Ten Teacher Essentials for the Hygge Classroom
Hey, y'all! If you've followed me for a little while now, you know how much I love a good, cozy classroom. I work so hard to create an environment that is inviting and fun, yet also calm and cozy.
Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates to a feeling of cozy connectedness. It describes those quiet, peaceful moments--ones I'd really like to have more of during the school day!
Over the years, I feel like I've tried it all. I've done the teacher toolbox (spray paint is not my friend), I bought the light box and the letter board, and I even gave in to the owl theme for a year or so. But with all the "things" every swears by (at least for a short time anyway), there are a few things that have stayed with me to make our classroom feel like home.
These are my tried and true ways to make your classroom feel more like a home away from home. (And yes, there are affiliate links.)
1. String lights
I love me some string lights! I put them around the bulletin boards or hang them from the ceiling if I can. I looked into a special timer plug but a good old fashioned surge protecter is the best on/off switch I found. I have several sets in my room this year and, if I don't have to move rooms again this year, I'll probably add some more.
2. A library rug
Area rugs make a small library feel super cozy. (Sorry, I didn't get a pick of our library before going on break.) This rug is super soft and cozy which makes our classroom library so inviting! The kids love to spread out on the rug and read. And for the price, it can't be beat.
3. An electric kettle
I love some hot tea during the winter months (or some instant coffee). I don't always have an opportunity to run down to the lounge to heat up some water, though. But with this electric kettle, I can heat up water in my room and I don't have to worry about any rules about having a microwave in my classroom. It heats up super quickly and my tea is ready to go.
4. Or a Keurig
If you're not a fan of instant coffee or tea, grab a Keurig for your classroom and keep the caffeine coming all day long. There's just something about having a warm drink available that makes the room feel that much cozier. And it smells great, too!
5. A diffuser
Speaking of smell, a diffuser is a great way to bring in a feeling of coziness into the classroom. I love it when people come into my classroom and say things like, "It smells good in here!" To me, that's much more hyggelig than the room smelling like feet and glue.
6. And essential oils
The diffuser above comes with some peppermint oil to start you off with, but for the winter time, I use this pack of winter themed oils to create a cozy holiday vibe. I add a couple drops of the two different bottles to make our own little scent and the kids love it. (If you have any sensitivities to smells in your classroom, I wouldn't use these while the kids are in the room.)
7. A natural look
I used this bulletin board paper on all the bulletin boards in our classroom (there are a LOT--it took me four rolls) and it feels so warm and comforting. A classroom without any windows can look dark and sterile (well, as sterile as it can be with a bunch of 6 and 7-year-olds running around). But with this wood looking paper, it feels a whole lot more cabin-y than before.
8. And chimes
If you're going for calm and cozy, yelling over the noise is the opposite of what you want to do. With these bells, I can ring them anywhere in the classroom and, no matter how loud my class is, they will ALL stop and look. I think I've only had to ring them twice once in my entire teaching career. The sound is soft and soothing but still noticeable enough to get their attention.
9. Calming music
I try to have soothing music on in the background as soon as my kids come in in the morning. They get off the bus and they are all wound up and loud. A few minutes with the background music going and their voice levels start to lower to a reasonable level again. Almost every morning I use a calming YouTube video of a fireplace with instrumental music. If you're just getting started, try this one.
10. Floor cushions
Most of the time, I let my students sit where they are comfortable (as long as they are on task of course). My kids love to grab a floor cushion and get comfy on the carpet with their books or work. These floor cushions come in bright colors and calming colors. But I like the calming ones for creating that cozy vibe.
I hope you found some ideas to get you feeling all cozy and ready for school. These are just a few of the things I use that have a big impact on our classroom vibe.
I hope you have a wonderful, hyggelig week and I'll talk to you soon.