From grade school to high school, a school spirit week offers kids the chance to celebrate their educational community. A blast from the past theme can focus on not-so-distant days or look back decades into an entirely different generation. Games, artsy activities, parties and other celebratory events all offer kids, teachers and even parents ways to come together and show their school spirit.
Blast from the past doesn't have to always equal dressing up like those from many decades past -- although it can. Instead of taking a trip back to mom's or grandma's generation, celebrate the students' school spirit as younger kids. This theme works best for high schoolers, who can take a trek back to their grade-school years. For example, make posters that feature the students' first-grade school pictures, invite former grade-school teachers to a school spirit party or have the teens wear t-shirts with their elementary schools' names on them.
Use a blast from the past theme to reflect on the school's history. Exploring the school's historical roots shows the students how it has changed and how far it's come throughout the years, according to PTO Today. Invite significant students from the school's past -- such as a member of the first graduating class or a former student turned local celebrity -- to the spirit week festivities. Put together a spirit week book that features pictures throughout time or have the students create a mural that depicts the year that the school opened.
Pick a well-known blast from the past decade theme such as 1920s flappers, 1950s greasers, 1960s hippies or the totally radical, big-haired 1980s. Have the kids come to school dressed in costumes from the chosen decade and even take it up a notch and hold a costume contest. Hold a dance -- or have the students dance during a special school-day activity -- with music from the decade. For example, stage a 50s sock hop or a 70s disco dance.
School spirit week activities should include everyone at the school. This means the teachers and staff can participate too. For example, if the school is having a 50s poodle skirts and pompadours bonfire the teachers should dress up in bobby socks, leather jackets and other decade-appropriate gear. If your blast from the past includes the school's history or a revisit to the kids' younger years, ask the teachers for their own school pictures to add to a poster or collage.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.