Spirit weeks are a time-honored tradition, in elementary, middle, and high schools alike. Basically, the idea is to boost morale by giving students a collective silly goal. Often, in the case of high schoolers, grades compete for Spirit Week domination, sometimes culminating in awards giving at the Homecoming game. Of course, if you’re organizing Spirit Week events for an elementary or middle school, the fun will just be in seeing what everyone wears each day of the week.
One thing to consider when helping plan Spirit Week or Spirit Days is to make sure all of your themes are inclusive. Nix any ideas that are othering. How can a school show true spirit if it’s leaving some students out? Also focus on themes that don’t require any monetary investment. Kids should be able to dress up using clothing already in their closets and not have to spend money to buy something especially for the big day. For example, instead of doing sports jersey day, just do sports day. That way each student can interpret the theme as they see fit and not have to purchase a jersey.
Finally, keep it upbeat (that’s the whole point right?). Avoid themes that could turn negative like Villain Day or Elderly Day. It might be cute to see a child dress up as an old lady, but that concept could quickly turn sour. Have fun and don’t forget to flash your spirit fingers!
Beach Day is another simple, straightforward Spirit Week concept. Just tell students to dress up as if they’re at the beach. Think Hawaiian shirts, sunglasses, visors, maybe a little SPF on the nose. But do let kids know in advance of any dress code rules. For instance, you don’t want kids getting sent to the office because they wore revealing swimwear.
As mentioned before, Sports Day is actually a super inclusive option because there are so many sports to choose from. Kids could come as basketball players, ice skaters, gymnasts, cross-country runners, the list goes on and one. And with this idea, you could even add in a fun Olympics-esque game component to get students extra pumped.
Another classic, Decades Day invites students to pick a decade and dress up as if they’re from that time. For example, if a kid opted for the 1950s, they might wear a poodle skirt. If they chose the 1970s, they might find some bell bottom pants to rock.
Ugly Sweater Day
A seasonal favorite for parties, Ugly Sweater translates nicely for Spirit Weeks, especially in cold climates where Beach Day may not make sense. This is a subjective idea too, meaning kids can wear anything they deem ugly. That said, this is another case where parameters might need to be exercised. No profanity or sweaters that depict gory scenes.
Movie Madness Day
Kids love to imagine what celebrity they might be and Movie Madness Day gives them that chance. They can pick a favorite film and become a character for a day. You could even add a guessing game where other students have to see if they can figure out who each student is.
A favorite of elementary school students, Pajama Day might just be the easiest Spirit Week assignment there is. All kids have to do is wake up and roll out to school. Easy peasy.
Favorite Book Character
Book Character invites children to marry their reading with a bit of show and tell. This is a great one to add to Stop, Drop, and Read week as well.
Perhaps your child already does this everyday. All the better. They’ll be ready for Spirit Week then. The idea behind this theme is that you can mix and match any clothing you want. Snow pants with a tank top? Go for it? Two different colored socks. Of course.
Want to encourage kids to see the world? Let them pretend to be tourists for a day. They can don a fanny pack, carry around a Fodor’s travel book, or pretend they’re Rick Steves. Anyway they work it, it’ll be entertaining.
Twin Day is a fun concept because it could mean anything. Two kids could dress up as each other. Or students could dress up as a teacher.
Tie Dye Day
Most American households have one piece of tie dye. It’s just the natural order of things. So for tie dye day kids can rock their favorite pieces of handmade clothing. Or, if you’re worried this will be cost prohibitive, run a tie dye day following a class or school tie dye crafting event to ensure everyone has a shirt.
Hats are fabulous accessories and no home is without them. Let kids get wild with their chapeaus for one day during Spirit Week. You might be surprised by what they wear.
School Colors Day
Typically the final day in any Spirit Week, School Colors Day is the culmination of all the fun and ends with everyone showing their school pride by rocking their alma mater's signature hues. The best part about this is you can encourage kids to really go for it. Face paint? Sure. School mascot fake tattoos? Why not?
Remember, School Spirit WeekIt’s about being silly and having fun and this will really get everyone in the spirit.
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