January is a very important month in our calendar year.
It’s the first month of the year and the start of many new beginnings, but not a lot of people look to January with much enthusiasm or excitement – kids especially.
After all, January is also the first month back after Christmas vacation and after many weeks of fun, treats and joy, January can feel very depressing in the aftermath of Christmas.
Which is why it’s so important that you brighten things up with a very well-designed bulletin board!
So, if you are looking for some great ideas to decorate your bulletin board with in January, then this is the place for you.
We are going to be jumping into some creative and out of the box ideas that can liven up your classroom and enthuse your students for the new year!
New Year, New You
Our first bulletin board idea revolves around the idea of New Year’s resolutions.
New Year resolutions are a promise that a lot of people make at the start of every year.
They’re usually about making changes to ourselves and our lifestyles for the better, with certain goals in mind that can range from person to person.
Some people may set their New Year’s resolution to help them get fit, eat healthier, spend less money, or try out a new hobby.
But New Year resolutions are difficult to stick to or remember so by creating a bulletin board for your students, they can use the space to show off their New Year’s resolution and keep it in mind as they go about their day.
You can have your students draw a portrait of themselves and write a speech bubble with their New Year’s resolution written inside. For example, they could say:
“I promise to read for ten minutes every day after school.”
“My New Year’s resolution is to eat an apple every day.”
Then, at the end of the month, you can go through the resolutions again with your students and see which ones have stuck to theirs, given up, or are on track to achieving their goal.
Before Vs After
January is actually named after the Roman god Janus, who is best known for having two faces back to back.
He was the god of change, transitions, and of new beginnings – hence why January is named after him as it is the very first month of a new year.
Janus was also known to represent two things that worked in tandem together like beginnings and endings.
For example, one face would represent truth or beginnings or peace, and the other face would represent lies or endings or war.
Because of this, January is seen as a new beginning to many people and that is why we often make New Year resolutions.
You can combine these two ideas together to create a bulletin board all about predicting the future and where your students see themselves by the end of the year.
For this, you can have your students draw a portrait of themselves at the start of the year, and then another predicting where they will be by the end of it.
One student may hope to have a new pet by that stage, another in a new house – or it could be as simple as being surrounded by lots of books to symbolize that they have followed their New Year resolution and have read more books by December.
The aim of this is to get your students excited and enthusiastic for the rest of the year by getting them to think ahead.
Looking Back on Last Year
January may be the start of a new year, but it is also a great time to reflect on the previous year and think about how far your students have come since then.
This means that you can design your bulletin board to celebrate the previous year and gather ideas from your students.
You can create a giant calendar on your bulletin board and ask your students what was the best thing that happened to them last year.
Some students may have gone through big milestones like welcoming a new sibling into the world, celebrating a fund birthday, or making a new friend.
Perhaps it could even be something you did together as a class such as welcoming a new student, went on a field trip or had a special guest in for an event.
You can gather these up in the form of drawings and pin them to a giant calendar on your bulletin board.
Winter officially starts in the United States during the end of December but most schools are shut then, so the first time you will officially see your students during winter is in January.
Because of this, you can make your bulletin board into a winter wonderland with all the things your students love about the season.
Some things you can celebrate about winter are snow, hot chocolate, dressing up warm in sweaters and woolen blankets, snow days, ice skating and a ton of other ideas! Ask your students what their favorite things about winter are so you can make the bulletin board more personal to them.
The Science Of Snow
January is a winter month which means most students in the United States will eventually see snow and frost as the temperature plummets.
Even if you live and work in a state that is generally too warm for snow, a lot of your students are probably wondering what snow is all about – so why not do a bulletin board explaining snow?
You and your students can make paper snowflakes and tie the bulletin board into a lesson about temperatures and what happens to things when they get cold.
You can experiment with ice cubes, explain the difference between solids, liquids and gasses, or even go in depth about particles if your students are old enough to understand that level of science!
So, when it comes to your bulletin board, you can make a giant thermometer and show the temperature where water freezes or make a giant snow cloud with lots of snowflakes.
Stick on some examples of your student’s work and the results of their ice experiments so they can feel proud of their work!
What Makes You Unique
Speaking of snowflakes, a great lesson you can teach your students is how each snowflake has its own structure and is completely unique.
This can transition into a lesson about what makes everyone unique and get your students to start thinking about what awesome feature about themselves makes them special and different from anyone else.
These features can be anything from a personality trait to a special hobby they have, and it will encourage the kids to be proud of who they are and teach them to love themselves, improving their confidence.
Decorate your bulletin board with snowflakes and attach to it what makes each student unique: their kindness, their curly hair, their three dogs at home, how much they love trucks, it can be anything!
Staying Safe In Winter
Winter is when illnesses and diseases rear their ugly heads and cases can really start to rise.
Flu and colds have big impacts on children’s health and school attendance, so you can take this opportunity to teach your students how they can help prevent themselves from catching a cold.
Your bulletin board can have images of people dressed up warmly, instructions on how to wash your hands, and drawings of all the healthy fruit and vegetables that will boost their immune system.
You can even draw a big table with dos and don’ts of winter health and safety including advice like:
“Do not go outside with wet hair.”
“Do wear a scarf, hat and gloves when playing in the snow.”
Now that winter has officially begun, a lot of animals will have made some changes to themselves.
Bears will be deep in hibernation, some animals will have changed color with their winter coats, and some birds will have even migrated to warmer climates to avoid the cold altogether!
You could make your bulletin board to reflect this change with before and after pictures of animals that change with the seasons, why drawings of all the animals that hibernate all cuddled up in the same bed, or of the birds that migrate all packed up with suitcases and flying away for the season.
It’s super fun and as kids just love animals, they are sure to enjoy lots of fun drawings featuring lots of different species.
Some animals are better adapted to winter weather than others so if you want a biology-themed bulletin board, this is the topic for you to cover.
You can focus on your bulletin board around animals that live in cold places and have adapted to survive there.
For example, did you know that some foxes change color from brown to white in the winter to blend in with their surroundings better so they can hunt for more food? Or that polar bears have large flat paws to spread out their weight so they can walk across ice without it cracking?
Kids are fascinated by animals and they are sure to love learning about all different kinds of creatures that actually love living in colder climates.
Beating The Winter Blues
The ‘winter blues’ often crop up in January as all the holiday spirit and joy is over for another year.
This means a lot of people (your students included) will feel sad and unhappy now that days are shorter and it’s too cold to play outside.
To combat this, you can whip up a positivity bulletin board filled with all the things your students love and should be happy about.
For example, a student may have their birthday soon or you can make a giant display filled with positive sayings and motivational quotes.
Use bright colors like yellow and pink to liven up the room as well as bring in a touch of warmth that will comfort your students.
Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.
The third Monday of every January marks the federal holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Junior, a civil right’s activist who helped pave the way towards a more equal United States of America.
His impact is still felt today and it is important that your students, no matter their age, are aware of the work he did and how important he was to so many people.
Because of this, you can make a whole bulletin board about Martin Luther King Jr.
You can include a large drawing of him or many portraits drawn by your students, including some of his most important quotes, and notes from every student saying what they respect the most about him.
This way, your students can learn more about civil rights and how important it is to be kind to one another.
It’s Cool To Be In School
After the holidays, no kid is really looking forward to going back to school so perhaps you can create a big bulletin board celebrating all the positive things about school.
This is another project that can be personal to the kids and you can include lots of notes about the best things about being in school.
For example, your students may love seeing their friends every day again, or love reading the books on offer at the school library, or love learning new things.
This will hopefully remind your students about all the benefits of being in school and get them motivated each day.
How you decorate the notes is up to you – you can shape them like thought clouds or something more January-appropriate like snowflakes, mittens, or stars (to symbolize the New Year).
Tu B’Shevat is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat which celebrates the trees.
It is also known as the Holiday of Trees because it is traditionally held during the time when the first fruits are harvested.
Today, it is treated as a holiday to remember our impact on the Earth.
You can celebrate Tu B’Shevat in January, although sometimes the holiday may be celebrated in February depending on the year.
However, when it does fall in January, you can include Tu B’Shevat on your bulletin board and make a cultural awareness lesson to teach your students about different religions and the ways they celebrate different things.
Your bulletin board could have drawings of lots of trees, or one giant one made out of handprints from your students to reflect their unity as one.
Tu B’Shevat is mainly celebrated through planting trees but many others also celebrate by eating dried fruit, almonds and candy – so these can also make an appearance on your Tu B’Shevat bulletin board!
Happy New Year
Your students probably recognize New Year as a big celebration, so it makes sense to create a bulletin board that celebrates the New Year.
You can have a huge, sparkling bulletin board with a giant map and pictures of every capital city during their New Years celebration with firework displays and large concerts.
This can be used as a geography lesson and explain the different time zones to your students, perhaps even translating as a science lesson about the Earth and how it rotates.
What We Did Over Christmas Vacation
With Christmas over and done with, many of your students will have had a lot of fun over the holidays – so why not ask them about it and their answers into a giant bulletin board!
You can ask your students to draw pictures or write letters to a friend explaining what they did over their vacation – did they travel? Celebrate Christmas or another religious holiday? Experience a milestone like a wedding or birthday? Did something very funny happen that they would like to share with the class?
Make your bulletin board bright and colorful, then hang up your student’s work with pride!
There are lots of ways you can decorate your bulletin board to reflect the themes of January as January is such an important month.
It’s a great time to reflect on the past but also to look forward to the future.
It’s also a month of change as it kicks off the new year and your students come back refreshed after a fun-filled vacation.
So, celebrate the month with a stunning bulletin board using one of these ideas!