As an educator, this is one of THE most serious decisions you have to make each year—picking out the perfect classroom theme. You don’t want it to be too trendy because that’ll get old quick. You also can’t have it be too obscure or self-serving because let’s face it—not everyone shares your joy of Star Wars. You want a theme that is fun, recognizable, and one all students can get behind. This serious decision shouldn’t be taken lightly!

We know back-to-school time is busy enough, so we want to help make your life easier by identifying some of the best themes out there.

1. Encourage Happy Campers

Bring a little of the outdoors in with this camping theme. You can have a lot of fun with the signs throughout your room. Then add stars on the ceiling and wild animals throughout the room for a fun learning environment your students will enjoy.

SOURCE: Schoolgirl Style

2. Go Around the World

If you love traveling or maps, then this is the theme for you. Do a quick search on Pinterest for “map classroom projects,” and you’ll be overwhelmed by brilliant ideas. You can pick up maps for really cheap at thrift stores and rummage sales, so this is a really inexpensive theme to pull off. We like that you can take it in either the travel/culture or maps/geography direction.

SOURCE: The Savvy Schoolteacher

3. Get Lost in Harry Potter

If you teach older students, this might be the perfect theme for you. We found lots of amazing projects out there. Be sure to check out this teacher’s theme as well as this article with several classroom ideas in one convenient spot.

SOURCE: Unknown

4. Travel Under the Sea

You can have all sorts of “school” puns with an underwater or ocean theme. We love this reading area, but there are many other resources for creating cubbies, name tags, bulletin boards, and more.

SOURCE: Teaching Happily Ever After

5. Join the Superheroes

You can never go wrong with superheroes… ever. We adore Schoolgirl Style and her themes. She really goes all out, offering ideas for every little inch of the classroom. The superhero theme is popular, but this is one of the best designs we’ve ever seen.

SOURCE: Schoolgirl Style

6. Fall in Love with Owls

The owl craze is still here, so it’s easy to find owl items and accessories to create this theme. You can keep it fresh all year, finding ways to get your wise little scholars motivated.

SOURCE: Clutter-Free Classroom

7. Welcome Your Students to the Jungle

Kids will ALWAYS be fans of any theme that has to do with animals, and with this one, you have so many to choose from. You could also do a rainforest theme that would be very similar to the highlighted jungle theme.

SOURCE: The Creative Chalkboard

8. Go to Far Away Places

Between planets, constellations, and spaceships, you’ll have plenty of material to outfit your entire classroom. You’ll have lots of opportunity for “blast off” puns and decorations.

SOURCE: The Gilded Pear

9. Celebrate Dr. Seuss

You can never go wrong with the great Dr. Seuss. With so many good books to choose from, you’ll have so many characters to fill out your year. You could even feature a different book for monthly classroom themes!

SOURCE: Clutter-Free Classroom

10. Get in the Game

You can start with jerseys at the beginning of the year, and then end the year with everyone signing a baseball. To cover more interests, you can mix up the sports throughout the year.

SOURCE: Create 2 Educate

11. Go to the Movies

Here’s one more idea from Clutter-Free Classroom. (She has great info on her site in general about creating a theme.) It’s a movie theme! Feature a different inspirational movie every week or month to keep it fresh.

SOURCE: Clutter-Free Classroom