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Affordable classroom decorations for holidays

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Decorate your classroom for the holidays without spending a fortune
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Low cost, creative class room decorations make holidays festive and affordable

It's almost that season...the one where it seems that there's a new holiday coming up every couple of weeks. 

The retailers love it.  After all, that means they can sell a whole new set of decorations every few weeks. 

But as a teacher who wants to bring some holiday cheer into a classroom, it's a lot more of a challenge.  All those classroom decorations for the holidays can really add up!  And there's certainly no money in your school's budget to help. 

But I've found some creative ideas for decorating your classroom for any holiday without breaking the bank. Here are a few. 

Holiday decorations equals art

One of the best ways to learn about a holiday is to see the symbols, and to see images of people celebrating. 

So having your students make the classroom decorations is a wonderful way to combine art and classroom decoration with learning. Skip the coloring pages and have them try their hand at weaving, enameling, sculpture and collage. Save some of the projects form year to year so you'll have holiday decorations to set out even before your current students have made their decorations. 

Holidays around the world

Many holidays like Hanukkah, Diwali and Ramadan have a central location in the world where the celebration originated. Contact travel agencies, tourist bureaus and embassies to ask for free posters of those regions, especially ones featuring the celebration.  

A word of warning on this.  Many of these organizations are slow to respond, so make your requests at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the holiday.


Community groups

Most communities have ethnic clubs such as the Italian-American Club.  Contact them to see if their group has ethnic holiday decorations they would be will to donate or lend as classroom holiday decorations. If not, see if they have an annual festival where guests can buy decorations.  These events usually offer inexpensive choices of truly unique holiday decor.

Senior centers and nursing homes

For the cost of craft materials, you may be able to get senior citizens in your community to make beautiful holiday decorations for your classroom.

Contact the directors of a number of centers early in the season, and ask if their residents or members would enjoy these activities.  You may need to participate to guide the crafters, or they may prefer to work on their own. 

Try to arrange a visit to classroom to see their work displayed, or take photos to those unable to

Involve the parents

Most families have a few extra holiday decorations around.  Arrange a parent decoration day to allow families to bring in the decorations and put them up in your classroom. 

A word of caution: make sure the decorations are not overtly religious in nature.  Unless you allow this for all religions and holidays, you may end up offending some families whose religious celebrations were overlooked. 

After holiday sales

No, this tip won't help this year.  But if you want to get classroom decorations for the holidays for all the years to come, make it a point to shop the after holiday sales.

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