Hygge in the ClassroomHey, y'all! Have you heard of hygge yet? In short, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish word describing the feeling of coziness and togetherness. It's warm drinks, fuzzy socks, cozy blankets, a roaring fire, and great company. It's all the things that make a cold winters' day comfortable and warm.
So how do you get this feeling in the classroom? It's not like we can light up the fireplace in our classrooms, but there are a few ways we can make our rooms cozy and warm, and make it feel a little homier throughout the winter months.
1. Use cozy lighting.
This cold be lamps, string lights, fairy lights. opening the blinds on the windows, using LED candles, etc. Using soft yellow lights is much cozier than using the harsh white lights. Your students will be calmer, too. It's hard to be super hyper crazy when the lights are turned down low.
2. Youtube a crackling fireplace.
My students absolutely love when I "turn on the fireplace." Especially when it's rainy or snowy outside. Many of them even choose to work on the floor in front of it. And I LOVE the eye rolls I get when they come in from recess freezing and I tell them to warm up by the "fire."
3. Get comfortable.
Hygge is all about coziness. Wear your favorite sweater. Have a "shoes off/fuzzy socks" day. Have a pajama day, or a "bring a blanket" day. Lay on the floor to read together. Add some comfy pillows to your library area. However you you choose to do it, make it a point to get comfy.
4. Enjoy the good times.
Read a book together, allowing students to lay down or get comfortable in their own way. Play games together. Laugh. Take time to enjoy your students and each of their quirky personalities.
This week, I startled one of my students while playing a group game. His reaction had the entire class (including myself) rolling with laughter. I could have told the class to settle down, but the shared joy was such a bonding experience for all of us, it would have done my students a disservice to squash their excitement.
5. Play music in the background.
Music is a powerful tool in setting the mood. There are so many different online music streaming tools that there is no doubt you can find just the right one to set the mood for your classroom. Our current favorite is Amazon Prime Music's Calm Down Kids playlist. It brings the voice level down by several decibels. I'm also a fan of the nature sounds and holiday instrumental music. (Although with the nature sounds, anything with rain or flowing water will make everyone need to use the restroom!)
However you choose to do it, adding a little hygge into your daily routine can pay big dividends. Your students (and you) will be calmer and happier. You will have more time to get learning done and bond with each other. You will leave work with more satisfaction, and you'll be better able to handle the stressed that come your way from parents, admin, and the like.
What other ways can you add hygge into your classroom? Leave your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for more great resources coming soon.