Unique Spirit Week Ideas

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I always loved Spirit Week at school, the opportunity to dress up in fun ways, to be silly and creative beyond my usual “school clothes.” And again, it was one of the things I was so excited about when Max started kindergarten. I was a little disappointed when I learned that the Spirit Week ideas at his school didn't go beyond wearing school colors on Wednesdays.

But I was thrilled when, about three weeks before school let out for summer, I got a notice that they had a whole week with daily themes for dress-up! We excitedly reviewed the days and planned what he could wear. My heart sank a little when I saw some of them, though. I'm on board with pajama day, and crazy hair day, but nerd day? Encouraging kids to “wear your too short pants and wrap some tape around your glasses and dress up like a nerd”? How is this a good idea?

But I digress.

While spirit week ideas like “Nerd Day” might have been popular when I was a kid, it isn't something that I'm comfortable encouraging Max to participate in. We talked about it the night before, and we agreed that dressing up as a nerd wasn't a fun idea. And it inspired me to create this list of Spirit Week ideas.

Instead of Nerd Day, how about Someone You Admire Day? Or What I Want to be When I Grow Up? This allows lots of flexibility for children to come up with something to wear. A child can dress up like a parent, or a teacher, a pilot or a construction worker. The possibilities are endless. Jessica's daughter's school had a “Future Career Day” and her daughter dressed up like, yup, a blogger. Pink streak in her hair (not after me, after Jessica, but still!) and a WordPress t-shirt, all she needed was a computer and a coffee cup and voila!


future career spirit week idea


Rather than Culture Day, how about A Place I Love Day? This was a challenge for us; Max's school did “Culture Day,” and for a school as diverse as ours, this is a good one. We have lots of first generation Americans in Max's class, so finding something to wear to express their “culture” is easy. We saw lots of traditional dress from a variety of countries, and it was lovely. But what does a European mutt kid like Max wear? We're English, Scottish, French, Irish, Welsh… all of the most generic of the heritages. Unwilling to buy him a kilt (which I probably couldn't get him to wear even if I bought it!) we put him in this:


baseball dress up day


Because he's an All American kid, and what's more American than baseball? You want to know what happened? His teacher asked, “Were you born at the ballpark?” and said this didn't count. Challenging a child to dress for their birthplace is hard for someone, like Max, for whom his birthplace isn't a significant impact on his identity. My friend Cam, from Growing Up Goofy, said that her daughter's school celebrates as “Diversity Day,” and her daughter chose to celebrate differences by wearing 2 different socks that day. A great way for her to be able to express herself and still participate.


diversity day spirit week idea


Skip Twin Day, and challenge groups of kids to dress alike for Matchy Matchy Day, so that groups of three or more can coordinate what to wear and still participate. Imagine the heartbreak of the one kid in class who couldn't find a friend to dress up with. By opening it up to larger groups and skipping the “twin” word, it makes it easier for everyone to participate.

Max's school had a “Rainbow Day,” which is good in concept, but the execution leaves something to be desired. They assigned a color to each grade level, so third graders were all assigned green, first grade got red. The idea is cute, but Max was in kindergarten. Guess what color they were assigned.


rainbow day dress up

White and kindergarteners? Not the best idea ever. I would instead suggest setting Rainbow Day as “Wear All One Color Day” so each child can choose their own color, instead of being assigned based on grade level. Because it bears repeating: Kindergarteners in white?whacky day ideas for school

Still looking for more dress-up ideas? Here you go!


Spirit Week Ideas

  • Pajama Day
  • Crazy Hair Day
  • Mismatched Shoe Day
  • Mismatched Everything Day
  • Dress Like a Hero Day
  • Hat Day
  • Tacky Tourist Day
  • Superhero & Villain Day
  • Ugly Sweater Day
  • Cartoon Character Day
  • Holiday-themed days
  • Dress Like a President Day
  • Backwards Day (Kriss Kross'll make you what?!)
  • Dress Like an Olympian Day
  • Dress Like an Animal Day
  • Sports Team Day
  • Dress Like Your Teacher Day
  • 1960s Day
  • 1970s Day
  • 1980s Day (Sensing a trend, here?)
  • 1990s Day
  • Futuristic Day
  • Wear All Black & White
  • Tie Dye Day
  • Favorite Book Character Day
  • Sunglasses Day
  • Formal Wear

Do your kids have dress-up days at school? What are your thoughts on some of the more questionable choices? Do they do anything really fun? Share in the comments!

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  1. Pajama Day & Crazy Hair Day are two great favorites. Personally, I’m a fan of Spirit Days that are easy to create something for the kids to wear from home and not have to go shopping and spend money on something that will only be worn once (um…yeah, say, white on a kindergartners). Love the cute kidlet pics! :>

  2. these are some great ideas and I will do some at my daughters school . I will suggest this to my daughters principal and maybe it will come through to do these fun things for the students. thank you very much …

  3. those look like crazy kids
    i never knew spirt week was so unorganized i am a highschool student and i am a freshmen so i am just wonder what to dress up on tuesday the 21 because it will be 1970s day tommorrow will be movie day i will wear a costume from a movie i am dressing up as thing one but idk what to do with my hair. i am a 15 year old girl.

  4. Life saver! I’m a preschool teacher and we do a dress up day every Friday, with two weeks left I was starting to run out of simple ideas. We are going to create a classroom rainbow, and have a dress like your teacher day! My classrooms favorite days are Green day, because we decorate the whole room green, and super hero day because they each get a super hero cape!

  5. This was very helpful, thank you I had no idea what to do for Crazy day! I would be the oddball out if I wore nothing! Thanks for the help!

  6. I’m a preschool teacher and we have a Wacky Wednesday for Dr. Seuss b-day…to go along with the Wacky Wednesday book. Thats usually the kids favorite day out of the whole year. You could add to your list inside out day.

  7. Here are more Wacky Wed. Ideas!
    Favorite book or favorite book character
    Dress like fav school staff
    Slipper day
    Sandals day
    Slipper or sandal day
    Occupation/career day
    Wear all of one color today, you pick the color, wear as much of as you can
    Color mash-up day
    School colors day
    Sports day
    Mismatched day
    Inside out day
    USA spirit day
    School spirit day
    Dress like another person, historical, current,famous or other
    Holiday socks
    Crazy socks day
    Cool word day (tape/pin a cool word to your shirt and have someone read it
    Definition day, same as word day only you pin the definition on you and others try to figure out the word
    Masterpiece day: kids can create and present poems, short stories, songs, art work, read aloud plays, anything they have a talent towards, lego builds, model cars/toys, etc., even dress like a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa
    Talent day dress up or present
    Four Seasons dress up, pick one or more
    Be a math conundrum: choose a math problem that you can solve, pin it to you and challenge others
    Neat numbers day, pin a number to yourself, show it to a pal, big or small we love ’em all!
    Conservation day: dress in blue for water, show the water cycle, dress as recycling, environmental issues, dress in colors of a tree, green energy….you decide!
    Tree day: wear brown and green or fall colors
    Space day: dress in colors of your fav planet/moon/star, be a planet, wear a description of your fav space body, black with stars etc constillations
    Dress for fav holiday

    For teachers, pin a word to each staff member, students can try to figure out the sentence it makes.

  8. EVERY body loves nerd day tho…fake glasses, suspenders, and overalls … like every school goes out on that

  9. I love these ideas! I am in leadership for school, or ASB, and we plan all the school events. This is full of great ideas! Thank you!

  10. I absolutely agree with you on culture day! This has been hard for me every time especially in our preschool. In preschool, there are lots of Hispanic families in our area and they have a very strong cultural connection, but I can’t even name the people that came from Europe in my family. For my daughter’s last cultural day, I sent a book about Los Angeles because she was born here and that describes her – American. Her back culture does not affect her life. The teachers were fine with it but I feel like it is still a fight every, single time. It would be cool to have some special family bond with my European roots, but…it’s just not there.

  11. We did anything but a backpack day. The kids were very creative. Buckets, grocery bags, suitcases, laundry basket, etc….

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