Looking for a way to motivate your students can be a struggle – but school spirit is a universal way to get kids excited and to bring them together in a way that other things cannot.

According to Missouri State, school spirit is important because it helps set the tone for the year in ways that just can’t be measured. If you’re looking for ways to introduce a little extra enthusiasm and a lot more spirit in the school day, here are just a few things to consider:

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1. Plan a movie night

Offer students a fun way to spend an evening with their parents by using a tarp or sheet to project a favorite movie. In colder weather, a school gym works just as well.

2. Get artistic with face paints

Nothing says ‘school spirit’ quite like face painting. Use your school’s colors and recruit more artistic students to create great looks that are on-brand for your school spirit.

3. Run a contest for posters

Have each class, club, or team create a spirit poster, with the best winning a school-spirit-style prize, like a keychain or rally towel. The kids will love it.

4. Include creative dress-up days

There’s nothing that gets kids more in the spirit than a theme. Crazy hair, twin day, or color wars; whatever your dress-up preference, your students will feel the spirit once they get into costume.

5. Try a pep rally

A traditional way to induce a little school spirit, there’s a reason pep rallies are still around. It’s because they work and offer an environment where everyone can get involved in music, cheers, and chants.

6. Host a cookout

The beginning of the school year, while it’s still warm, is an excellent time to try a barbeque or cookout. Involve students and their families, providing time to talk to teachers and meet fellow students.

7. Invest in temporary tattoos

The perfect way to be on-brand for that next event, temporary tattoos are a cheap and practical way to get all your students invested in the festivities of the day quickly and easily.

8. Make some noise

Spirit shakers, spinners, or even kazoos can motivate students to make some noise and get into that fun-time school spirit. You might want to limit these to pep rallies, but they’ll be a success whenever you choose to use them.

9. Celebrate accomplishments

A huge part of school spirit is ensuring every student is welcome. Celebrating accomplishments both in and outside the school can provide that feeling of belonging, helping children feel like they’re part of something bigger.

10. Temporary decorations

Go crazy with washable paints, erasable chalks, and even recyclable paper to get into the school spirit.

11. Order accessories

From rubber wristbands to sweatshirts, bumper stickers to banners, investing in your school’s spirit with new merchandise can help your students feel a little more spirited.

12. Vote on a mascot

Time for something new? Get the school to submit mascot pictures and vote to get them excited about picking your next school mascot design.

13. Make the most of milestones

From school awards to annual birthday celebrations, acknowledging those milestones can help your school’s pride to soar.

14. Design spirit sticks

Another classic way to show your spirit is designing your spirit sticks with your class is a great way to get crafty and create something your students will love.

15. Be more community-centric

From service to community days to annual fairs, giving back to the community can be invaluable to keeping the school spirit high.

16. Get active with a color run

Who doesn’t love getting pelted with powdered paint, after all?

17. Decide on a school song or cheer

Work with the more musically-inclined students to choose a catchy song or decide on a fun cheer that everyone can understand and appreciate.

18. Do school challenges

From dance competitions to charitable academic feats, there are many ways to create motivational and exciting challenges your students will adore.

19. Make graduation fun

From the end-of-year walk to the fun but safe pranks, encourage a little more school spirit by providing positive things for your seniors to take part in.

20. Create a school motto

Enlist your students to decide on or design a brand-new school motto or even an honor pledge that students can sign as part of a ceremony.

How do you bring a little extra spirit to your school? What methods do you use to rile up your students and get them on board with school-based fun?

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