Teacher Gift Ideas
Updated January, 2017…Here are six teacher gift ideas that teachers will love but won’t break the bank. With summer quickly approaching and family vacations just around the corner, we can be feeling the pinch at this time of year. A lot of us like showing our appreciation to our kids’ wonderful teachers, but just don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on elaborate gifts. However, the best gifts for teachers are often the ones that come from the heart.
If you ask teachers what they would prefer to receive at the end of the year (besides a thank you and a hug from their students), gift cards are probably at the top of their list. A Visa card is nice because they can spend it on whatever they want. However, this means there is a cash value to this gift which we are trying to minimize. Don’t despair! A unique craft is also at the top of their list–something functional, perhaps for their classroom, or for their home.
If you can hold a paintbrush, you can buy inexpensive pots from a craft store like Michaels and paint some simple flowers with waterproof paint, or write a teacher poem with a waterproof pen directly on the pot. If you have a little more artistic skill, you could paint something more elaborate on the pot, again with waterproof paint. I’ve done this in the past and teachers love it! I learned some basic flower painting techniques from a Donna Dewberry book, bought a few inexpensive clay pots (or tins) and two or three colors of paint and painted each of the pots. I then went to a discount flower shop and purchased beautiful geraniums and placed them in the pots. They were perfect! Here is another clay pot painting idea from Detroit Mommies Magazine.
2. It’s all in the Presentation
Another oldie but goody end of year teacher gift idea is a homemade baked good. There’s nothing like fresh baked banana bread, blueberry muffins or your best chocolate chip recipe displayed in a nice (inexpensive) plate or serving platter from Target, Home Goods or even the Dollar Store. An extra touch would be to type up and print out the recipe and include it with your gift. This will let the teacher know if there are any allergens in the food that they need to know about. I’ve laminated my newly printed out recipe cards in the past, hole-punched them, and tied them onto the gift with a pretty ribbon or raffia. I only really recommend this gift option for teachers you know really well.
3. Personalize It
A personalized teacher gift idea from your child could include a drawing that they color with crayons or colored pencils. They can then include a nice note to their teacher on the drawing. You can finish it off by rolling it up and tying it with a pretty ribbon or raffia. There’s nothing like a nice thank you note on a picture that a child took the time to draw to put a smile on a teacher’s face! My daughter did this for Christmas for the school secretary and she loved it!
4. Your Child’s Artistic Skills Rule
A fourth end of year teacher gift idea would be to have your son or daughter decorate a bookmark–again with a personal thank you note to the teacher. Then, place it in a decorative notebook or diary. You can buy these at Target. Sometimes they even have these little notebooks in their Clearance sections so don’t forget to look there.
5. Display Your Appreciation
Picture frames also make nice teacher gifts. You can put a picture of your child, the class, or my favorite: a printed out inspirational quote specific to teachers, something like this:
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”― William Arthur Ward
Picture frames are inexpensive. It’s the written quote inside the frame that will surely be appreciated, and can be displayed in the classroom.
My sixth and final recommendation for end of year teacher gift ideas includes games for the classroom. You can purchase inexpensive games at Target, WalMart, KMart or at a TJ Maxx or Marshalls store. I once bought a Civil War trivia card game for my son’s Social Studies teacher as a gift. This gift was perfect at recess time on a rainy day. I think it cost about $6.
Sometimes the larger book retailers like Barnes and Noble have these types of products in their discount sections. A nice added touch would be to include a note to the teacher with a gift like this that says something like, “thinking of you on all those rainy days when ways to entertain the kids are often in short supply,” or “here’s something new for you to add to your rainy day game supply,” or something along those lines. It shows that you put thought behind your gift.
I know I could include many more teacher gift ideas here, but hopefully the above suggestions will get your creative juices flowing. Again, most times the best gifts for teachers are the ones you put thought into, and that come from the heart–not the ones that cost the most money.
If you have any more ideas, please feel free to add them in the comments section!