National Custodian Day 2023: Celebrate With These Unique Ideas

Honor these incredibly valuable staff members.

Ideas for celebrating National Custodian Day 2023

October 2, 2023, is National Custodian Day, and we’ve got lots of unique ideas to help you celebrate!

What is National Custodian Day?

Every educator knows it: Schools would literally fall apart if it weren’t for the custodial staff. They keep your school running every single day (even when your latest craft project involves major glitter spills), giving students clean and tidy spaces to learn and grow. While we think they deserve to be celebrated every single day, National Custodian Day is the one day the calendar set aside just for them.

National Custodian Day 2023 is Monday, October 2. Consider kicking off your week with a school assembly in their honor, or greet them at the door with coffee and donuts. Or try one of these custodian appreciation activities, rounded up from real schools across the country.

National Custodian Day 2023 Ideas and Activities

Need some clever ways to honor your school’s custodial staff? We’ve got you covered!

Invite custodians to story time

Collage of books about custodians and janitorial staff
We Are Teachers

Invite your custodian to join your class on the carpet for story time! If they’d like to, they can be the guest reader. Or they can simply enjoy the story along with your students, and perhaps a snack too. Check out these 10 Books That Celebrate School Custodians to find the perfect read.

Create heartfelt thank-yous

A selection of handmade thank you cards for National Custodian Day
@dmartinteach/National Custodian Day via

Words of thanks really do mean a lot. Create individual cards, or work on a big version from each class instead. Be sure to express what makes your custodial staff extra special. Read this open letter to custodial staff for inspiration, then have students write their own.

Write them a book

Custodian holding a spiral-bound book of thank you notes
@delavan_darien_schools/National Custodian Day via

Take things a step further by putting together a whole book of thank-you notes! Take a look at what Delaven Davien Schools did for their janitors in their Instagram post here.

Give them a social media shout-out

Four members of a school custodial staff gathered in front of the school, with a note saying DWE appreciates you, in honor of National Custodian Day
@duewest_es/National Custodian Day via

Share your appreciation for custodial staff far and near on your school’s social media accounts. Feature their photos and maybe even a few fun facts about each custodian. Or show them in action, helping kids along their educational journey.

Do a celebratory walk-through

School custodians walking through a hallway filled with students thanking them for their hard work. Text reads Mr. Garrison!
@niskayunaschools/Custodian appreciation via

Have students line the halls to cheer their custodians as they walk through! This is the kind of personalized touch that really shows staff members how valuable they are.

Deck the halls

School custodian standing by a sign and balloons celebrating National Custodian Day
@oakstlions/National Custodian Day via

Decorate the halls or the custodial office with signs, balloons, and other festive decorations. Let students get involved, since they’re the ones that really benefit from custodians’ hard work.

Leave notes on their door

A custodian's office door covered with sticky note thank yous
@heritageoakhuskies/National Custodian Day via

This is an easy way to celebrate National Custodian Day 2023, involving nothing more than some sticky notes! It only takes a minute or two to write a message that can really make someone’s day.

Give them a break

Students helping to set up and clean lunch tables in honor of National Custodian Day
@cyfallshoops/National Custodian Day via

Are there any daily tasks your students can do on National Custodian Day to give your cleaning staff a bit of a break? Maybe they can gather up all the trash at the end of the day or clean their own desks that day. Tip: Ask custodians about this in advance, so you don’t accidentally wind up creating more work in the end.

Show them they’re your rock

A rock painted for National School Custodian Appreciation Day, saying "thank you for making BCE sparkle"
@bcecougarpride/National Custodian Day via

This painted rock says so much! You could also paint a wall mural or decorate the sidewalks leading into the school.

Buy them lunch (or dinner)

School custodians standing by a nacho bar set up for National Custodian Day
@hssavanna/National Custodian Day via

Everybody loves a free meal! Be sure to ask what they’d like, and remember to accommodate dietary restrictions when necessary.

National Custodian Day Gift Ideas

While you may not be able to buy your school custodian a car the way these teachers did, you can still give them thoughtful gifts that show how much you appreciate them. Try these cool ideas.

Custodian Hero Tee

Black shirt reading "Custodian: Because teachers need heroes too"

This shirt is sure to make your custodial staff grin, while teachers will nod knowingly every time they see it.

Buy it: School Custodian Shirt on Amazon

Chaos Coordinator Insulated Tumbler

Insulated mug reading Chaos Coordinator

When you stop to think about everything a custodian does each day, you realize they really are the ones that corral the chaos in your school buildings.

Buy it: Chaos Coordinator Insulated Tumbler on Amazon

Work Belt Apron

Black apron-style tool belt with pockets

Help them keep their favorite supplies handy wherever they are in the school. Consider personalizing these strong work aprons using iron-on vinyl, or having them machine-embroidered for a special touch.

Buy it: Dickies Work Belt Apron on Amazon

Custodian Mug

White coffee mug reading Relax, the custodian is here to save the day (again)
BeanMugs on Etsy

Fill this mug with candy or other treats, and tuck a Starbucks gift card inside to make a thoughtful National Custodian Day gift.

Buy it: Custodian Mug on Etsy

Clear the Trail Custodian Shirt

Black t-shirt with colorful text reading School Custodian: I clear the trail for learning

This sweet message is also incredibly true. Custodians, we couldn’t do it without you!

Buy it: Clear the Trail Custodian Shirt on Etsy

How does your school recognize your hardworking custodial staff? Come share your ideas and ask for advice in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, What Is an Educational Paraprofessional?

National Custodian Day 2023 is October 2! Find creative ways to show your appreciation for these vital school team members here.