Hygge in the Classroom
Hygge. As this Danish craze migrates around the globe, you’ve probably heard of the word or read it somewhere. What exactly is hygge and why is it so popular?
Pronounced HOO-gah, hygge is a term to describe creating a cozy atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life. Similar to Marie Kondo’s Japanese style of tidying up or decluttering, hygge also emphasizes minimalism and appreciating what you have with multifunctional furniture.
In The Little Book of Hygge, one of the most popular books on the subject, author Meik Wiking talks about the what, the how and most importantly the why behind hygge. In our blog post today, we’ll share a guide to begin incorporating hygge in the classroom! Ready to get cozy?
The first step in setting up a space for “hygge” is to designate a “hyggekrog” — the cozy nook. You don’t need a giant space to snuggle up in a blanket with a book and a cup of tea! In a classroom, dedicate a corner or section to the room for cozying up. This space, designed by students at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, can be used as quiet, private work space.`
In the world of hygge, lighting reigns king! During long and dark Danish winters, people stay warm (emotionally) by using warm light sources like candles and fireplaces. While you obviously can’t have an open fire in the classroom, there are plenty of alternatives to play around with. Try these flickering tea lights or LED pillar candles. The atmosphere of a classroom can change drastically by switching from overhead lighting to lamps around the room. You can customize the colors of the light by draping scarves or tissue paper around the lights too! Want a cozy fireplace to set an atmosphere for reading in the classroom? Use your projector to stream a burning yule-log like Mrs. Camacho did in her 4th grade classroom.
Blankets & Cushions
When it comes to cozying up, blankets and cushions often come up as a way to make a space more cozy. Like this classroom, considering adding a variety of colorful carpet, cushions and blankets, perfect for snuggling!
In the colder winter months, why not encourage students to bring in some woolen socks or even fuzzy socks! Kids can take off their wet snow or rain boots at the entrance of the classroom and then wear their comfy socks indoors.
Besides educational and resource books in the classroom, don’t forget to include some books students can read for leisure. Depending on students’ interests, you can set aside a small section of the classroom library for books that students can quietly read in the hyggekrog. Here’s some inspiration for a hygge book nook in the classroom.
Nothing quite says cozy like things from home. At Boston University Academy, this is exactly how students decorated their lounge. In an Alt School classroom, one wall was plastered with photos of students with their families. In any space, it can be warm and welcoming to allow students to keep photos and personal items in a designated space.
As you can see, any space can become more hygge with just a few simple steps. The hygge classroom is about slowing down and appreciating the little moments throughout the day. So, curl up with a good book, lower the lights, and sit somewhere soft!
What other ideas do you have for making learning spaces more hygge? Share with us on r2l.org or tag us on Instagram (@room2learn)!