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School Spirit Week Ideas

School Spirit Week Ideas

There's nothing quite like a fun and exciting school spirit day to encourage unity, boost excitement and bring memorable experiences. Originating as a high school homecoming tradition, school spirit days have since become staple fare for elementary and middle schools because they're so much fun!

Giving students a break from the usual routine and the chance to dress up can keep them involved and engaged as they go about their class days. If you're in charge of this year's school spirit week, you're facing a challenge. On the one hand, you want to create fun, unique daily themes to keep the kids engaged and entertained. On the other hand, you don't want to get too wacky, or you risk most of the students refusing to participate. After all, some kids love the idea of wearing costumes to school, but others are mortified at the idea of looking out of the ordinary.

Striking a balance between traditional and creative is your best bet for coming up with theme day ideas for school. Throw in daily prizes for the most creative attempt at the theme, and you're sure to have a winning school spirit week. Whatever unique spirit week ideas you come up with, make plans to have yearbook photographers on hand to capture the memories. You'll definitely want to document the wild and crazy ideas your students come up with!



School Spirit Week Ideas for Elementary School

If you're planning school spirit week for an elementary school, you're in luck! Elementary school-aged children love participating in wacky, creative spirit days. They're old enough to have fun but young enough that they still think crazy is cool. If you're stuck for creative ideas for this year's elementary school spirit week, check out these ideas that are just perfect for the younger set!


elementary school spirit week ideas

1. Pajama Day

This one's easy because it doesn't require any costumes. Kids love the chance to roll out of bed and head right to school. This works great right before winter break or when done in conjunction with a day focused on reading. After all, there's nothing more comfortable than curling up in cozy pajamas with a great book. 

2. Dr. Seuss Day

If your school spirit week coincides with the National Education Association's (NEA) annual Read Across America event, this one should definitely be on your list. Read Across America celebrates reading by featuring the works of the great Dr. Seuss, so encouraging students to dress up as their favorite Seuss characters, like Cindy Lou Who, Sam I Am, the Cat in the Hat and more, always brings a smile. 

3. Pattern Day

Pattern day is an opportunity for young learners to wear polka dots, zigzags, stripes, squiggles and more. Many of them will combine more than one crazy pattern to craft an eye-catching outfit. This is a great option if you're looking for easy ways to convince kids to participate without feeling self-conscious.

4. Sunglasses Day

From aviators to pink plastic Minnie Mouse glasses, the sky's the limit when it comes to featuring students' favorite eyewear. Just remember to give teachers a heads-up so they can set ground rules for wearing glasses in class.

5. Wacky Hair Day

Pigtails, spikes, green hair dye — you never know what you'll see on crazy hair day. Parents like this one because it's low-stress and doesn't require a lot of planning. In fact, some kids just roll out of bed and use it as an excuse not to brush their hair that day!

6. Disney Day

Let it go and experience a whole new world when kids come to school as their favorite Disney character. This one can take some creativity for parents, so make sure to give them enough advance notice to help their child pull it off. Consider expanding this idea to include Disney paraphernalia, including t-shirts, hats and character socks.

7. Dress Like a Teacher Day

Elementary school kids are fascinated by their teachers, so give them a way to pay homage to them by mimicking them for the day. Don't forget to grab photos of the students with their teacher to document the occasion.

8. Career Day

There's a lot of room for interpretation with this one. Kids always have fun ideas about what they want to be when they grow up. Sit back and watch the parade of doctors, nurses, teachers, professional athletes and assorted other jobs coming through the doors at the beginning of the day. Consider combining this day with a true career day when parents come to school to share with students and encourage them to think about their future careers.

9. Pirate Day

Argh mateys, grab an eye patch and a scarf and prepare to walk the plank with this goofy spirit day. If your school spirit week falls in September, this one's perfect because it may coincide with International Talk Like a Pirate Day, held each year on September 19. This is also a great option for the middle and high school crowd.

10. Farm Day

Don a flannel shirt and some boots and get ready for some fun down on the farm. If you really want to take this one far, talk to the administration and get permission to teach square dancing during P.E. or music classes that day.

11. Scrabble Day

Invite your students to wear a shirt with a bold letter on it. You can host an after-school activity and provide plain shirts and fabric markers to make this activity interactive. Throughout Scrabble Day, encourage your students to form groups to create new words. You can also make this activity great for children just learning to read and write by asking them to discuss their favorite words that start with the letter they're wearing.

12. Out of This World Day

Space-themed outfits, aliens and floating planets will fill your halls on this day. Kids may dress in all-white outfits with helmets, show up with green skin or fashion their hair in beautiful styles that are out of this world. Fill your halls with planets and stars to do this idea justice.

13. Beach Day

What could be cuter than children dressing as lifeguards and beachgoers? Hula skirts, dainty sandals, lifeguard tops, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen on the nose are excellent ways to dress for this occasion. Ensure the weather is warm enough for these vacation outfits before encouraging your students to dress up.

14. Neon Day

Many young learners enjoy colors and bright patterns. This school spirit day is simple, and many students will already have something bright they can sport. Bright yellow tops, vibrant pink shoes and every color in between can make an appearance.

15. Crazy Weather Day

Rather than picking a specific theme, ask your students to dress for whatever weather they love or hate the most. Some will bundle up in mittens and hats, while others sport shorts and tees. Some will rock those fall flannels, and others will show up with flip flops and sunglasses! Either way, this flurry of fun will be unforgettable for you and your students.

Middle School Spirit Week Ideas

Middle school spirit days can get a little bit tricky since middle schoolers may feel more self-conscious about participating. When you're selecting spirit days for a middle school crowd, stick to basic ideas that are easy to carry out without compromising the "cool" factor that's so important at this age. Some of the elementary school spirit ideas we suggested may also be a hit with the middle school crowd, but if those won't work, check out these options.

1. Wacky Sock Day

Encourage students to wear their wildest pair of socks. Hand out prizes for the brightest colors, the wackiest patterns and the funniest prints. Extra points for teachers and students who find creative ways to display their wacky socks, such as wearing knee socks and shorts or layering socks over leggings.

2. Jersey Day

Encourage a little friendly competition when kids come to school representing their favorite teams or athletes. Make sure to keep it broad and allow for professional teams, college teams and even local teams. Some kids especially enjoy wearing their own football jerseys or soccer uniforms to school.

3. Patriotic Day

patriotic school spirit day


Break out the red, white and blue attire for this school spirit day. From ribbons and bows to t-shirts and flags, the sky's the limit for this spirit day.

4. Olympic Day

While this one may not be relevant every year, it's a great one for years the Olympics are taking place, particularly the Winter Olympics, which happen during the school year and are typically a hot topic of conversation. Let kids have fun with this one and expect to see everything from patriotic apparel to sports uniforms, t-shirts and everything in between.

5. Look Alike Day

Otherwise known as "Twin Day," this one requires a little bit of advance planning. Students choose a friend to coordinate outfits with, opting for a cute or fun outfit they both have in common. They may pick a "normal" school outfit they both own, or they can get creative and make up their own matching wacky creations.

6. School Spirit Day

Encourage students to come to school dressed in school colors. If you want to really bump up interest in this spirit day, make sure to sell school apparel in the weeks leading up to Spirit Week so that each student will have something to wear. This is also a great option for elementary or high school students as well!

7. Hat Day

Most school dress codes don't allow hats, so students love the chance to break the rules. Top hats, beanies, baseball caps and more — everyone will love wearing a hat for the day, even if it's just to cover up those tangled curls!

8. Music Day

This one can take different forms. Students can wear t-shirts representing their favorite bands or dress like their favorite musicians. Get the administration on board and get permission to play age-appropriate music over the loudspeaker during class changes or in the cafeteria during lunchtime.

9. Flannel Day

These days, flannel is trendy, so this is a great way to get kids to participate without pushing them out of their comfort zone. It's also an easy way to include the majority since a lot of kids already have flannel in their closets.

10. Flip-flop Day

Similar to hat day, this one is a hit in schools that don't normally allow flip-flops as part of the dress code. Once you have the administration's permission to break the dress code for a day, encourage students to come to school in their favorite tropical footwear.

11. Nerd Day

Invite your students to pull out the suspenders and jeans from last year on this day. Watch as nearly all your students come to school wearing tape around their glasses, sporting cuffed shorts and carrying an absurd amount of textbooks or calculators.

12. Book Day

toddler in lion costume

Your middle school students might love the opportunity to dress like their favorite book characters. You should prepare for a lot of Harry Potter costumes, but you can also expect some unique and quirky characters you've never heard of before, too.

13. Holiday Day

The months for holidays come and go far too quickly. Instead of celebrating Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day once a year, encourage your students to celebrate during school spirit week. Watch the flurry of colors and ideas emerge on this festive day. This could also be a great time to celebrate those summer holidays together that students don't get to spend with their peers.

14. Medieval Day

Dresses, dragons, plastic swords, shields and magic is what this day is all about. Have your students partake in a medieval festival in your school. Host an after-school ball or sports competition for a fun twist so your students can root for their favorite knights, princes, princess and witches.

15. Trend Day

Although your middle schoolers will see tons of other fads go in and out of style, they might appreciate reliving the good 'ole days from just years ago. Silly band jewelry, bright makeup and bellbottom jeans are all excellent trends. Have your students pick a trend they've lived through or go even further back with this nostalgic trend.

High School Spirit Week Ideas

The great thing about high school is that School Spirit Week is typically centered around Homecoming, which means you can take advantage of the excitement already surrounding the week to encourage participating in spirit days, too. While many of the ideas we mentioned for elementary and middle school students will work great for high school students, too, you may be looking for new and out-of-the-box school spirit week ideas for high school that the students haven't encountered before. Check out these 10 great options for the high school crowd.

1. Celebrity Day

Encourage students to come to school dressed as their favorite celebrity. Ranging from musicians to movie stars and politicians, you'll be surprised at what everyone comes up with. Consider adding a red carpet and photo backdrop in the cafeteria for students to take red carpet shots during lunchtime. Or, roll out a red carpet through the school's main entrance for all the celebrities to enter the building.

2. Wacky Tacky Day

The goal is to dress "wacky," so students can do as little or as much as they want with this spirit day. Some learners may wear ugly Christmas sweaters, but others might combine squiggles and stripes in the same outfit. One may wear suspenders and too-short pants, while another student sports crazy hair and mismatched clothing. The sky's the limit, so have fun with this one.

3. Charity Day

Rather than dressing silly, this day encourages students to come together for a cause. Whether you do a canned food drive or ask everyone to contribute their leftover change after lunch, giving students the chance to contribute to someone less fortunate is a great way to unify the student body and teach them about making a difference.

4. College Day

Watch as friendly college rivalries come to life in the halls of the high school. Have students come to school dressed in a t-shirt from a college they hope to attend. Consider combining this day with a college fair, inviting colleges to come and chat with prospective students throughout the day.

5. Christmas in _____

Most high schools have spirit week in the fall, but don't let that stop you from having fun with this one. Have students wear their favorite holiday apparel, including Santa hats, tacky Christmas sweaters and crazy socks. Bonus points for adding Christmas decorations in the cafeteria or school lobby for the students to enjoy throughout the day.

6. Principal Day

Have a few laughs when students come to school dressed as their principal. You'll be surprised at what they can come up with. If you have several people on the school's administration team, give students the option to choose the person of their choice to emulate.

7. Face Paint Day

face paint school spirit


Students can come to school with a small shape on their cheek or full face paint. If you want to get specific, encourage students to paint their faces in school colors or to mimic the school mascot.

8. Wild West Day

Yee haw, cowboy! Saddle up and head out for a wild day in the west. Blue jeans, flannel shirts and cowboy boots are the order of the day. Even kids who aren't keen on participating can throw on a cowboy hat or bandana for the day.

9. Mustache Day

While there are a lot of fun spirit week dress-up days ideas for high school, we think this one is especially simple — and fun! Drawn on or taped into place, pay homage to this unique facial hair statement with Mustache Day. Let students get creative with the shapes and sizes of mustaches they come up with.

10. 50's Day

White t-shirts, rolled-up blue jeans and poodle skirts just scream the 1950s. Turn the school into a full-blown sock hop with this spirit day. Just make sure the greasers don't show up and start challenging everyone to race for pink slips!

11. Color Wars

group of teens in blue shirts

High schoolers can be competitive, and you can play into the friendly antics by encouraging some nice competition. Assign a color to each grade and note how many students participate. Keep a tally or host an after-school event to encourage each grade to battle out the color wars in fun games for small prizes, like a free snack from the vending machine, an ice cream sandwich or school merchandise like shirts and stress balls.

12. Rival Day

Similar to Color Wars, you can also spark some fun debates among high schoolers. Instead of dividing the grades, ask students to support one of two teams and watch as they debate which is better. For example, you could theme the day around Marvel and DC Comics, the ‘60s vs. the ’70s or something similar.

13. Global Day

Many students have aspirations to visit another country or have strong roots in their culture. Encourage students to embrace their heritage or pay homage to another by dressing in traditional clothing and educating other students about another country.

14. Senior Day

Senior Day involves asking students to dress an elderly person. This fun twist for school spirit can make students feel nostalgic as the seniors in your high school ponder their life after graduation and laugh at being the oldest students in the building.

15. Villain Day

As many students define their styles and learn that there are never only good and bad guys in the world, they may appreciate celebrating their favorite villains. Some will dress as a villain who didn't get the redemption arc they deserved, while others will pay homage to their favorite books and movies.

Show Your School Spirit All Year

contact us for school planners

Show your school spirit all year with the School Spirit Planner Covers designed by Success by Design. Custom-designed with your school's colors and mascot, students and teachers alike will find day-to-day planning easier and more efficient with these planners. 

In today's world of smartphones and tablets, it's easy to wonder if students still need a planner. The answer is most definitely yes! Studies have shown that the act of writing down information and assignments in a traditional paper planner enhances cognitive development, brain activity and better information retention. 

Whether your students are elementary-aged or preparing for their senior year of high school, the results of writing in a physical planner are definitely worth the investment. For more information or to order your School Spirit Planners, contact us today.

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