Hygge is one of my most favorite words. In this post I will explain what that word means, why it’s important and how we can incorporate hygge into the classroom.
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This was a fun podcast for me to put together because I have recently become obsessed with hygge ever since we traveled to Denmark in August of 2019.
Hygge, to me, is just a word for cozy. But if you ask the Hygge gurus in Denmark, they will passionately tell you that it is not the same thing.
I learned the word for hygge in German, gemütlich, (so…cozy, joyful, pleasent LOL).
Here’s a good definition I found from Hygge House.
How does this relate to our classrooms?
Well, as teachers, we know the importance of creating a safe, welcoming, and inviting space for our students to learn in.
Hygge is one way we can welcome students into our classroom.
There are many other ways we can create a classroom where students feel safe and welcome.
- Set up your classroom in a way that is organized
- Use positive management systems to reinforce positive choices
- Apply consequences that relate to the offense (none of that “you’re missing recess” stuff)
- Creating a comfortable classroom
- Use routines to give students structure
- Implement management plans in a structured way
Incorporating hygge in the classroom setup and overall feel of our classrooms, we can help create that safe and welcoming environment.
I first learned of hygge when I read the book “The Year of Living Danishly.” I absolutely LOVED this book. The author is a British journalist who moved with her husband to Denmark for a one-year job delegation. She chronicles her whole year there and looking to see if Denmark really is the “happiest country in the world.”
Here are some other hygge resources I recommend:
Hygge House Website
Hygge in the Classroom
I’m a big advocate for not spending tons of money on your classroom. I think it leads to resentment, bitterness, and frustration. So, don’t spend tons of money on this! There are some easy ways you can make this happen on a budget.
On the podcast I shared five ways you can incorporate hygge in the classroom (and thrown in a sixth one for fun!).
1. Music in the Classroom
Music is an easy way to create a cozy and welcoming environment in the classroom.
When I was in grad school, our professors had a “morning/welcome” playlist and an “end of day/goodbye” playlist. It always took the “edge” off of walking into the classroom at 8:00 in the morning.
The music also creates a sense of community and a bond over the shared experience of those songs.
I put together a short little playlist to help you get started and you can get it right here!
Lighting makes everything feel cozier. Lamps instead of overhead lighting add to the hygge feel as well as string lights hanging from the ceiling or your whiteboard.
You can even use sheets or fabric over the lights to dim the overhead lighting in your classroom.
Organization is key to hygge because disorganization is NOT cozy! You want to make sure that your classroom is organized, there is plenty of space, and that all things have a home!
The more disorganized your classroom is, the less safe students feel. Also, the more disorganized the classroom is, the more likely you are to have behavior issues.
Here are some resources to help you get an organized classroom:
- Sign up for this free 5-day classroom organization challenge
- Organize your desk or small group table with the 6 Steps to Organize Your Desk Guide
- The Classroom Organization Guidebook shows you how to organize 20 key areas in your classroom.
4. Plants and Textures
Texture is a great way to add a cozy feeling to your classroom. You can also incorporate plants (real or fake!) in you the decor in your room.
If you decide to go with real plants, be sure to include that in your Classroom Jobs!
5. Community Building Time
It’s so important to your classroom (and to hygge) to create a welcoming and safe community. When I learned about hygge, a big piece of it is by surrounding yourself with people that bring joy.
We and our students spend so much time with each other that we have to learn how to find joy in each other. By building a community, you are creating that cozy and welcoming space needing in the classroom.
You can do this through Class Meetings, Team Builders, and Class Builders. I love the book Silly Sports and Goofy Games for finding fun and different team builders and brain breaks.
6. Greet Your Kids
Finally, it is really important to greet your kids each day and send them off each afternoon. They need to know they are important to you- both little kiddos in elementary and older kiddos in high school.
I’d love for you to have a listen HERE. And I would especially love it if you shared it with your other teacher friends!!!
Classroom Organization Master Class
Inside the Classroom Organization Master Class, I teach you the six things every organized classroom needs to create a classroom that is welcoming, safe, organized, and brings joy!
Enroll in the Master Class today and learn these six tips plus get a bonus workbook to help you work through the process in your own classroom.
Keep your students engaged by creating a classroom that has all the feels of hygge- cozy, pleasantry, joy, and happiness. While it might be hard to do in a typical classroom setting you can use these six tips to incorporate a bit of hygge in your classroom.
- Muisc throughout the day
- Lighting (not that harsh overhead lighting)
- Plants and textures
- Community building
- Greeting your students
Is there anything else you’d add to this list to create a hygge classroom? Let me know in the comments below!
Here’s a quick recap of all the links shared in this post:
- How to Manage Finances as a Teacher
- Our Trip to Denmark (not classroom related, but fun nonetheless!)
- Steps to Setting Up a Classroom
- 4 Must-Have Behavior Management Plans Every Teacher Needs
- How to Handle Consequences in the Classroom
- Daily Student Routines to Help with Organization
- How to Implement Classroom Management Plans
- Join the 5 Day Classroom Organization Challenge
- 6 Steps to Organize Your Teacher Desk Guide
Connect with Kelly
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Until next time,
If you found this helpful, make sure to pin it to your Pinterest board so you can refer back to it or so other teachers can find it!