The options are endless when it comes to VIPKid background ideas for your classroom. Some teachers have lots of space (and money) to invest into their VIPKid classroom background.
But, most of us don’t. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ve started teaching (or are getting ready to teach) with VIPKid to help your family financially.
So, I’ve compiled my favorite VIPKid background ideas that are optimal for every space and perfect for traveling teachers as well as budget-conscious teachers. These are 13 of the best ways to make a creative background for VIPKid on a budget.
10 VIPKid Background Ideas
If you’re looking for budget-friendly VIPKid background ideas, maps are a great option. They are very inexpensive and can be found virtually anywhere.
Many teachers have been successful in finding world maps and US maps at Target during the “Back to School” season. But, the best options that I’ve found are on Amazon.
One important thing to note is that you want to make sure your map is accurate. In other words, don’t just print off a random map of China online.
There have been some issues reported to VIPKID about teachers displaying inaccurate Chinese maps, and this is DEFINITELY frowned upon! So make sure your map is accurate by purchasing one.
Tons of VIPKid teachers use whiteboards as their classroom background of choice. This is a great option if you like to write a lot of things during class because it frees up your hands for lots of TPR.
However, one major downside to using a whiteboard is that it can be too reflective for your webcam, which will create a glare that can lead to distorted colors. Everything in the classroom (including you) may look overly bright…but not in a good way. 😉
One other thing to think about if you are considering a whiteboard background is that the board will be directly behind you. This doesn’t seem like a problem until you realize that you have to turn away from your student completely to access your whiteboard.
If you like to use reward systems that require drawing, a whiteboard might be the perfect background option for you. But, if you don’t want your student looking at the back of your head for a major portion of the lesson, you might consider another alternative. 🙂
3. Oil Drip Pans
These can be found on Amazon or at your local Wal-Mart. They’re an excellent option because they can be screwed directly into the wall and create a magnetic surface for all of your rewards and decorations.
You can spray paint them or cover them in bulletin board paper to create the VIPKid background of your dreams!
While I planned to purchase one of these for my classroom background, neither Wal-Mart nor Lowe’s had them in stock when I was on the hunt. So, I decided to visit my local hardware store to see if they had any ideas or thoughts about what I could use to create a magnetic background.
They suggested I try rolled sheet metal. And that’s how I discovered number 4 (and my personal favorite option) in this list of VIPKid background ideas.
4. Sheet Metal
After the excellent information from the hardware store, I bought the sheet metal and some plywood. My husband mounted the metal onto the plywood with screws and then put the whole thing on the wall.
I chose to have a HUGE sheet (4 ft. by 4ft.) mounted onto the wall so that I could create a faux bulletin board. Knowing I was going to use something to cover the metal, my husband made sure to leave plenty of plywood around the edge of the sheet metal.
To this day, I still have this as the base of my background and I absolutely love it. After placing magnets on my reward board, I can hang my Find-A-Star rewards right onto my backdrop without having to use more space.
5. Bulletin Board Paper
Just to make sure you know what I am talking about, bulletin board paper (aka butcher paper) is basically just huge rolls of paper that are typically 2-4 feet wide and an be 100 ft. long. You can pin or staple this type of paper directly into the wall, or you can cover your cork board with it.
Because the sheet metal I use for my VIPKID classroom background is semi-reflective and ugly, I chose to purchase this weathered wood bulletin board paper. I simply stapled the faux wood paper onto the plywood that makes up my backdrop. Now you see this amazing “wood” wall behind me!
In this list of VIPKid background ideas, I think this one is the most versatile because you can put this directly onto the wall, on top of your cork board, on your oil drip pan, or over your sheet metal. So if versatility is your goal, then this is the option for you!
6. Cork Board
This is an option for teachers who want to have a bulletin board style background. You can easily hang your laminated reward systems on a cork board without putting 5,000 holes in your wall.
Originally, this was what I was planning to use in my own classroom, but when I discovered the oil drip pans and sheet metal…I never turned back. If you are interested in a backdrop that you can personalize like a bulletin board, this is the perfect option.
7. Curtains on a Wire
There are actually two ways you could use curtains. First, you can buy premade curtains and simply use a tension rod or curtain-mounting system. The other option that I chose is the easier and much cheaper option.
I first saw this idea posted in a Facebook group by an amazingly creative VIPKid teacher. She shared a screenshot of her classroom curtain ideas which were actually just long pieces of fabric from her local Wal-Mart!
I knew this would be perfect in my classroom to add just a little bit more fun to my background. I used an IKEA curtain wire and clips that I already had for the mounting system. Then I hung up my faux curtains! I couldn’t be happier.
And the best part is that when I decide I want to change the color or style, I simply go to the store and pick out a different fabric! Cheap and easy!!
8. Shower Curtain on a Garment Rack
If you have a difficult space to work with and no place to use as a backdrop, consider creating a faux backdrop using a free-standing garment rack.
You simply choose a shower curtain that isn’t too busy (visually) and then hang it on the garment rack just like you would hang it from a traditional shower curtain rod.
Then, voila! You have created the appearance of a wall.
The nice thing about this option is that you can teach your classes from virtually anywhere. You simply place the rack and shower curtain behind you to create a ready-made background!
You can use a real window as your classroom background without any additional cost to you. Many teachers enjoy having a window behind them to be able to show students various things outside.
This is so much fun!
While I don’t have a window as part of my teacher background, there is a window a few steps away. So, when I’ve had a few extra minutes at the end of class, I’ve shown my students my yard, animals, snow, and the fact that it’s morning at my house when it’s night at their home.
The reactions are priceless!
If you don’t have a window but you like the idea, you can actually just create the look of a window using bulletin board paper or poster board. Then you can change the “outdoor” scene by season.
10. Tri-fold Board
This is the ideal portable background! If you travel frequently or if you have to work from a shared space in your home, a tri-fold backdrop is perfect. (I’ve always called this a Science Fair board.)
It can be taken down and put up in a matter of seconds and can be found at most retailers for just a few dollars.
You can find them in a variety of colors, or you can just customize your own by simply spray painting a white one. For those who are particularly crafty and budget-savvy, you can paint or draw on the tri-fold backdrop yourself.
For those a little less artsy, you can find great educational decorations at your local Dollar Tree.
Because you can do all of this for around $10-$15, I would say this option is hands down the best way to create a thrifty and fun portable background.
11. Personal Green Screen
If you want unlimited background options, a personal green screen might just be the perfect choice for you!
A green screen replaces a “real life” background by creating a virtual backdrop using an image or video of your choice!
The nice thing about this particular option is that you don’t have to have a bulky frame or additional hardware. You simply adjust the straps to fit around any chair, and you’re ready to go.
And since it’s collapsible and easily folds away into the provided carrying bag, it’s ideal for traveling teachers. While it isn’t the cheapest option, if you like the idea of being able to change your VIPKid background frequently, then this might be the best choice for you.
12. Printed Vinyl Backdrop
Another interesting option is a printed vinyl backdrop. This is the same as the backdrops that photographers use during studio sessions. You can purchase these relatively inexpensively from Amazon or Etsy.
If there’s a wall behind your teaching space, you can attach this directly to the wall. (That’s obviously the cheapest & easiest option.) However, if you don’t have a wall, you can create a DIY frame for your backdrop or purchase a backdrop frame/support system directly from Amazon. Just remember, the frames can get costly and they take up a significant amount of space.
So if you’re considering this printed vinyl backdrop for your background, make sure that you figure out how you will display it BEFORE you buy it so that you have all of the essential parts!
13. Acrylic Calendar
This acrylic calendar is another one of my favorite options, and there are tons of styles and designs available on Amazon and Etsy. This calendar looks so classy and yet is the perfect background for extending conversations.
You can use it to discuss days of the week, months of the year, holidays, celebrations, skip counting, etc. You can also use it to discuss past, present, and future in an immersive way.
The key to any great background is to make it an interactive part of the classroom environment. And this calendar is the perfect way to do just that!
So, as you can see, there are multiple VIPKid background ideas and they are all great options. Each one has its own pros and cons. So, now the only thing you need to consider is which one will be the best for your classroom!
If you want to read more about VIPKid, you can check out these posts.