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Back to School Word Search

Whether you’re looking for a back to school word search for your classroom or for your children at home, I hope you enjoy this free printable!


Working on puzzles, including word searches, has a variety of benefits for both children and adults. They can help improve spelling, letter and word recognition, and problem solving skills (just to name a few!).

This back to school word search features 20 education themed words to seek and find, including:

  • Alphabet
  • Apple
  • Backpack 
  • Binder
  • Books
  • Bus
  • Classroom
  • Desk
  • Learn
  • Locker
  • Lunchbox
  • Notebook
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Recess
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Student
  • Teacher
  • Whiteboard

Tips for using printables

This post includes affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission on purchases made through links at no additional cost to you.

Using printables is pretty straightforward, but these tips will help you make the most of these word searches and any other free printables you find!

It’s easy to make this printable reusable if you use a laminator or dry erase pocket.

A dry erase pocket is basically a super strength page protector that’s designed for use with dry (or wet) erase markers. It’s a good alternative if you don’t have a laminator.

TYH Supplies 10-Pack Reusable Dry Erase Pockets 9 x 12 Inches Assorted Neon...
  • Set of 10 Super heavyweight clear erasable pocket, For papers up to 9" x 12"
  • Ideal for work stations - no need to replenish paper - just wipe away and start again
  • Write on and wipe off, Go green, Use over and over again, Use low-odor dry erase markers (included)

If you find yourself using a lot of free printables, consider purchasing an at home laminating machine. They’re very affordable and pay for themselves in about 10-20 uses when compared to the price of laminating at a copy shop.

Scotch Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System for a Professional Finish,...
  • Laminates items up to 9 inches wide
  • Two roller system for a professional finish
  • Suitable for use with photos

If you chose to protect your pages for reuse, you may want to go ahead and print them on presentation paper so they look their best. Presentation paper is heavier than printer paper and has a special coating for crisp, vibrant images. 

The difference is more noticeable in real life, but the mermaid bingo card on the left was printed on presentation paper while the one on the right was printed on cardstock.

difference between print on presentation paper and cardstock

For one-time use, just plain printer paper is fine. 

Final tip: If you’re shopping for back to school season, you need a free Ebates account. (They’re called Rakuten now, but same thing.) You can earn cash back from a zillion different places, including WalMart, Target, and Amazon! 


Free printable back to school word searches

As always here on The Artisan Life, these printables are available free for personal use.

You can print and use them with your own kids, in your homeschool co-op, Sunday school class, or personal classroom, but please do not redistribute the digital files. Instead, just refer your friends and colleagues to this post so they can download the puzzles for themselves. 🙂

This is a more challenging word search for a child – younger kids may need some assistance. The words can be hidden forwards, backwards, and diagonally. The backwards words are (I think) trickiest to find! 

To help you, I am also including an answer key. 

These previews are just low resolution images. Please see below for download information!

First there’s the puzzle with a paperclip background for a fun, school vibe. The paperclips are easy on your colored ink and would also look fine printed in black and white.


Then there’s the same puzzle with a stack of books and an apple in the background. This one uses a little more ink and wouldn’t translate as well into black and white.


Finally, there’s a plain, only black and white version of the word search without any extra adornments. This is obviously the most ink-friendly version!

preview of black and white back to school word search

Where to download your school word search puzzles

Normally, I place all free printables in the Member’s Resource Library. However, I’m a former classroom teacher with a soft spot for school (yes, I’m a nerd and I’m okay with that) so:

You can download the plain black and white school word search with answer key right here!

The two colored versions are located in the Resource Library. (Actually, all three versions are in the same file along with the answer key.) All you need to do is input your password to log in and download away!

If you don’t have a password yet, or forget it, just use the form below to let me know where to send your password. You will also be enrolled in my twice a month newsletter with updates on the latest freebies. (Let’s be real – I’m a #toddlermom. You’ll probably only hear from me once a month.)

No matter which version you download and whether or not you become a member, I hope you enjoy!

Please remember to Pin this post now so you don’t lose track of it! I seriously can’t even tell you the number of times people Google for specific posts of mine because they didn’t Pin.

free printable back to school word search text overlay with small previews of all three versions of the word puzzle

More free printable activities for children

If you’re looking for free, low or no-prep activities for kids, I have you covered! More printables are added all the time, so be sure to check back again soon!

Mermaid bingo

have fun this summer with free printable mermaid bingo!

Mermaid coloring pages


Nature scavenger hunt


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