Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Teacher Tuesday - HoCo Theme Day Ideas

Over 13 years of being Student Government sponsor I've planned my fair share of spirit weeks and dress days and after an overwhelming number of y'all asked me to share what our theme days were last week I'm sharing that as well as a few tips and tricks I've learned over the years.  

Tip 1) Broader is better
The more broad your theme day can be, the better.  Super specific dress days limit kids ability to find something from their closets and will often discourage them from participating.  Things like "Disney prince/princess day" is so cute but REALLY hard if you don't already have a costume on hand.  

Tip 2) Make the first day SUPER simple
I like to start our weeks off with something really easy and simple... typically we'll do a color day.  Assigning colors to each grade is something that pretty much every student can easily participate in and is a great way to "ease into" more creative days.  It also allows students who may be unsure of how the week is going to go to participate without putting themselves out there too much :) (it's a LOT easier to show up on Monday with a yellow t-shirt and kind of gauge participation than having crazy hair day first and being afraid of being the only one with a rainbow clown wig) 

Tip 3) Give plenty of notice
The more time in advance you can give to kids, the better.  Allowing them a couple of weekends (at least) to plan what they're going to wear allows less stress on them (and their parents).

Tip 4) Plan twin/partner days for later in the week
In my experience, twin/partner days can be REALLY awkward for kids who may not have someone that they can partner up with.  If you're going to do these kinds of days (which I definitely have) make them at the end of the week and make a point to ask kids in the days leading up to the twin day who their partner is and try to help kids who may not have a partner find one.

Tip 5) Get staff to participate!
Setting the tone for the week from the top down is one of the best ways to build enthusiasm.  Students LOVE it when their teachers participate (even if it's just a little bit!) and it's a fun way to build rapport.

This year for Middle School we went with a "Game" theme and this was the flyer...

The theme days were a hit and we had really great participation.  

Blue day I was denim on denim on a little more denim...

Tuesday I was a "number jack" with my x and y axes.  ;)

Wednesday I was Elliott from E.T. (my students know how much I hate ET and so this was extra funny).  I attached the milk crate by making a little strap out of ribbon and Luke made the bike handlebars out of k'nex and then we covered them with foil :)

And for future self I was myself on the weekend...

It really doesn't take a lot to have fun with it and get the kids excited :)

Some years our week has a theme (like this year) and other years it's a mashup of miscellaneous days.  

One year we had an Olympic theme that included these days...
- Olympic ring color day where each grade had a color of the olympic rings assigned to them
- summer/winter day where kids came dressed in either summer or winter attire 
- sport day where they dressed as a participant from any olympic sport
- country day where they came dressed representing a country of their choice)

Another year our theme was "vs" and we had these days....
- "Color War" where each grade had a color
- Hunters Vs Animals (camo or animal costumes) 
- Disney vs Marvel
- Country vs Country Club

Other days that are always fun are...
- Decades day
- Anything Goes (crazy hair, mismatch, etc.)
- HoliDAZE (come dressed for a holiday like Christmas, Easter, etc.)
- Western Day
- Dress Your Best (fancy!)
- Patriotic

If you (or your kids!) have had a fun spirit day I'd love for you to share it in the comments! 

Happy Tuesday, friends!


  1. it was really the highlight of my day to see what you were gonna be dressed like each day! So fun!!

  2. Planning spirit weeks is one of your Spiritual Gifts. I'm sure of it.

  3. Girl...you should write a book about Homecomings...you are the MASTER!

  4. So fun and really great ideas! My husband is the student council advisor at his middle school so I'm collecting ideas for him! It's so important for middle schoolers to have fun like this in school!

  5. I think it's great you try to pair up the kids who don't have anyone to dress up with for twin day.
    At my school, Monday was always reserved for only the seniors to dress up, and we would stand at the entrance of the building and great everyone as they came in and later that day do a walk through of the elementary halls.

  6. As usual your ideas are awesome, but what I appreciate most is how considerate you are when planning the days ( twin , crazy etc..) as a shy person I know there were definitely times I didn’t participate because of the fears you mentioned
    Also.. the denim on denim outfit.... I LOVE! You look so chic!

  7. I remember doing Spirit Days, they were always fun. One year we did dress like your locker, meaning the color. Well my friend created her locker out of a box and wore it! It was awesome.

  8. You are so creative! That school is lucky to have you!

  9. So fun! I love doing creative things like this and you are amazing at it! For our Homecoming, each teacher/class has a door decorating contest - they can use anything/everything to decorate and come up with a fun theme! The doors always look SO fun and then on the last day of the week everyone walks around the building, checks out the doors & votes for their favorite! If you have a ton of classes, you could always decorate one door per grade level or something. One year our theme was around "Saying NO to drugs/alcohol" and it was close to Halloween...so the winning door had a big skeleton and said "Don't wind up dead - choose candy instead!" Then there were candies attached all over the door that kids could grab...HA! It was a hit!

  10. Oh that ET getup is the BEST! I may do that for Halloween this year!!!

  11. 70s vs. 70s (dress like an old person vs. dress like a hippie). Could be 80s vs. 80s, 90s vs 90s, etc

  12. HoCo week is the best! Ours is coming up. I love seeing how creative the kids can be and they LOVE seeing the staff all dressed up. The crazier the better. Love the E.T. I bet the kids did too. Great tips!

  13. I just love the Got Game flyer....you are so creative. It was so fun to see you dress every day. You nailed the E.T. costume!!!

  14. Love the ET costume, and the lumberjack one. Very creative! Those are all great tips.

  15. Thank you for all the ideas!!! What a great list to pull from :)


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