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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

6 Cozy Staff Appreciation Ideas for Winter

Winter is a great time to recognize staff members at your school. This time of year can feel a little drab and gloomy. Help brighten things up with fun and unexpected staff morale boosters! Whether you're looking for staff morale activities that are non-holiday related or need some cozy staff appreciation ideas for January, I've gotcha covered! Let's dive into 6 fun ideas you can use this winter!

Implement these cozy staff appreciation ideas for happy teachers this winter.

The Importance of Staff Appreciation 

Teachers, school administrators, and staff members are a special kind of people. The members of this group usually have big hearts, a giver's mentality, and a deep dedication to showing up for our kids. 

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays over, it's time to remind your staff how much you appreciate them with thoughtful staff appreciation goodies this winter.
These people are changing the future and deserve to be recognized for that! While there are specific days of the year geared towards teacher and staff appreciation, I'd argue that this is something we should practice all year long for strong school morale! 

Aside from being appreciative to staff, there are even more benefits to boosting morale. We all know that happy staff members are more likely to create a productive work environment for our students. This can help sustain the overall health and social climate of your school, even in these changing times. 

Winter is an especially good time to lean into fun staff appreciation ideas. After the holidays have come and gone, things can feel a little dreary, and staff need a little sunshine in their days! 

These winter-themed staff appreciation ideas are just the thing to make teachers and staff smile and show them how much they are valued for their daily efforts!

1. January Scratch-Off Tickets 

Do staff meetings feel a little lackluster in your building lately? If so, I have just the thing to perk up your team! These January Scratch-Off Tickets are aimed at building excitement for meetings while awarding staff for their daily hard work. Talk about a win-win! 

Use scratch-off tickets like these for an extra special staff appreciation goodie which includes prizes your teachers will love.
This resource uses a fun winter theme on each ticket and allows staff members to uncover a prize. Give these out at your staff meeting and watch the smiles spread across the room! Some of the prizes include:
  • prime parking spots 
  • recess coverage 
  • prepped copies 
  • jeans day and more! 
These are low-cost, easy-to-make staff appreciation tokens with gifts that faculty will actually want to receive. Use them as prizes during your meeting or hand them out to all attendees. 

The resource includes two options for printing including information on pre-made scratch-off paper as well as a DIY version so you can choose what works best for your school. 

2. Winter Staff Appreciation Board

What better way to recognize staff than to "shout out" a job well done? 

A staff appreciation board like this is a great way to showcase all the awesomeness going on where everyone can see.
This winter staff appreciation bulletin board is a great way to spruce up your staff lounge after all of the holiday decorations have been taken down! 

This resource includes headings, decorative accents, and staff recognition tags to make this project simple and easy to put together. 

Simply add some wintry-themed paper and border to your board, add accents and headings, and then fill out the cards with personalized recognition for staff members. 

You can have staff recognize each other for a job well done, or principals and administrators can write encouraging notes for each person in the building. Then, all you have to do is put them on display for everyone to see and enjoy.

Either way is a great option to show staff that their good deeds are valuable and appreciated! 

3. Staff Snowflake Hunt 

Ready for something a little different this winter? You'll love this next staff appreciation idea! This morale-boosting activity involves a guessing game to find snowflake erasers or table scatter that have been distributed to staff members. 
Turn staff appreciation into a game with a fun snowflake hunt activity like this.

The idea behind the game is to determine who has a snowflake and acquire one for yourself before it's over! Staff will try and guess who has a snowflake and "steal" it away. The game is played throughout a previously determined day and when the time is up, prizes are distributed.  

You can even play more than once if you'd like by choosing different types of prizes for each day. One day you might have school supply-themed prizes, the next could be candy and food, and the third could be acts of service. 

The sky is the limit on this one and it just adds a bit of fun to an otherwise ordinary day. Staff will love shaking things up with this game this winter!

4. Winter Shout-Out Decorations

Are you looking for a fun and simple way to decorate staff lounges and prep areas this winter? 

Shout out decorations like these are a great way to show staff appreciation in a fun and unique way.
You'll love these Staff Shout-Out Decorations that are aimed at showing appreciation for your team! 

Use these printable signs to decorate bathroom mirrors, bulletin boards, the staff lounge, and more. 

Each sign has a fun and motivational winter saying that will make staff smile and add a bit of seasonal flair to your building.  

These would also be fun to print in bulk and leave in the staff lounge with a supply of pens. Staff members can jot down notes to each other on the back and leave them in mailboxes or post them on classroom doors throughout the month to show appreciation for each other. 

Recognizing things like patience, kindness, tidy classrooms, and prompt arrival goes a long way in making staff feel valued and part of a great team! 

5. Soup Luncheon Potluck

This next option is my absolute favorite winter potluck idea! Have you ever hosted a soup luncheon? The idea behind this is that everyone signs up for and brings different soups to school to share. This one takes a bit of planning, but it's well worth it in my opinion. 
Organize a soup luncheon potluck as a way to celebrate your teachers and as a fun and cozy staff appreciation opportunity.

To host this event, put out the sign-up sheets in advance and allow everyone to sign up for different soups. You could also have each team decide on the soup they will bring. If possible, try to encourage a certain number of specific types to allow for variety. You might ask for a few vegetarian options, a few chili-style soups, and maybe a few cream-based soups to offer a little something for everyone! And... don't forget to include salad, bread and/or crackers if you'd like to have those options.

On the day of, set up a few tables with power strips for everyone to plug in their crock pots full of soup. I also recommend using signs and labels to make sure everyone knows what is what. The soups can simmer away and warm up all morning long. 

When lunch rolls around, everyone will be excited to taste the different soups and enjoy them with crusty bread or crackers. This soup potluck is the perfect activity to help staff feel warm and cozy in the winter! Check out this resource for everything you need to successfully host this event! 

6. Frosty Friday Treat

I saved the best for last! If you're looking to treat staff members, you'll love this Frosty Friday Treat! 

Get a local business involved in staff appreciation with a fun Friday treat like this.
This idea involves coordinating with your local Wendy's restaurant to get all of your team members a delicious frosty. If you don't have a Wendy's near you, consider alternatives that would work as a good swap. In my opinion, any type of ice cream, milkshake, or other frozen dessert would make a perfect alternative! 

Hang up signs around the school in staff areas the week you plan to have treats available. This way, all staff members will know they can swing by the lounge during lunch to pick up their frosty treat! 

This is a great token of appreciation for staff at the end of the month to recognize their hard work and let them know they are valued in your school. 

Everyone loved Frosty Friday at my school, and I know your staff members will too! 

Staff Appreciation Winter Bundle 

Are you having a hard time choosing a favorite in this round-up of winter staff appreciation ideas? If so, check out the BUNDLE, which includes all 6 resources! This bundle will help ensure you're keeping your staff motivated and excited to come to work all winter long, without having to spend hours planning and prepping. 

Grab this bundle for low prep printable staff appreciation ideas you can use all winter long.

These ideas make staff appreciation simple and easy to incorporate into your monthly routine. Have fun celebrating your staff this winter and don't forget, a little sunshine is all it takes to make your school feel cozy and your staff feel appreciated! 

Save these Winter Staff Appreciation Ideas! 

Save this post on your favorite Staff Appreciation Pinterest board so that you'll be armed with fun ideas to boost staff morale all winter long!

Looking for fun and cozy staff appreciation ideas for the winter months? These 6 staff appreciation ideas and resources come with everything you need to plan amazing ways to show your staff how much they mean to you and the school community this winter. #tarynsuniquelearning #staffappreciationideasforwinter #winterstaffappreciation #staffappreciationideas

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