Holiday Teacher Gifts

Holiday time is here, folks. I am sure this is no surprise. The surprise I usually get is when I am shopping for gifts and remember the teacher gifts at the last minute. I’m not proud of it because I ADORE teachers…I just have nursing mom brain (hey I am riding this “condition” out for all it is worth). This year has been extra hectic with a new baby and I have been looking for something to be easy and quick but still appreciative. I have come up with a formula to help my guilt, get teachers something they like,  make it meaningful for my child, and save them from something else to store and take up space.

Small gift from your child for his appreciation + small gift to show parent appreciation

Now that may seem pretty obvious but I thought I would break down the 2 into categories with some simple ideas to help you out. I tried to think pretty broadly. I know I have little ones but most can apply to any age.

salt dough trainWays for Your Kids to Show Appreciation
My main goal with this part of the gift is to get my child in the giving spirit. I am not spending a lot of money, if any. I want to show him his work can make someone happy. I also want the teacher to have something homemade and special. This usually comes in craft form for me and thanks to Pinterest, you are a few search terms away from creativity if you lack it.

  • Ornaments – Salt dough, popsicle stick snowflakes, painted ball. The list goes on. I am not one for giving teachers a bunch of stuff but I think a few extra ornaments are simple to add to a tree and let them remember your kid
  • Drawings – Have them draw a picture. So super simple but it shows them to do something for someone else. Be sure to put her name and date on it for safe keeping.
  • Pictures – Take some pictures of your kid with or without his teacher. Then put on cardstock and have them decorate around it. Collages, paint, glitter glue. Go crazy!
  • Thank you notes – If they can write, this is always appreciated. It’s special and personal. Doesn’t take up space. Perfect. Pair with a photo for added memories.

Ways to Show Your Appreciation

  • Give back to the classroom – Schools need money. That is a given. Teachers are buying their own supplies. It’s a sad state. Offer to buy supplies. Donate to their Donor’s Choose project. Volunteer!
  • Gift cards – This is really a no brainer and an easy option when you have 5000 things to do around the holidays. Speciality coffee, Target, restaurants, movies, itunes. Once again, endless. Spice it up with a unique way to display it.
  • Books – Does your kid have a favorite his teacher reads to him? Buy a nice copy and write a note to them.
  • Thank you notes – Once again appreciated from a different angle (parent). Add bang with writing on the back of your Christmas for an additional personal touch.

Be sure to also check out my previous post on some quick and easy DIY options for teacher appreciation.

So what are you doing for teacher gifts? Are you a teacher and want to chime in?


  • Tracy says:

    I have to say, moving from an Alternative High School to a Comprehensive Middle School last year meant I got tons of appreciation. My most favorite holiday gifts…Starbucks Gift Cards! Students always saw me with coffee in hand and that was the best way for them to show they appreciate me. But for the younger kids, Iove having them make something special, plus Abby loves giving something she made to others. I’m thinking some sort of art project and Starbucks Gift Cards will go a long way for her caring and patient preschool teachers. I really dig your idea, too, about purchasing a favorite book and writing a note inside.
    Twitter: wa_tracy

  • Joanna says:

    I’m totally doing the Thanks A Latte cards. Love them.
    Twitter: RaisingMadison

  • Suzanne says:

    Love those thanks a latte! I went with holiday hand towel & soap dish from Target. Because I lack time for creativity & the babies don’t care. But next year I’d love to craft with them!
    Suzanne recently posted..Thirty OneMy Profile
    Twitter: suzstreats

  • cayley rice says:

    I actually just bought my Starbucks cards for teachers, figuring anyone spending their days with 3 yr olds needs coffee. Another idea, that was cheap, pretty, fun, and tasty (plus healthy) that my daughter loved helping with (she loves to scoop from bulk bins and with measuring cups so she basically made the whole thing) is jars of home-packaged soup ‘mix’.

  • Megan W says:

    I didn’t even think about needing to get Ava’s daycare teachers a gift! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. She’s only been there two weeks but I don’t want to be the only schmuck not getting them anything. Now to just decide what to get…
    Megan W recently posted..Ava: 3 MonthsMy Profile

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  • I emailed my son’s teacher and asked what she wanted/needed for the classroom. She was blown away that I even asked! She needed 2 books that she would use for their unit on holidays in different parts of the world. I bought them both, and she was so thankful. When in doubt, ask!
    another jennifer recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Good Fortune?My Profile
    Twitter: anotherjenb

  • Gj says:

    Well, I can tell you first hand a little something is nice and means a lot to teachers. I work at a learning center , I float around & sub , I take care of all the kids different ages and needs through out a 10 hour shift 5 days a week. Many parents see me through out the day and during pick up time. I was over looked as every other teacher and substitute has recieved many gifts from parents kids and grandparents I have not recieved any! Though the children love me and I adore all of them.
    I was very Hurt through out the week. Not one parent or grandparent acknowledged me as far as “gift giving” or “christmas”
    Something small and cheap goes a very long way! Even a home made card!
    My feelings are extremely hurt! I walk in the center everyday and every room I go in the kids yell my name in excitement and give me hugs! I exist and I am important to the kids, I’m making a positive impact on their lives, I teach them, I care but I’m upset about seeing all my coworkers with several gift bags, gift cards, bragging and so on… I have not gotten one thing it is very hurtful

    • Brandy says:

      Oh that hurts my heart :(. I am giving our floating sub the same gifts as the others but I know I am not everyone. Thank you for that reminder. We do appreciate you!
      Twitter: mannlymama

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