We all know the classroom can be a bit chaotic at times. Endless to-do lists, walk-throughs, paperwork, student behavior, IEPs, standardized assessments, and of course, teaching. Transform your room with a calming classroom theme. We rounded up plenty of affordable finds that will add some Zen to your classroom. Let it help you (and your students) calm the chaos of day-to-day school life.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. Less means more
Sometimes a classroom does not need all of the extra decor. In fact, studies show that too much clutter or use of wall space can bring anxiety to students and negatively affect their learning. If you are allowed to paint your classroom walls, consider a calming color. Wall color alone can change and soothe a whole environment.
Buy it: ColorPlace Ultra Sanctuary Blue Paint at Walmart
Image: The Teacher Next Door/Instagram
2. Hide the clutter
Teachers are hoarders, it is a known fact. You do not need to get rid of it, just hide it better! Walmart has great, affordable storage solutions such as this storage organizer and these storage cubes.
Buy it: 8 Cube Storage Organizer at Walmart; Fabric Cube Storage Bin at Walmart
Image: Little Sprouts/Learning Jungle/Yelp
3. Cover those lights
School fluorescent ceiling lights can give off a rough glare and an annoying flickering sound, and they are downright hideous to look at. These tranquil blue fluorescent light covers are a hot trend right now. Not only do they dim the harsh light, they also give off a soothing vibe and are made of a heat-resistant fabric.
Buy it: Educational Insights The Original Fluorescent Light Filters at Amazon
Image: Special Needs Australia
4. Smell the calm
Fill the classroom air with a natural fragrance using an oil diffuser. You can add aromatherapy essential oils to the diffuser to emit a more powerful scent into the air. Lavender oil is known for its calming effects on the mind and body.
Buy it: Better Homes and Gardens Diffuser Gift Set at Walmart; Better Homes and Gardens Lavender Essential Oil at Walmart
Image: The Talon Online
5. Soften the lights
Bring the ambiance of the classroom to a calming state by softening the lighting in the room. Consider lamps or LED string lights to brighten the room. These alternatives are much easier on the eyes and will assist with your calming class vibe.
Buy it: 66-foot 200-watt LED String Lights at Amazon
Image: Learners Edge
6. Create a homey atmosphere
There’s no place like home. Most kids feel comfortable at home, so why not bring some home decor into your classroom? Plug in a few table lamps and floor lamps to give your classroom living-room vibes.
Buy it: Better Homes and Gardens Farmhouse 3-Pack Table and Floor Lamp Set at Walmart
Image: Tawna Bartley/Pinterest
7. Add a cozy rug
Vinyl and linoleum floors can make classrooms feel uninviting. Looking for quick fix? Add a cozy rug to help kids relax.
Buy it: Distressed Damask Grey Area Rug at Walmart
Image: Miss Jacob’s Little Learners
8. Neutralize bulletin boards
Toss out that old bulletin board decor! Upgrade to neutral color bulletin board sets. Look for blacks and tans; those colors are not bold enough to overwhelm others and you can incorporate them into future classroom themes.
Buy it: White Shiplap Bulletin Board Paper at Michaels
Image: Oriental Trading/Pinterest
9. Add eucalyptus effects
Eucalyptus is said to have a soothing aroma that brings a sense of relaxation to the body. This can calm both teacher stress and student anxiety. Even if you cannot bring a real eucalyptus plant into the classroom, bring on the plastic plants! It can still give off the same relaxing vibes! Plus check out these fun ideas for a eucalyptus-theme classroom.
Buy it: Eucalyptus Leaf Wreath at Michaels; 6-foot Green Eucalyptus & Berry Garland at Michaels
Image: Teacher Created Resources
10. Try comfortable flexible seating
Being able to relax, lounge, nap, and feel comfortable is what tends to bring a sense of calm to people. Let’s channel this into our classroom! Consider flexible seating options that allow your students to feel more comfortable in their classroom. Student engagement is guaranteed to increase.
Buy it: Living Room 3-Seater Sofa at Walmart; Decorative Square Throw Pillow at Walmart; White Saucer Chair at Amazon
Image: EB Academics
11. Get cozy with weighted lap blankets
You cannot soothe the energy of the classroom without calming resources and sensory outlets for your students. Some kids may benefit from an opportunity to use a weighted lap blanket.
Buy it: Weighted Lap Blanket 3 lbs. at Amazon
Image: Brilliantly Kalm
12. Create a calm-down space
Consider creating a calm-down area—a relaxation space that’s always accessible for student use. Stock it with stuffed animals, SEL books, and other sensory resources.
Buy it: Sensory Fidget Tubes at Amazon
13. Offer students fidget toys
One way to help students stay calm and focused is to let them use fidget toys. Here are our picks for the best fidgets toys for the classroom, or try these ideas for DIY fidget toys.
Buy it: 32 Pack Sensory Fidget Toys at Amazon; Sensory Water Beads Toy at Amazon
Image: Inspire Me ASAP
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Plus, check out our Eucalyptus Classroom Decor ideas and Classroom Camping Theme ideas.