Three-Dimensional Bulletin Board Ideas October 12 2010

A sense of mystery or surprise can enhance a child's experience while interacting with a variety of curriculum. Over the years, children of all kinds have enjoyed picture books made out of sturdier material that contained flaps on each page. These flaps provided this sense of mystery or surprise, as they are flipped open during the story to reveal important illustrations or information.

This sense of adventure can easily be incorporated into your classroom bulletin boards. Plus, we've included a bulletin board idea that you can put to work right away!


The purpose of bulletin boards in the classroom is to utilize another means of communicating important information. I like to have one for general information as well as the calendar and one for each subject area if possible. Often, these spaces aren't your average rectangle bulletin boards - I also take advantage of door and cabinet surfaces, as well as underneath or above larger items like chalkboards or whiteboards.

One of the best elements of three-dimensional bulletin boards is that they inform while they entertain, making learning feel like more of a game. These types of bulletin boards can also be used with any subject across the curriculum - just add resourcefulness and your own special creativity!


The photo above is an example of a colleague who created an interactive rainforest-themed bulletin board to start the year. The leaves and vines on the board were created with heavy-duty yarn and paper, while the vibrant flowers were simply constructed from tissue paper.  The toucans had a student's name written on each beak. The beak, made from a separate sheet of paper cut to fit, could be lifted on one side in order to read fun facts about that student underneath.

Before the teacher put the bulletin board up, students finished and shared their toucans. You can download the Toucan Coloring Pages by Carol Brooke and create your own bulletin board with your class!

Ideas for 3-D Elements

Don't feel pressure to make each part of every single bulletin board in your classroom or hallway three-dimensional. A 3-D bulletin board requires balance - the special materials or elements that you use will stand out when combined with standard paper backgrounds or muted colors.

Adding dimension can also be easy and inexpensive, since so many different kinds of materials and objects are easy to find. You probably have a variety of these already in your classroom:

  • fabric - use as a background to add texture and depth
  • paper - scrunch, cut, and tear for different looks, and use for lift-up flaps that flip up, down, to the left or the right
  • tissue paper - combine colors for more interesting layouts
  • cotton - compact or tear apart for different uses
  • ribbon - curled or not, these make fun additions to a bulletin board
  • envelopes - these can hold slips of paper and already have flaps
  • foil or mylar - the shiny material adds interest
  • classic craft materials like yarn, string, buttons, beads and craft sticks

At a low-cost and with a little extra time, adding dimension to your classroom bulletin boards can help your students have more fun with information while they experience an extra element of surprise.