Make returning to school exciting and fun with this creative back to school activity. Kids of all ages will love this memorable, hands-on activity that is sure to bring a smile to every child’s face.

Whether you’re a classroom teacher and looking for a creative activity for the first day of school or a parent looking for a fun activity for kids to do at home to prepare for school, this is always a favorite.

Grab some beads and string for this craft project. However, these necklaces are much more than just a fun craft. As children walk outside their necklace will change and they’ll know their wishes for the year have been heard!

Make sure to download the free printable poem. You can use it with the activity and then later send it home. It creates a great conversation for parents and children at home after a great first day of school!

creative back to school activity shows a pinterest pin.

Creative Back to School Activity Materials

There are only a few materials you need for this activity, and if you have kids who love to do crafts, you may already have some of the supplies on hand. You will need:

  • UV Beads
  • Pony Beads (Assorted Colors)
  • String (Bracelet String)
  • Letter Beads (Optional)
  • Back to School Magic Printable
arts for kids shows piles of beads.

Any collection of beads will work. I included letter beads because I wanted my students to practice printing/creating their name. It was also an easy way to keep the necklaces from getting mixed up.

You can also print the Back to School Magic poem. I sent it home with students along with their necklace in a bag at the end of the day.

If you’ve never used UV beads before, they are a lot of fun. They are typically clear when inside, but turn different colors as soon as they are exposed to sunlight. The change is immediate and very exciting for kids.

Back to school magic printable poem.

For another memorable first day of school activity, check out a favorite in my classroom with young children. All you need is some different colors of playdough.

Creative Back to School Activity – Steps

Provide each child with a long piece of string and beads. I encouraged children to create their name with the letter beads and then add other beads to create a pattern or any design they want.

creative back to school activity shows two beads with clear or rainbow beads and the names PARKER and OLIVIA.

Every necklace was different when I did this in school!

The only thing you want to make sure of is each child using lots of the UV beads. They aren’t the most exciting beads, because they appear clear, but the more of the UV beads children use, the more exciting the necklace is when children step into the sun.

first day of school shows a necklace in the grass with the name PARKER.

Have children create their necklace. As they create encourage them to think about any goals or hopes they have for the year. As they put the beads on they can make a wish with each bead.

Once the necklaces are done, children can share some of their dreams and wishes they thought about while they created.

creative back to school activity shows a child wearing a necklace with the name OLIVIA in beads and rainbow beads.

Revealing the Magic

Once children have shared their ideas, take a trip outside. You can choose if you want to tell children ahead of time that the beads are actually UV beads, or you can surprise them.

creative back to school activity shows a child wearing a necklace with beads that spell out OLIVIA.

It is a lot of fun to let kids know that their wishes will come true if their necklace changes. As soon as they step into the sunshine, the clear beads will become bright, multicolored beads!

You can get different types of UV beads that may be multicolor or all change to the same color. Children tend to get really excited when their beads change. Let them know that when they go outside the beads will change color and remind them that their wishes will come true.

first day activity shows two necklaces with colorful beads.

This creative back to school activity is a great way to get kids excited for the upcoming year. If you try this in the classroom kids will love the hands-on learning and magic.

If you do the activity at home, kids will love knowing that their wishes have been heard and it will hopefully make them excited to start the year.

creative back to school activity shows a child with a beaded necklace with the name PARKER.

Kids will love playing with the necklaces and watching them change as they go inside and out.

I hope that this activity brings smiles to your children, or students faces this year!

Creative Back to School Activity Printable

Make sure to print the Back to School Magic printable poem. The poem can be sent home with children or read aloud to the class. It’s a simple way to explain the activity and a cute poem to celebrate the first day of school.

Click the “Free Printables” box below and subscribe to Play Learn Inspire. Once you have subscribed you will also unlock all of the other free printable resources available on this site.

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