How To Embrace Hygge And Bring Coziness Into Your Classroom

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Hygge, a Danish word pronounced “hoo-ga,” is a concept that describes a feeling of contentment and well-being that embraces creature comforts. Hygge is deeply associated with being tucked in cozily during the winter months. 

Teachers, now knee-deep in the long, cold, dark stretch of winter between the new year and spring break, could use a little hygge in their classrooms to help get through the next few months. In the spirit of hygge, here are a few ways to bring coziness into your own classroom. (Always be sure to check with your building administrator before spending your own money on items that are not allowed in classrooms due to district policy; all schools are different and have their own guidelines).

Led candles

Nothing says cozy like the glow of softly flickering candles. And while an open flame isn’t a good idea in the classroom, candlelight can be created just as easily with battery-operated LED candles inside votive holders or mason jars. Dim the classroom’s fluorescent lights and cast the whole room in the warmth that only candles can bring.

String lights

Along the same lines as candles, consider hanging string lights around your classroom – on bulletin boards, around bookshelves and anywhere else you’d like to turn into a cozy nook. String lights come in many shapes and sizes, from paper ball lanterns to simple fairy lights. 

Plants 

Green and growing plants are a vibrant reminder that spring is just around the corner. There are many types of houseplants available for whatever your classroom’s lighting situation is, and if live plants seem like too much work, consider artificial greenery and flowers. These can line windowsills, sit atop bookshelves or on the teacher desk, hang from the ceiling and more. 

A wax melter, scent diffuser or potpourri

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Bringing scent into the classroom is a nice way to make your room feel inviting. While scent is an easy way to embrace the hygge spirit, be sure to check with students and administrators here, too. Some students (and fellow colleagues) may be sensitive to certain smells. If you do decide to bring scents into your room, opt for a light scent that wafts through the room, not an overpowering one.

A soft rug and blankets

A hallmark of a cozy day spent inside is soft, warm fabrics including rugs and blankets. Faux fur is a good option, as is polar fleece. Allowing your students to curl up with a good book, a soft rug underneath or a blanket in their laps is a surefire way to make your classroom more inviting. 

Klassen time

Do as the Danish do and incorporate Klassen Time into your curriculum. What is this, you ask? Klassen Time translates to “the class’ hour” and it is a time when the week’s lessons are set aside and a class conversation ensues. The conversation might revolve around student concerns, or it might just be about sharing community. With Klassen time comes Klassen Time Kage – or, class cake. Klassen Time is part of Danish curriculum from the time children are six until they are sixteen, and it’s designed to develop empathy and problem solving skills. 

Instrumental music

Soft background music playing in a classroom lit by flickering candles and fairy lights, with a soft scent wafting around the room – your classroom is feeling more like a coffee shop, day spa or comfy living room all the time. Instrumental music with nature sounds is a good choice to have playing softly in the background. And bonus – instrumental music has been shown to boost creativity in children.

A book nook

When it’s cold outside, not much sounds better than curling up with a good book – unless that book is accompanied by a mug of hot cocoa or tea. Having an inviting space in your classroom for independent reading is not just in the spirit of hygge but also promotes literacy. 

Read-alouds

Hygge not only embraces comfort, it embraces community. While silent reading can be cozy, so can gathering around the teacher and listening to a good book being read aloud. This isn’t just for elementary grades – secondary students like being read to, too. 

Hygge comfort into the classroom


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AuthorAmy

Veteran Member

I am an unrepentant lover of words - and lucky me, I spend all day, every day immersed in them. When I'm not teaching, I'm reading. Or writing. Or teaching eager (and sometimes not-so-eager) adolescents about the power of the written word. I live on the scenic Oregon Coast with my dog, two cats, and five-year-old son.

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