The hygge craze started over a year ago here in the U.S., but it’s still going strong. And let’s face it, during this chaotic year, we could all use a bit of calm and cozy. If you haven’t yet heard of the trend, here’s a bit of background for you. Hygge is a Scandinavian term for taking pleasure in simple, everyday, cozy comforts that create an atmosphere of sanctuary, warmth, and community. For example, when you come home and put your yoga pants and fuzzy socks on, light a vanilla bean candle, and sip some hot cocoa, you, my friend, are in hygge mode. But how do you incorporate hygge in the classroom? Let’s talk the why and how …
Why should you introduce hygge to your students?
The heart of hygge is about fostering a sense of warmth and community—much like the environment we try to create for our students. It’s something that helps students relax, find comfort, be together, and ultimately be inspired to learn.
Schools in Denmark have been practicing this philosophy for quite some time. From kindergarten through high school, one hour of every school week is set aside for klassen time, which translates to “the class’s hour.” Each week students take turns bringing cake to share with the class. The students spend an hour talking through issues and solving them together over cake. Once they’ve resolved the issues, they spend the rest of the hour just hanging out, or “hygge-ing.” This core function of the curriculum helps students develop a sense of empathy and togetherness.
How can you bring hygge into the classroom?
During the time of COVID-19 we realize you can’t just throw down some cozy rugs and bean bag chairs, cuddle up, and read a story. However, there are several ways you and your students can fully embrace hygge life. Most of these work online and in the classroom, making it easy to implement no matter how you’re teaching.
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1. Have a cozy sock day.
You can do this in the classroom or online. Have everyone wear their fuzzy pair and show them off to the class!
2. Stream a crackling fire on a screen.
This classroom screen saver is perfect to stream or share with your online students.
3. Take a yoga break.
This fitFlow Activity Generator helps guide students to the next pose. It’s a classroom favorite and easy enough to do in the classroom or online.
4. Bookmark your favorite chill kids playlists on Spotify.
We adore this list from Fatherly, which features instrumental versions of some of our favorite hits. The “Black Hole Sun” rendition brings instant zen.
5. Decorate your classroom with fairy lights.
This set of lights is super cheap and has great reviews.
6. Celebrate classroom traditions, like Keep the Quote.
Here are some of our favorite classroom quotes to get you started.
7. Drink out of mugs.
Invite students to bring their favorite mug from home, or share them online as they sip their favorite drink.
8. Keep it neutral.
Even online! Neutral color schemes are very hygge, and you can use them in your in-person or virtual classroom.
9. Host a Random Acts of Kindness month .
Get your very own Random Acts of Kindness calendar here.
10. Decorate the classroom with flameless, battery-operated candles.
These candles come with a remote!
11. Name your plants.
Nature is a key part of hygge. Not only are plants some of the best (and cheapest!) classroom decor, but students lovvveee to help name them. Make an activity out of it by asking students to pick a name for the plants and explain why.
12. Host a book café.
Students look forward to book café every year. Have you hosted a book tasting before? We’ve got oodles of good tips here. If you’re doing one online, suggest snack pairings with a classroom read-aloud.
While trends come and go, we’re crossing our fingers (and toes) that hygge is here to stay. Who can argue against having a little more kindness and coziness in our classrooms and our lives?
We’d love to hear how you’ve incorporated hygge into your classroom. Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus surprising cultural differences in schools around the world.5
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