Environment plays a significant factor in a child’s development.
Having a room of their own, where they spend half of their time, teaches them about independence, privacy, and keeping their spaces clean.
The other half of their time, they spend in a classroom – with you! That’s why it’s vital that you not only provide them with a supportive figure to look up to but a conducive and safe environment too. With a lot of fun to be had, that’s another important thing.
So, here are twenty tips for warm and lively preschool classroom decorations.
Use complementary colors
Some children can be particularly sensitive to bright lights. Unless you have the resources to have a dimly lit room separated for them, you’ll have a bit of a time trying to cater to every child’s needs.
A complementary color scheme is one way to ease this burden. The high contrast between the two colors, in this case, green and red, gives off an immediate vibrancy. But you can pick less saturated hues to dim the glow.
The colors will still pop against the background, especially when one’s used sparingly, and energize the other children.
It would be best to use your decor to clearly mark the ends of “centers” to keep the focus on your planned daily activities. If you want to avoid kids playing during storytime, then placing the library opposite from the block center is one option.
This room huddled together all the creative play items to make it clear that’s what the space is for.
Plus, there’s makeshift theaters and sets made out of cardboard! As a kid, didn’t you love playing with boxes and imagining you’re on a rocket ship too? It’s a way to engage their imaginations that’s eco-friendly and easy!
Get a bulletin board
As adults, it’s sometimes difficult to remember what day it is, what you needed to buy at the groceries, and why you went all the way to another room once you’re there. You can imagine how hard it is for children to remember important stuff too!
An apple green bulletin board, magnetic and interactive, that reminds them of the date, their homework, and responsibilities for the day is essential. And it makes for a pretty placeholder on your wall.
Arguably, preschool is the time when kids are most active in class. They learn a lot, but they also learn by playing. And they won’t be able to do that if they have to continually carry their bags and lunchboxes with them.
This freestanding cubby is low enough that kids can plop their own stuff down in the boxes when they enter the room. There are no complicated locks on it either. When there’s free space, you can even use it as an additional storage unit!
Let them inspire you
What did you often doodle in your notebooks during class? Stars and hearts? Flowers? Squiggly tornados? Chances are, your kids are just finding out the joys of drawing at this age. Why not decorate with the shapes they often doodle?
Whether it’s one-line flowers, M-shaped birds, or a sun with a happy face – consider placing them on your walls. Seeing their same doodles on the wall might help them feel confident about their progress, instead of disappointed that their art might not be as good as others.
Not to mention the clean, glossy lines of the flowers in this classroom make it seem much more elevated than its childish origins.
Have diverse furniture
One of the more important things when decorating your preschool classroom is making sure the children are comfortable. But “comfort” means different things to different people.
In the same way, you might feel uncomfortable when sitting on a chair with no back for extended periods, so too might children. Some might prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor while they listen to Dr Seuss. Others might enjoy the free movement stools offer. And, of course, you have to make the napping area comfortable with either foam floor mats or cushions.
Having a diverse range of furniture for all their needs is a must. They’re also more visually appealing than the rows upon rows of chairs you find in college classrooms.
Set up an art station
Art time can get messy. Children can get poster paint on themselves, on other children, on their eyes and mouths – scratch that. Art time can be an absolute war zone, with red paint splattered everywhere.
Prepare for the carnage by setting up a small art station, stocked with everything you might need for before, during, and after painting!
Get them their own aprons and hang it in the room, so they never forget and end up with paint all over their Sunday best. Have extra paint ready in case some of them left theirs at home. Last but not least, cleaning supplies for them and your well-decorated classroom.
As this picture shows, all you need is a mounted mirror with a shelf and some hooks, and you’re armed for combat.
DIY a magnetic chalkboard wall
The most popular – or infamous might be the right term – cliche about children is that they have a tendency to write on walls. Here’s a crazy idea: let them.
Instead of fighting the impulse, give them a wider space for creative expression by building your very own chalkboard wall. All you need is a jar of chalkboard paint, magnetic or otherwise, and maybe some plywood boards if you’re not ready to paint directly on your walls.
You can paint over all one side of a wall, like in this pic. Or you can go for a two-toned effect, turning only the bottom space children can reach into a chalkboard.
Get smaller furniture
The outside world is often an inhospitable place for children. They’re in danger of getting bumped by larger adults whenever they walk on the street. Door handles are just a little bit out of reach. And everything from electric sockets to table corners poses a threat.
If nothing else, then the classroom needs to be more than just child-proof, it needs to be made with them in mind. Use low furniture, ones they can reach on their own. If you want an interactive lesson, maybe use a smaller chalkboard too so they can come to the front and write stuff themselves.
This classroom is so neat because you should opt for real plants inside classrooms!
They provide extra air, which goes a long way into making a room less stuffy. Especially when you’ve got ten or twenty kids running around in a limited space. But the last thing you want is to have them stick their hands into the soil and, god forbid, into their mouths.
So, one solution is to hang them. The effect might even inspire awe in some of the students. You also really have to appreciate all the colors, shapes, and love that went into this classroom.
Find fun placemats
Have you ever had kids come and tell you all about their Minecraft lives? Well, get ready to get a +1 to cool in their eyes with a cool mat.
Minecraft happens to look just like old 8-bit games in the graphics department. As this photo suggests, there’s no better way to get an 8-bit look than with a woven mat.
Since most of these types are made from bamboo or reed, they’re environmentally friendly too! So, not only do they see something familiar like video game aesthetics in the classroom, they can learn all about sustainability and equality in the process.
Decorate with student projects
Speaking of environmentally friendly decorations, that’s one motivation for decorating your classroom with the students’ art. Another motivation is that they positively shine whenever they see their work on display, especially when they show it to their parents and guardians.
Instead of reserving these decorations for a special occasion like parent-teacher day, why not do it more often? It offers colorful additions to the classroom while making it feel more personal and unique to the kids. The relatively cheaper budget you need for materials is the cherry on top of this sundae!
Collect suggestions uniquely
Even if you’re the primary teacher, it’s always great to get parents and children involved in the learning process. They can offer you suggestions on behavioral areas to focus on with each child, needs, dreams, and ideas for what they’d like to learn next.
Suggestion boxes are boring though, even if you decorate it will all the wrapping paper you can find. Instead, find a way to make your suggestion “box” more attractive. Maybe with pins and a small hanger?
You can even find a small branchy plant, like fiddle leaf fig trees or the original wish trees, and ask students to tie a note with their dreams on the branches. It’s a perfect segue into a lesson about the Japanese festival, Tanabata, and accepting people from all cultures.
Place bold wallpaper
Preschoolers learn about how “A is for apple” and the like anyway, there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun and finding a patterned wallpaper with apple prints. In fact, it’s somewhat relevant and on-trend for them.
If fruits aren’t your thing, you can get baby animals, rainbows, and a scene of the ocean too. You don’t always have to be educational in your design. What’s more important is that you engage students enough to ask questions like: “what’s that?”, “what’s this a picture of?”, etc.
You can swap out wallpaper with vinyl wall stickers too. They seem more comfortable to place.
When it comes to decorating a classroom, you need to be on your toes. Find a way to sympathize and connect with them, and let that guide your choices.
How are you decorating your classroom this school year?