Classroom decorating ideas are fun to share. There’s a great feeling that comes with having my classroom decorated and ready to go well before the official week back for teachers. The reality is that week before school starts is just not enough time for me to decorate and prep lesson plans.
So my first tip is…
1. Start early in your classroom
I’ve mentioned before how I like to get my bulletin board paper up in my classroom before I even leave for summer. I’ve been successful with this, and I can tell you that it brings me joy to walk into the classroom in August and have the walls done! I can focus on what I’ll be teaching. Here’s a great blog post about what to do (and not to do) during the first week of school. These tips are a LIFE SAVER!
Decorating early isn’t always an option for teachers. If you can, check with the custodial staff to see when they’ll be cleaning. Arrange a day where your room won’t be worked in and make 2-3 hours to focus on walls. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Add tablecloths and wrapping paper to your classroom decorating ideas
I love using party tablecloths as backgrounds for bulletin boards. There are so many cute designs and colors to go with any style. Tablecloths and wrapping paper are both cost-effective and they can be eco-friendly if you don’t get all the glitter and shiny stuff. They’re easy to put up, and they last a long time! Give them a try!
3. Cover the boring metal surfaces and bring color into your classroom decoration
I’m referring to desks and filing cabinets. Again, wrapping paper and party tablecloths come to the rescue. There’s no spray paint required, and you can change up the style if you get bored. I always keep a few of my favorite party tablecloths and rolls of wrapping paper for such occasions. Below you see a quick 10-minute transformation. Later, I added blue construction paper on top of the bubble-themed wrapping paper (which made it look like a border) to create an area where I hung important announcements. A bonus: the cabinet is magnetic!
4. Kids toys make for fun corners
If you have an empty area, bring in some of the silly toys your kids or nieces/nephews no longer find interesting. You can also hit up yard sales. I’ve had the Monster’s, Inc. characters on a windowsill for longer than I care to admit. Kids love them, and I end up using them to teach dialogue writing and to inspire stories. It’s silly and simple, but even middle school kids love some play time. Find great first week ideas here in this blog post.
5. The Dollar Store can offer inspiration for classroom decorating ideas
Go stroll the aisles and see what’s available for a buck. I love hanging things from my ceiling corners that go untouched. It could be beach balls, paper poofs, or toy light sabers (if I’m working with primary and secondary sources). You just never know what will inspire you.
Yep, branches…like from trees. You can hang them and then hang objects from them, wind stuff around them, and use them for each season (think leaves, snowflakes, shamrocks, flowers, etc.). Gather inspiration from the outdoors.
7. Hacks for putting up butcher paper on walls in your classroom
When putting up butcher paper (or table cloths or wrapping paper) without the help of another set of eyes and hands, staple just one corner first. Find an edge on the ceiling or a baseboard and try to align the paper with that object. You can also measure down or up from the object and place push pins at the right distance.
Then go ahead and staple the paper and take out the push pins as you go. When trying to hang butcher paper alone, this helps to ensure that the paper will be straight. Also, a meter stick is helpful to get at high areas when you want to take something down or to re-staple an object.
8. Easily pick up staples and paper clips
Here’s another great tip: Keep a magnetic wand close by to help pick up staples, push pins, and paper clips that fall on the floor.
9. Choose a simple color theme for your classroom decoration
Focus on 2-3 colors and stick to that scheme. Your classroom will look more cohesive and inviting. Greens and blues are two of the best calming colors. I love trying to add pops of my two colors throughout the classroom. This could be the containers I use for supplies, binders, lettering on walls or bulletin boards, pillows I may use in my reading corner, and more.
10. Reduce the use of plastic items as part of your classroom decorating ideas
Recently, I discovered cardboard photo boxes for storing my task cards and small games. I use the light brown color because it blends with almost any other colors. You can add lettering or pictures to the top and sides of the box to help with organization.
I love these, and I know I’m not purchasing environmentally unfriendly plastic containers. Reducing my purchase plastics is top priority for me. I was so happy to find these inexpensive photo boxes to provide storage.
These easy tips are sure to save you time, money, and environmental impact. Of course, you’ll want a fun activity for your kiddos during the first few days of school. These Get to Know You Brochures offer fresh ideas. The brochures can be used for display during the upcoming parent night. Find them here. They come in both digital and print versions.
Have a great start to your school year!
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