Quick Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Teacher appreciation week is officially coming up May 7th-11th but for my daycare, April is kind of a whole month of stuff for our teachers.  This week we are doing our goodie week. Over the years there have been different things that worked and some that didn’t but through it all I have learned one thing:

Just showing you care is more than enough

This could be a drawing from your kid. A video of them saying thank you for their Facebook wall.  An extra latte on your drive in. It doesn’t need a big production and weeks of planning. It is the thought that truly counts.  For most of us here at LWM, we have daycare age. That means poop, puke, tantrums, bottles, naps and WAY more finger painting than I can imagine. They work hard for our kiddos and we need to show them the love.

Maybe you are a procrastinator or just need some ideas. Well guess what? I’m here! :) Here are some simple ideas for teacher appreciation that have worked for me over the years:


Thanks A Latte Gift cards:  Pretty easy for the parent on the go and not looking to reinvent the wheel. Everybody loves money…and especially when it is on frivolous things they might not spend cash on (bills are SOOO overrated).For the overachievers:
If you want to snaz it up, try a new display option. Here I used this idea from Eighteen-25 to display your Starbucks gift card. They have the 5×7 image you can print. Steal some cardboard thingies and BAM done. I did this in about 5 minutes.
Paper Flowers Flowers:  Another easy option. Pick up flowers at the market or even have them delivered for even more connivence.  Everyone gets excited when they get flowers delivered!For the overachievers:
Make them! You could even use this awesome paper flower tutorial this AMAZEBALLS girl did for you ::wink::. Then drink some Perrier and slap those puppies in there. I even used old cover sheet paper here so it cost me the Perrier.
Fingerpainting Kid Art:  They teach our kids art. Once they are old enough, something made from a kid is pretty sweet. They get excited making it and giving it to them. Makes you heart swell really. Simple option: write up a construction paper thank you card and let them color away. Easy peasy. Infants? Hand prints are always sweet.For the overachievers:
Try something new. Last year, I had Landon fingerpaint an idea I saw on Pinterest. I put his name in stickers and let him paint until he could paint no more. He loved it and I really liked the way it turned out. Check it out here.
Munchkins Food:  Who doesn’t love food? {said the pregnant lady}. This could be candy, cookies, gift card to a restaurant or whatever. Over the years I have brought Chick Fila, fresh fruit, donuts and even just little treat bags of candy. Ask your teacher about allergies or anything they DON’T want. Also adhere to all “outside food” policies your school may have in place.For the overachievers:
Once again you can cute up the display. This year I swung by Dunkin Donuts on the way to daycare and got a box of Muchkins and then wrote a note. Super simple. You could also make something special for them or even arrange to take the teacher out to lunch where available. We have had multiple parents chip in and all come. It was a lot of fun and we learned more about the teacher!
 Soap Stuff for the Classroom:  With budget cuts in the public school system, our teachers are lacking basic supplies. We are talking paper, pencils and even soap! Find out from your teacher or other faculty what would help the most. You never know what it could be. It might be so simple.For the overachievers:
Display again! If you want to add a personal touch, make some custom labels like the photo to the right (credit: Design Mom) or a neat basket they can also use for other stuff. Some other cute finds on Pinterest are School Supply Cake and even just a nice glass to hold pens and pencils.
Photos:  What is better than a picture of your kid with their teacher. Put it in a frame, email it to them, put it in a card with your kid’s artwork. It never gets old. Years later they can look at your precious snowflake and sniffle with us.For the overachievers:
Make it a project. The first 2 years at daycare, I went all out here. I got permission and took photos of all the kids in class. Then I made a DVD with thank you notes from each family along with a slide show. Some parents even included a short video of their child doing something very THEM. Their laugh, saying thank you or even dancing. It was a huge hit. It was also labor intensive. This year I scaled back and got photos of each kid and popped them in Picasa for a collage. Had it printed and put it on the door for the day. Done.

Some other ideas I have accumulated via Pinterest can be found here.

So do you have any neat ideas for teacher appreciation? Are you a teacher and want to share what you DON’T want? We would love to hear from you!

About the author

Brandy juggles the world of working mamahood by being a software developer by day and a tickle monster by night. She holds down her NC fort with her gaggle of boys: dashing husband Kevin (married 2005), crazy son Landon (born 2009), squishy newborn Oliver (born 2012) and a goofy mutt, Jack Sparrow. You can find out more about her and the Mann clan over at mannlymama and she tweets incessantly at @mannlymama.


  1. liz says:

    Yeah, coming up with ideas can be brutal. Thanks to Pinterest, it has made it easier. As a teacher, I can say it truly is the thought that counts. But as a parent, I would like to make it a bit more to show how appreciative i am, however; with 2 kids I have 8 people to give to- this includes the front office. somethings that we are planning on doing are:
    flower day- “handpicked” flower- made from both kids hand prints wrapped together
    card day- hand prints on card like Picasso painting
    sweet treat- sending fruit basket
    relaxing day- face mask packets (from grocery store- $1.50) with a whimsical note
    variety gift- lottery tickets in made card- WE HIT THE JACKPOT! ( we love our daycare). hope you do too!
    I hope these help add to someone’s creative flow. Thanks for your post!

    • Brandy says:

      your ideas sound like our daycare’s week too! We had a flower day, lottery day, gift card and just a thank you day :)
      Twitter: mannlymama

  2. I try to see what they do a lot of in the classroom, and offer them something that adds to that. For example, the teachers in each of Baguette’s classrooms have played a lot of music, so I buy them some new CDs so that they have something new to listen to.
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted..Birthday FunMy Profile
    Twitter: tragicsandwich

  3. Shannon says:

    These are such great ideas. In four years of teaching, I have only received one gift for Teacher Appreciation Week and a couple times, I received cards from parents for Christmas. It is definitely the thought that counts!
    Shannon recently posted..The First Year: A Letter to My Son for His First BirthdayMy Profile

  4. Jennifer says:

    These are all great ideas! This is sad, but the last time a parent sent me a gift or gesture of appreciation was when I taught in an elem. school. That was about 8 years ago!
    Jennifer recently posted..A Rant About the Adderall ShortageMy Profile

  5. I’m super curious as to when all this teacher appreciation began… I heart gifts are standard now for most classes and kids. My wee one isn’t old enough yet, but back in my day, you might give a favorite teacher a gift but it wasn’t like everyone was doing it…
    Christa the BabbyMama recently posted..On Parenthood and TimeMy Profile
    Twitter: mommeetmom

    • Brandy says:

      Not sure Christa. I just know our daycare center does a big thing for it every year. They have a collection for a lunch and even the support staff and corporate office lavish the teachers with gifts. We actually do the whole month of April but parents didn’t really do anything until the last week.

      And there are “appreciation” days for pretty much everything. Secretaries day. Admin day. System admin day. Bosses day. I kind of have beefs with these days because um…that is their job. There is no “worker bee programmer’s day” for me and I don’t expect there should be. If I am doing a good job, it is reflected come bonus or raise time. Their job is to support me…so why am I giving them MORE attention.
      Brandy recently posted..Teacher Gift IdeasMy Profile
      Twitter: mannlymama

  6. KeAnne says:

    Ooohhhh I’m so glad you posted on this. Since we are new to daycare, I don’t know what ours has planned and I probably wouldn’t have known about it. Last thing I want is for D’s new teachers to think I’m unappreciative and ungrateful!
    KeAnne recently posted..First Day of DaycareMy Profile
    Twitter: KeAnne

  7. Mary Beth says:

    Ack! That’s next week!! You mean I’m supposed to be doing something for the daycare teachers? Not that I don’t want to but… I didn’t know!!!
    Mary Beth recently posted..Listening to the UniverseMy Profile
    Twitter: bloombing


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