There's no better way to break the ice during the first week of school than by reading some silly picture books together. Here are three of my favorites, with a link to more back to school stories and some good choices for preschool here.
In the comments: What's your favorite back to school story?
Go Home, Mrs. Beekman! by Ann Redisch Stampler
A promise is a promise, so when Emily's mom vows to stay with her at school for a million gazillion years, that's just what she plans to do. Even though Emily and her teacher are begging the mom to go, she stays true to her promise. When will Mrs. Beekman go home!?
Grades 1+ will love Mrs. Beekman's ridiculous tricks to try to stay at school, but the message of not needing our parents during those first days is the one that sticks.
Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! by Judy Cox
The lucky students in this class have a teacher who keeps them on their toes and laughing all day long. At every transition, Mrs. Millie mis-speaks and the results are hilarious and encourage audience participation. She tells them, "Welcome, please come in and take off your GOATS." Her students correct her, "You mean our COATS!" Mrs. Millie says, "It's time to paint on the WEASEL" (No, Mrs. Millie, you mean the easle!)
Cartoony watercolor illustrations showing goats instead of coats, and a weasel instead of an easel make it even more silly. This is a great choice for grade 1+ since it gets everyone laughing and correcting the teacher.
Smelly Locker and other Silly Dilly School Songs,by Alan Katz
If you are up for singing and want to get kiddos giggling from the first day, this is a fun choice. Well-known tunes are set to lyrics about all the grim realities of school. Some favorites include "Heavy Backpack" (sung to "Oh Susanna"), "Passing Notes" (to "The Alphabet Song"), and "I Don't Want to do Homework" (to "Take me out to the ballgame").
Each song is short enough to sing through a couple of times and is accompanied by suitably silly colored pencil illustrations.
Grades 3+ will appreciate the humor of this one.
Here's a sample from "I am in the Lunchroom" (to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot)
I am in the lunchroom,
boy, I'm starved!
Wonder what kind of food they've carved.
Chicken, fish, or meat loaf?
IT'S so hard it snapped my fork!