Winter Bulletin Boards in a Snap!

I've spent my fair share of time walking down hospital hallways and I swear sometimes the only thing that distinguishes a hospital hallway and a school hallway is the student artwork lining the walls. I find this to be especially true in the newer schools, like the ones in the community where I teach. Now with the added layers of security and fire codes,  it's even more important to make an effort to add warmth and whimsy to the school environment.

We can't go all crazy with tons of paper and hanging decorations, but we do have a nice sized bulletin board in the hallway and a long cork strip. As much as I understand the importance of decorating these boards, the time to do it can be hard to come by. I also have a difficult time putting things out that are strictly crafts without a clear academic component. So I created a couple of things that fit all of my needs.  First up is a writing craftivity called "Oh, no! What's in my Cocoa?"

I wanted to help my kids write better sentences. Sometimes I ask them to describe something and they say "big" or "red". I always kid around and say things like "Elephants are big, is it an elephant?" when what they were trying to describe was a house, or building. They get the idea, but it's still hard for them.
So, this writing activity has them focus on really describing an object that is unseen to the other students.  Since my kids are a bit older, I'm going to use this form of the craftivity {I love that teachers have totally made that a word} My kids will write clues on the smaller paper that will go on the cup. That paper will only be glued at the top so it lifts up to reveal the hidden object.
There are lots of other versions and paper sizes so that you can choose what works for your kids. I also played around with adding marshmallows and a real spoon. I'll post some more pictures when my kids make theirs, but I wanted to share these with you now because I'm guessing you're planning your winter boards already.

I have a bit of an obsession with these bright colors lately! I got this pack of paper at Office Depot. It's super vibrant card stock that's two sided, so one pack has about 4 different colors that all coordinate.

For the long cork strip I'll be using one of the banners from my 25 Quick and Creative Bulletin Board Banners set. You might remember these that I did in the fall. You'll notice I like to keep things intentionally generic so I can leave them up though a season, like October and November, or December to February... I try. I don't always get away with it. 

These also work great if you have a clothesline hanging in your room. I really try to make things with big visual impact, but minimal teacher prep that won't take the kids a ton of time to work on. These banners fit the bill pretty well. They even make a great homework project!

I'll be making the ice skates for my hallway. They were designed to fit on legal paper to give the kids a lot of room to write and fill up lots of wall space, but they print out equally well on letter size. Sometimes I cut regular construction paper to legal size and run it though my printer. Can you believe I didn't even know that was possible until a couple of years ago?

There are a few winter options and even a New Year's banner as well if the ice skates don't float your boat. With 25 banners to choose from and only 9 months in the school year, you can use two each month and still have plenty to spare!
While you're planning for December, you might also want to check out this post from last year with eight different freebies!

"Oh, No! What's in my Cocoa?" Writing Craftivity

Update alert!
I've added new activities to my December Printables Pack and added a classroom friendly version of December Homework Helpers be sure to update the new versions!


  1. I love the writing craftivity. I just want to go drink a cup of hot cocoa now. :)

  2. These banners are just gorgeous! We don't have hallways in our Queensland schools (our classrooms are free standing) but I bet I can use some of these on my bulletin boards inside. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  3. I love the What's in my Cocoa writing activity! How cute!

  4. I love your coca project! The banners are a fabulous idea too. Cute, cute , cute!

  5. I am right there with you on the art projects... generally I prefer a writing element to them but it is hard to get the time and the extra time to make sure the kids produce something worthy of being displayed. I love these and am going to try them for sure!
    Dirt Road Teacher

  6. All adorable!! Love your ideas!


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