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25 Wonderful Ways To Make School Hallways Positive and Inspiring

Turn those blank walls into something worth looking at!

School Hallways WeAreTeachers

Kids spend more time in school hallways than you might think. These awesome ideas give them something motivating and fun to look at while they’re changing classes or rooting around in their lockers. Pro tip? Give students a sense of ownership by inviting them to participate in the painting or decorating! 

1. Turn lockers into books

School Hallways Lincoln K-8 School Twitter

A student proposed this idea, then teachers and students submitted ideas for the titles they’d like to see. What an amazing collaborative project!

Source: Lincoln K-8 School/Twitter

2. Color-blocking is so effective

The sheer simplicity of this design is what makes it so powerful. Any school can pull this one off.

Source: Pentagram

3. Don’t forget the ceiling

School Hallways Lake Forest High School

Students painted each of these ceiling tiles with their own design. This idea ensures your school hallways will completely unique!

Source: Lake Forest High School/Flickr

4. Highlight student leaders

Help kids see themselves as leaders with this clever idea. You could choose other words to spell out too.

Source: Filling the Frame With Learning

5. Set up a sensory path

School Hallways Fit and Fun

When kids need to work out the wiggles, sensory paths are a cool solution. You can buy pre-made decals or design your own.

Source: Fit & Fun Playscapes

6. Change the world

School Hallways Skating Through Literacy IG

Not only is this Matilda quote terrific, we like the idea of hanging murals painted on big sheets so you can change them out regularly.

Source: Skating Through Literacy/Instagram

7. Hang character banners

School Hallways Pro Sign Design

Hang banners like these in your school hallways to remind students of the behaviors expected of them. (We love that these are bilingual!)

Source: ProSignDesign

8. Believe you can

School Hallways Go Paint Love

Collaborative projects are fantastic for school hallways. This one invites students to share all the things they believe they can do.

Source: Paint Love

9. Create spectacular stairs

Stair risers are a great place to add motivational messages! Print shops can create these for you, or you can paint them instead.

Source: Omar Kettlewell/Pinterest

10. Send the right message

This message says it all, don’t you think? Paint it where students can see it every time they enter the building.

Source: Kindergarten and Mooneyisms

11. Try a word cloud

School Hallways Corner On Character

Ask kids to help generate a word cloud of character terms, then add them to a large wall for daily inspiration.

Source: The Corner on Character

12. Design class flags

School Hallways Gypsy Cinderella IG

Need a team-building activity? Ask classes to design their own flags, then festoon the school hallways!

Source: Gypsy Cinderella/Instagram

13. Display the 7 Habits

School Hallways C and G News

Many schools teach students the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If yours is one of them, paint a mural in the hallway to reinforce the habits.

Source: Pleasantview Elementary/C&G Newspapers

14. Take a walk through history

History teachers, this one’s for you! Paint a mural of world history, or focus on local events instead.

Source: Custom Murals/Twitter

15. Transform school hallways into streets

School Hallways Imagination Atmospheres

This amazing hallway is the work of a professional design company, but you can create something similar in your own halls. Bonus? The line down the middle helps keeps kids on their own side of the hallway when they pass.

Source: Imagination Atmospheres

16. Learn the multiplication tables

School Hallways Robin Brown Orndorff Pinterest

If you see it every day, you’ll be more likely to remember. This idea is especially easy if you have cement block walls since all the lines are already in place!

Source: Robin Brown Orndorff/Pinterest

17. Lay out a river of rocks

School Hallways Scary Mommy

If your school has outdoor hallways, consider a collaborative project like this river of rocks. Each student paints one to contribute to the colorful whole.

Source: Scary Mommy

18. Post cool room signs

Signs that project out into the hallways make it easier for parents and visitors to find their way around. These smart signs are magnetic so they can easily be changed from year to year.

Source: AnnDee Nimmer/Pinterest

19. Sprinkle kindness

Choose kind: it’s a message schools everywhere are embracing. Spread the word in your school hallways with lots of cheery color.

Source: Jessica Vela/Twitter

20. Plant a school family tree

School Hallways Killam Creation Station

The tree and black background are permanent, but the “leaves” change from year to year to reflect the student population. So cool!

Source: Creation Station

21. Line school halls with mirrors

School Hallways Teach Outside the Box FB

Raid local thrift shops for mirrors, then paint the frames in vibrant colors. Each one carries a message like “I see a learner” or “I see a leader.”

Source: Teach Outside the Box/Facebook

22. Make it musical

School Hallways Musical Musings

Dress up the hall outside a music room or auditorium with a staff full of music notes representing the students.

Source: Musical Musings and Creative Thoughts

23. Dress up the pillars

Turn pillars into pencils! You can paint them or wrap them in butcher paper. (Try aluminum foil for the metal strip.)

Source: Mrs. Leban’s Art Blog

24. Show your school some love

Inspire school pride by asking students to share why they love their alma mater. Then hang the answers in the hallway for all to see.

Learn more: Lucky Little Learners

25. Fold and hang origami cranes

Fill your hallway with a senbazuru, or collection of 1000 origami cranes. This beautiful project creates a sense of peace and unity among students and staff.

Source: poetshouse/Flickr

Looking for more ways to perk up your school? Check out these 25 School Bathroom Makeovers That Prove Any Space Can Be Inspiring.

Plus, These 35 School Mural Ideas Will Make You Want to Grab a Paintbrush.

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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