Classrooms can quickly become filled with paperwork, busy bulletin boards, signs, pictures—a thousand creative ideas that suddenly become very noisy and cluttered.
Some teachers are trading bright primary colors for a minimal classroom environment, and incorporating natural objects and neutral tones. These are some of our favorites, and we think they can work for multiple age groups:
Rocks, Stones & Wood
1. Various size stones and wooden objects are great for young children—learning balance, symmetry, sorting and other math and science concepts. The great thing about using natural objects in the classroom is not only the sensory benefits for children, but they're also inexpensive and you can find them anywhere.
2. Building numbers (or letters, words, etc)
3. Sorting, math concepts
4. Use wood and wooden objects, for many of the same concepts (or mix them!)
Student Work Bulletin Boards
5. Students help build the bulletin board—self-portraits, hand prints, spelling words of the week, animals, or whatever your concept is—with this simple tree trunk as the starting point.
6. If you're feeling a little more creative, you can embellish with tissue paper and butcher paper:
7. Writing samples can be clipped onto this simple bulletin board/wall and swapped out all year long.
8. This teacher swears by her burlap bulletin board decor, which she re-uses and doesn't need to constantly update—and still gets lots of compliments on how great they look. The trick is that the decoration is a simple canvas that shows off student work. Burlap is easy to work with, cheap, and holds up all year long and most likely on to the next year.
9. It works great as a border or as a background for a natural-looking board;
10. And simple embellishments:
What are your favorite ways to use natural objects and neutral decor in the classroom? Or do you prefer bright, colorful walls and learning stations? What do your students respond to best? Let us know in the comments below!