Hygge — What It Is and How to Incorporate It Into Your Classroom
You know that feeling of coziness and warmth that you get when you curl up by the fire, under a soft blanket, and surrounded by loved ones? There isn’t one good word to encapsulate that feeling in English, but there is in Danish!
The concept of Hygge is a sense of warmth, coziness, home, and community, particularly during cold, winter months. And the Hygge lifestyle is taking the world by storm. Google it and you will find countless articles on creating this feeling in your home. 90 percent of my Pinterest is filled with Hygge posts. And I recently picked up a book I found at Barnes and Noble called American Cozy: Hygge-Inspired Ways to Create Comfort and Happiness, by Stephanie Pedersen.
The point is, Hygge is becoming ever-more prevalent in our society. So how can you apply this idea to your classroom? Here are a few ideas – feel free to pick and choose and even add your own ideas in the comments down at the bottom.
1. Create a reading nook
Find a corner of your classroom that you can convert into a cozy reading nook. Add floor pillows, a rocking chair, a small bookcase, and voila! You have a great little spot your students will love to use for study time, downtime, and even as a meeting space for projects. Elementary teachers can use it for story time.
2. Add some non-pollinated plants
Some children have allergies, so you have to be careful about getting a non-pollinated plant. But there are plenty of “hypo-allergenic” plants that can also survive indoors. Plants help clean the air and add life to the classroom – making them great for increasing Hygge.
3. Change up the lighting
Classrooms can sometimes feel sterile with the fluorescent lighting. Try switching it up by adding some twinkle lights, Himalayan salt lamps, or any other creating lighting you can find.
4. Assign Group projects
One of the most important aspects of Hygge is that it creates a sense of community. Encourage your students to interact with a fun group project. Let them work in different places around the classroom (maybe even in the reading nook you created).
5. Personalize the Desks
For your teacher desk, you can add pictures of your family, a comfy throw to your chair, and anything else to make your space feel homier. For students, you can allow them to bring an item from home (within reason) to keep at their desk. Or you can have students create fun name tags for their desk to make it feel more like their individual space.
6. Play Quiet Music
Playing classical music or nature sounds quietly while students work can help cut through the silence and make any classroom feel a little cozier.
7. Diffuse Essential Oils
Like the plants, this is something where you will need to consider your students’ reaction. But many teachers are diffusing essential oils in their classrooms. Some oils can help improve focus, some have relaxation properties, and others can make your classroom smell like warm cinnamon apples. And who doesn’t love that?
What do you think of our list? What are some other ways you can add Hygge to your classroom? Let us know in the comments below.