Even the drabbest of classrooms can be given a quick and simple makeover with a bit of imagination. Remember you have a class full of mini artists in the making, brimming with energy and enthusiasm and willing to help you out.
Here are ten super simple ideas to spruce up your learning space:
1. If you’re struggling for space, window pens are an affordable way of helping mark making become more exciting in your classroom. They allow you to utilise alternative spaces and liven them up with a touch of colour. Let your class practice their writing or draw pictures based on your topic, or have a go yourself! Leave encouraging and motivating quotes and messages for your pupils, notify them of the plan for the day or for younger children start a ‘weather watch’ by drawing simple weather pictures on the window each morning.
2. If the view out of your classroom isn’t very inspiring, then do it yourself! Window silhouettes are so simple to make, but really effective. Cut out the shapes you want and stick onto your windows; think superheroes, nature or rockets whooshing through space.
3. If you have a large area of space to fill, cover it with white paint and let the kids loose. Perhaps allow them all to paint an image of their choice; something to represent them, flags, flowers, animals, sports. You’ll not only end up with a beautiful multi-coloured class mural, but one that is meaningful to your class.
4. Door decoration is another brilliant way to optimise your display space. Get arty and turn a drab door into an exciting entrance. Not only will it look amazing, but it provides a wonderful welcome for your class each morning and for any visitors to your class.
5. A cheap roll of wrapping paper can offer a multitude of options to brighten up your workspace. Use it to cover draws, desk fronts, cupboard doors and bookshelves, or containers, books and pen pots. Use a large roll of the same paper to coordinate your class! A piece of wrapping paper in a frame looks like an awesome poster, or use it as a border for children’s work.
6. Chances are you’ll have your fair share of old children’s books knocking around school that are tatty, torn and have pages missing. It’s such a shame to throw them out, but if they’re no longer nice for the children to read then give them a new lease of life by carefully extract the pages that are still in reasonable condition. They can make wonderful artwork for your classroom walls, school library or book corner. Picture books are rammed with delightful illustrations to dress up plain walls. If it’s not a picture book, pages with certain inspirational sentences highlighted can make a lovely feature. Make a DIY frame from cardboard or laminate them so they last. If your books are in tip top condition and not ready to be recycled, then photocopy the pages and do the same! Using herb racks as book holders can also be a lovely idea for displaying your books, plus the kids are more likely to grab the books to read if they can see the cover.
7. Bunting is great for adding a splash of colour to any space and is a straightforward and fun task to get your class involved in. Give each child a plain card triangle (or go one step further by using pinking shears and a plain white sheet), and brightly coloured pens and let them decorate each side. Attach the decorated triangles to a length of string or ribbon and there you have it! This task is so simple you could create a new personalised bunting string every term, try creating it based around your topic or school theme with the kids designing the artwork.
8. If you haven’t discovered chalkboard paint yet, then you really should! You can create a functional writing space on a variety of surfaces. Tape off an area of your wall or even paint a piece of old furniture or table top, then pass the kids some colourful chalk to decorate and mark make to their hearts content.
9. You can display your class’s work and make your room look awesome with the simplest of items. Wooden pegs are mega cheap and really handy; clip them along a length of ribbon or string across your class or grab a glue gun and stick them to the wall for you to create a gallery of the children’s latest work. Customising them with the children’s names, drawings or glitter makes them look extra special.
10.Raid your school craft cupboard! Chances are there are some bits in there that have been in there for years, odds and ends that no one knows what to do with. Get the children threading beads, pom-poms, ribbon and other bits and bobs onto string to create funky decorations, great for practising their fine motor skills, but also a fun and creative alternative to bunting. They also look brilliant hanging from doors and windows!