I recently read The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking. Denmark is often considered to be one of the happiest countries in the world, with many Danes enjoying high levels of happiness, well-being and quality of life. Could hygge be the reason why?
Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), taken from the Norwegian word meaning ‘well-being’, is a feeling of cosiness, contentment and togetherness created by taking pleasure in the simple things of life. This could be anything from sipping hot chocolate from your favourite mug on a cold winter night to wrapping up with a chunky scarf and taking a walk in the woods or having your friends over for an evening of board games.
As well as creating a warm, cosy atmosphere, hygge also emphasises the importance of togetherness and community. These are two things that I am always aiming to create in my classroom. Read on for my top tips for bringing hygge into the classroom.
Put up some Fairy Lights
Fairy lights are perfect for creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. Hang them across walls, ceilings or around bulletin to boards.
Use Electronic LED candles
Candles are one of the key elements to create that Hygge atmosphere, but flames are an absolute no-no in the classroom. However, electric LED candles are flame free and perfect for creating that cosy environment safely. They even flicker like a real candle! During story time, turn down the classroom lights, switch on the LED candles and enjoy a good book together.
Create a Cosy Book Corner
A cosy reading corner or nook is is perfect place for students to enjoy a good book away from the hustle and bustle of the main classroom area. Soft material such as cushions are perfect for helping to creating that hygge feeling.
Get Some Indoor Plants
Nature is an important element in Hygge. Bring nature into your classroom for your students with some potted plants. Plants help to ‘soften’ the indoor the environment and studies have shown that plants can reduce stress and help create a feeling of calmness. If you don’t have time to look after them, you can even cheat and use plastic ones!
Play Relaxing Music
Soft music can be used to create a calm atmosphere within the classroom. I always find that soft classical music works well. I also enjoy using sounds from nature such as rain or waves breaking on a beach.
Have a Slipper Day
What we wear is important to help us feel relaxed. Swap school shoes for slippers once in a while to help create that relaxed, cosy atmosphere.
How do you create hygge in your classroom? I’d love to hear your ideas!