Preschool is often children’s first experience with school, and encouraging school spirit can really build a feeling of community for children and their families. If your school is associated with your local school district then you’ve got easy access to already defined school colors, mascots, and sports teams that you can really lean into. If you’re in a child care program you can still take advantage of many of these same things by partnering with your local district or creating your own set of spirit guidelines. Here are some excellent ways to use these with your families:
Spirit wear fundraisers – get everyone geared up! T-shirts are standard offerings, and who doesn’t love a t-shirt, but there are a ton of other options too. Customized hair bows, baseball hats, winter gear, pom poms, cinch backpacks, zip pouches, get creative! You can do a pre-order and have these printed, or your staff can have fun DIYing them with iron-ons.
Enlist high school volunteers – Most high school students are looking for volunteer hours or opportunities to add to their resumes. Reach out and ask if a cheerleader would like to lead a half hour of learning cheers, or if a member of another sports team would share their equipment with the children. The high school students might also read to the children, or wear their uniforms and assist with drop off or pick up.
Make a night of it – Gather families from your class or program to attend a high school sporting event together. Your program can sponsor tickets for the game or put together a dinner before.
Create using school colors – Get the children in on the fun by decorating shirts together or making your own ribbon pom poms in the classroom.
Take a field trip – Connect with the school and ask if you could tour one of their sports facilities. The children would love to explore a football stadium or high school gymnasium, remember these will look so much bigger to a preschooler than they do to us! Many schools will also offer an opportunity to practice riding the school bus, which would be a fun opportunity for the children.
What are some of your favorite ways to encourage school spirit?