot of guidance. I suggest first modeling how to complete the background page by writing your name and drawing a picture of yourself in the white box. At this time, show the class a completed sample, so they will understand that their picture has to be contained in the box so it won’t be covered by the building.
After they finish the background page, set those aside. (You may even want to do the rest of the project later, in a different session.) Pass out the school building page and guide the children to write the name of your school in the box above the door. Assist as needed–some children may need to trace this–consider writing the school name with a highlighter for those who would benefit from a tracing guide. Then allow the children to color the school.
Next, model cutting the building out on the thick outline followed by cutting the T-shaped door lines. Watch for children who are over-zealous in their cutting and have your patience and scotch tape ready! The children will probably need some help in folding the door open. It is best to open the doors before gluing the two parts of the craft together so the doors don’t accidentally get glued shut.
Finally, how the students how to put glue on the gray-shaded portion of the background page (glue sticks are useful for this part), Help as necessary in placing the building on the background, and lining it up so the doors open over the child’s drawing.