Take a Tour of My Vintage Circus Kindergarten Classroom

It’s here! It’s finally here! I know it has been a few months in the making, but I am so ecstatic to finally share photos from my new classroom design with all of you today. I have so much to tell you about this amazing space. Just like my previous teaching space, this year’s classroom design was a collaboration between myself and Melanie from Schoolgirl Style. We have become great friends through our blogging experiences and when our aesthetics unite, a beautiful classroom is the result.

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog. I hope you love today’s post!

Maria from Kinder Craze and Melanie from Schoolgirl StyleMy previous classroom design was created using Melanie’s Rainbow Chalkboard collection. It was a mix of black and bright colors and it was my happy place. The focal point of the classroom were the silhouettes of children playing that I had created using printable graphics from the Schoolgirl Style shop.

Rainbow Chalkboard Kindergarten Classroom

When I first became interested in classroom decor, I did everything I could to keep bold pops of black out of my classroom. I didn’t want to introduce any dark colors into my teaching space at all. When I moved into a new building and we worked on the Rainbow Chalkboard theme, Melanie had to hold my hand and reassure me that it was ok to have a lot of black in the room. She promised that it would add contrast and give the space an instant POP without making it feel to dark. Melanie was right. Once all of the accent pieces were in place, I was absolutely in LOVE with black and couldn’t get enough of the very color I had once feared.

Red is the New Black

This year, red is the new black. As much as I was scared of introducing black decor into my classroom, I felt even stronger about my general hatred of red classroom decor. I had sworn to myself that I would never ever have any red in my classroom. Melanie, however, has always adored the color red and her heart melts every time she sees a classroom with a splash of red. When Melanie and I started brainstorming for my new classroom design, I confided that I was ready to put the pink aside for a while. Even more shocking, I told Melanie that I was finally ready to embrace the color red. I’m pretty sure she came close to falling off her chair that day while we lunched.

red classroom decoration inspirationI continued by saying that her Carnival theme kept drawing my attention and I was considering using that decor in my classroom this fall. But what’s the fun of a Kinder Craze and Schoolgirl Style collaboration if we don’t work together to create something new? We continued to talk and Melanie shared one of her secrets with me: she had a Vintage Circus decor line in the works. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven when she told me that. My wedding was a vintage theme and I am in love with anything that feels antique and special.

vintage carnival-2So, without more adieu, I am proud to introduce you to the latest theme from Schoolgirl Style: Vintage Circus!

Vintage Circus theme Kindergarten Classroom with pops of red, yellow and turquoiseI know you are going to have a lot of questions about where I shopped, which resources I used, and how I created some of the details for this space. I promise I will address each of those questions in this post (and affiliate links are included for your shopping convenience.) I will begin by sharing a span of my classroom, then break down the details of each space or project. Or, if you’re in hurry,  you can jump ahead to the shopping guide by clicking the image below.

where to shop to create a vintage circus theme for your classroom

My Vintage Circus Classroom At a Glance

When you first step through my classroom door, it feels as though you are transported to an old fashioned trip to the circus. As your eyes sweep across the room, you can’t help but notice the red vertical stripes around my word wall and the colorful lanterns hanging above each table.

vintage circus classroom with vertical red tent stripes on the wallA tented and ferris wheel skyline is the main attraction above the classroom windows with swags of red bunting and of course a few more red stripes. There’s also a bright burst of color from the library (just wait till you see the library in more detail!)

vintage circus theme classroom decorationsvintage circus classroom decorations and reading cornerA large whiteboard is located in the front of my classroom. This is the space where my students gather to learn each day. An alphabet from my TpT store hangs above the whiteboard and my classroom rules complete the space below it.

vintage circus theme kindergarten classroom with pops of red, yellow and turquoiseAs your eyes continue around the classroom, you will notice my calendar, easel and a the bright red rug that distinguishes the classroom meeting place.

vintage circus kindergarten classroom with a bright red rug for students to gather onAfter seeing all of the details in front of you, turn around and take a look at the view behind you. Your eyes lay to rest on more red stripes, some soft pastels, marquee letters and a white dresser for storage!

vintage circus theme kindergarten classroom with bright red stripes on the walls and marquee lettersThat’s just a quick glance at my classroom but I know that a quick glance will not be enough to satisfy your curiosities. Click over to page two for  a close up look at the interesting spaces of my kindergarten classroom and the Vintage Circus theme by clicking on the image below.

Vintage Circus Classroom DetailsOf course, you could also click here to head to the last page for shopping information.

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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83 Responses

  1. Love your circus classroom! The color combinations are adorable and all of your extra special touches make it such a nice classroom. Thank you for sharing.
    Susie

  2. I love it and adore the scenes of the circus above the window and the stripes just make the room pop! Love the new white dresser from ikea along with the marque letters. I have to go to JoAnns to get the red ones. I am fearful of red too but it looks great with the other pastel colors to soften the brightness. I am also beginning to think of what I want next year as I shop in stores. I need schoolgirl style! I think black, grays, gold, coral, and teal might be cool with an old Hollywood glam. Enjoy your room and all the blessings it will surely bring.

  3. Your classroom is such a joyous, happy place for kids. I love it! I’ve been thinking of a classroom redo for next year and you have inspired me. It looks like so much fun!

  4. Your classroom is amazing! You have me rethinking my fear of the color red too now. I’m not a teacher and yet you have me wishing that I had a classroom of my own to design exacrly like yours. I can only assume that you have to make all of these purchases out of your own pocket. Such dedication. Teachers are very special people and your students are so very lucky to have you.

  5. Dearest Maria, What an amazing room! It’s beautiful, fun, creative, and simply awesome! You are so incredibly talented!!! What a blessing you are to your students, parents and to fellow teachers! You inspire us all and I truly appreciate you and ALL of your hard work and generosity. You make teaching more fun and exciting. I am taking a few years off to care for my Mother but I follow your blog faithfully. I want to keep informed and stay connected. I couldn’t wait for your classroom reveal and I look forward to being back in the classroom again in the future. I also want to say Congrats to you and what a beautiful wedding you had. May you have many years of happiness! Thanks again for how much you share, and for how much you care! Michelle

    1. Thank you Michelle for such a sweet and thoughtful comment! I’m so honored that you are still reading my blog while you take a few years off. Thank you for your patience as I prepared for the big reveal!

  6. Dear Maria, I just exploring the Kindergarten teaching blogs over internet when I landed at yours…and I would say the idea is absolutely stunning and appealing for kindergarteners. I like the way you integrated the animals plus bright circus colours…. I would surely be taking this theme next year when we do animals. What an amazing look! It’s vibrant and work like a magnet for kids. You are truly talented and full of creativity. I will be following you regularly now onwards. Keep sharing nice ideas !

  7. Dear Maria, I was just exploring the Kindergarten teaching blogs over internet when I landed at yours…and I would say the idea is absolutely stunning and appealing for kindergarteners. I like the way you integrated the animals plus bright circus colours…. I would surely be taking this theme next year when we do animals. What an amazing look! It’s vibrant and work like a magnet for kids. You are truly talented and full of creativity. I will be following you regularly now onwards. Keep sharing nice ideas !

  8. Maria!! Your new decor is just gorgeous! I would be very scared of red too, it’s just not my color! But I’m glad you took Melanie’s advice, because it is just stunning and I’m sure the kids love it! Hope you’re having a fabulous school year 🙂
    Amber
    A Smiling Teacher

  9. Triple love the classroom…I’m so inspired..where is the shopping list to purchase these items. I didn’t see them did you list the links or click on the picture?????

  10. I love seeing what you have done with your room each year. I also love schoolgirlstyle!!!! I would love to recreate your black chalkboard/rainbow theme from a year or two ago. What do you do with your old decorations? Id love to purchase some of your things. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks

  11. I am wondering what ISO is? I am in love with this theme and want to have the big posters too. I have a tons of lime green accents in my current room and wonder if I can make that color work also. I am not opposed to getting rid of it but even my rugs have that color..

    1. Hi Rob, I’m not exactly sure what your question is. I’d be happy to help if you want to try and rephrase it.

      1. You mentioned a place that made your big posters. I am wondering the name of the place. Also do you think I can incorporate my line green accents with the look?

        1. Hi again! So sorry for my huge delay in responding. YES, I think lime green accents could work in the collection. I would be careful not to have TOO much green since red and teal are the dominant colors, but pops of lime green could work in very nicely.

          As for the ISD. In Michigan, they are called Intermediate School Districts (or ISD for short). Each city has a school district, and to my knowledge, the county provides a higher umbrella of support and services for the teachers in all the county’s districts. It’s a central school resource that offers professional development, physical tools (like die cut machines, printers and a computer lab) and other services. I hope that helps!

      2. I have the same questions as Rob…love your decor and would love to get some large print outs as well. Is ISD an office supply store like Staples or Office Depot? I’m from Florida and I don’t think we have those down here 🙁

        1. In Michigan, they are called Intermediate School Districts (or ISD for short). Each city has a school district, and to my knowledge, the county provides a higher umbrella of support and services for the teachers in all the county’s districts. It’s a central school resource that offers professional development, physical tools (like die cut machines, printers and a computer lab) and other services. I hope that helps and that Florida offers a similar central resource for teachers.

          1. That sounds amazing! Wish we had something like that down here!! Thank you for the prompt reply!!

  12. Hey! The Ferris wheel and tents that you have above the Windows, did those come with the package or did you make those on you own? If they came with the package, how were you able to print them out so big? Thank you!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      The ferris wheel and tent graphics did come with the set as .jpeg files. To get them big enough for my classroom windows, I used a poster printer to blow them up large scale. It can be expensive to have poster-size prints made at Staples or a similar retailer. I highly suggest asking your teacher friends in other schools if they have a poster printer at their school and seeing if you can access it. You can even try calling some local high schools. They may have a print lab that offers printing services for a much cheaper cost than local print shops.

      1. I just purchased this and I am trying to find the ferris wheel and tent. Do you remember which file it was. So excited to get this ready fro my new kindergarten class for this year!
        Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. Hello Maria! I love your room, it is stunning! What did you do for your door and do you have a picture of it? Thank you! Jessica

    1. HI Jessica! I actually don’t decorate my door at all, if you can believe it! With all of the other decorations, I choose to leave my door plain. It’s usually open anyways and my decor doesn’t extend out into the hallway.

  14. Thanks for all of the great pics! I am moving into a room with the same color carpet, and I have been contemplating these colors for my high school English class. So, it was nice to see how well this color scheme fit with that color of a carpet. Your room looks so fun!

    1. Hi Kimberly,
      The good thing about this carpet is that just about anything will sort of “go” with it. It’s very versatile!

  15. Hi Marie I love your vintage circus classroom. I love the bright pops of red teal and yellow.Have you already thought about 2017’s theme?Im a 10 year old who wants to be a teacher and I currently have your Rainbow Chalkboard Theme and about to order the silhouettes,pennants,and things to make it pop. Thanks for all your support and Melaine’s Support and inspiration for my classroom theme.Next year I might do modern Apple,owls,or a garden theme.If you do a garden theme use Pom poms as flowers and use green faceless paper for the stems and leaves.

  16. Hi Maria,
    Did you find it difficult during circle time with not having the rug labeled with specific spots for each student?

    1. Hi Alisha,
      I think it depends on the group of students. I have had labeled spots in the past, but I haven’t for the past several years. It could become frustrating sometimes, but never got out of hand last year.

  17. Hi Maria,
    I was wondering what materials you display on your mobile easel and how you have the bins below it organized. I am finally getting one this school year! And, I’m purchasing a 2 door filing cabinet and would love to know how you organize yours. I’m not sure if I should focus using the new filing system for my personal teaching documents, themed materials or use it as a safe place to store students’ data. I also read the previous posts about the poster because I was wondering the same as others. I wish we had resource centers for teachers in South Carolina, that would be so awesome and save us a lot of money! Love your blog and your classroom, I learn so much from you! 🙂

    Kindly,
    Mary Ellen

    1. Hi Mary Ellen,
      I use my easel in many ways. Mostly, I use the surface to count the days of school during calendar time. We add a straw each day, cross off the number of days on a big chart, do tallies… all of those math skills. I also display books that I intend to read that day on the easel. Sometimes, when I model writing or do an interactive writing pieces, I turn the easel around and have chart paper that hangs from it. Underneath the easel is just storage of materials that I sometimes use with students (such as a class set of hole punches or play dough or magnetic numbers). I don’t really have a system – it’s just where I put materials students may need/want to access when they have free time.

      As for the cabinets, I have been wanting to share a peek into all of my drawers and cabinets on the blog. The only problem is, the cabinets are never arranged exactly the way I want and I keep delaying that blog post until I finally get organized exactly the way I want it to be. Maybe this will be the year!

    1. Hi Leslie,
      You can adjust your print scale so they fit into a 5×7″ frame. I don’t know the exact scale that you will need. Try printing one at 65% and adjust from there.

  18. Where did you get your name banner that you have hanging in the one corner? Did you make it or is it something that can be personalized that I can buy from somewhere? It is amazing! I love your room!

    1. Hi Emily,
      I created the banner using the resources in the Vintage Circus collection from Schoolgirl Style. Admittedly, I had to manipulate the files to get them just right for my banner.

  19. Hi Maria! I adore the way you decorate your classroom. You also have some very creative ideas! I was wondering where you got the blank calendar grid for your calendar numbers?

  20. Hi Maria!

    Just a note to thank you for posting the details on decorating your room. Even though I am decorating my classroom in navy and sage and with a dinosaur theme, I got a lot of decorating tips from you. Thanks for the post!

  21. Your classroom is amazing! I love all of it! One question, how did you put the flowers on the word wall? They look so awesome.

  22. SO AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL! The gifted hands had done such a very terrific things like this! It’s not only the viewers like this had loved it so much but ado the children undoubtedly will like to learn for this kind of lively, enthusiastic and brightly colorful room as possible with how they will learn meaningfully! I really dream to have a room like such this one! I would be very blessed. Thanks for sharing this inspiring ideas you had! It’s more than a high ideal of achievement but you call it a gift from above! You are wonderfully blessed with such a talent or skills like that! Have a great positive feedback from your great effort that made a difference of touching lives to us teachers and mentors! YOU’RE GREAT!

  23. I think your classroom is amazing. But I was wondering something. Do your children play? You have written about your library but not about toys. Are they hidden inside something? I am just trying to figure out how to make my room “Pinterest Perfect” when I have 2 shelves full of toys and a kid’s kitchen. Any suggestions? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Stephanie and thank you for the compliment! Yes, my students play nearly every day. Sometimes we go outside to play on the playground, but they often play with toys inside of the classroom. I just looked through the photos and you are right, the toys aren’t exactly featured in any of the images. My toy shelves are a bit of an eyesore and not exactly a focal point, so I keep them in the corner near the bathroom. You can see part of one shelf in the photo of my classroom sink and part of the other shelf under the TV (next to the typewriters and the word wall). I hope that helps to clarify!

      As for making my classroom “Pinterest Perfect”, I put as many of my toys as possible into matching clear Sterilite bins (I bought a few different sizes for cheap from Big Lots). It helps to keep the shelves from looking too cluttered and creates some continuity.

  24. How many years do you keep a theme before you feel like it is time to change things up? I moved into a room last year that was spot painted. I hung up all brand new Superhero decor. At the end of this year they had me take it all down so they could paint. Now I dread hanging the same decor. I am sure I am being silly….right?

    1. Oh boy, that is a a BIG question. Generally, I try to keep a theme for 2 to 3 years because I put so much time and money into it. I wouldn’t usually change a theme after just one year, but I understand why you want to change it since everything was taken down so your classroom could get painted. I would be very tempted to change themes after just one year if that happened to me too!

  25. Maria,
    I love your room!! I’m trying to create the same thing but I know it won’t come out exactly like your 🙁 I have some questions…I don’t have windows and I’m going to create the carinval. What color of paper would your suggest I use to replace your windows? Then, did you laminate the pennants under the window? Finally, what font did you use on your name?
    Thank you,
    Erma

  26. Maria,
    Did you do most of your printing on card stock. For example, the horses, carousel around the lanterns, and the cans? Did you laminate the horses?
    Thanks for the info 🙂
    Erma

    1. Hi Erma!
      I absolutely do most of that printing on cardstock. I personally don’t laminate anything that’s on the lanterns. Partly because lamination glares and I like taking photos of those items, but also because they are durable enough without the plastic layer 🙂

    1. I don’t know the exact finished sizes of the tents and carousels, but I printed mine on 3″ wide poster paper.

      1. Thanks for that information. Also Maria, i printed out the Lion poster and noticed the color scheme was much different than yours. Mine looked like a teal color unlike yours that seems to look blue. Was there something you did differently. My tents aren’t as red either. ?

    1. The graphics and in the Vintage Circus decor set from Schoolgirl Style. I had the tents and ferries wheels printed on a poster maker, cut them out, and added them to my window scenes.

  27. I am a first year teacher and love this theme!! I can’t wait to get started! If I am wondering where you got your lanterns and any other tips on printing the pdfs? Thank you, it looks amazing!

  28. Hi Maria! I bought this theme from schoolgirl style and I am SO excited for my kinders to see it! I followed the link on your post for the pinstripe border but it’s not available on schoolgirl style anymore. ANY chance you have it saved somewhere? That was one of the details that sold me on this pack/theme!

  29. I love your classroom! It is so well put together, and gives me some good ideas! I think children learn more in a setting that is welcoming like this.

  30. I notice you are doing Daily 5 in your kinder classroom. Will love to pick your brain. This will be my first year teaching kindergarten and I’m not sure how to incorporate it with the little ones. Also, on your TPT do you sell the CAFE posters you have on your picture and the other Daily 5 and Daily 3 bulletin boards cards?

  31. Did you have to pay for your bins with your own money? I have bought bins from RGS but only s fraction of what you have because they are not considered classroom essentials.

  32. Hello! I’m wondering if you would mind sharing the vintage Circus classroom theme. I am wanting to use your tent and Ferris wheel idea. But Schoolgirl style no longer offers it from my research. I would really appreciate it!!

  33. Hello! I’m starting my second year at a new school and they are doing a circus theme. Is there a way you could share the schoolgirl style one? It’s no longer offered and I love everything about it!

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)

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