As the school year draws to a close, many children and families try to find ways to show their teacher how much they appreciate them. As a preschool teacher, I am always humbled when given gifts by the children at our center. As a parent, I so appreciate my children’s teachers, and try to seek fun, thoughtful and creative ways to express my (and my child’s) gratitude for all they’ve done. In many preschool and child care settings, there are multiple teachers and caregivers that parents want to express their appreciation to. So, I thought it would be neat to list a few favorite and inexpensive gift ideas that I’ve either received, given or heard about.
A heartfelt card – Of course! Ask any teacher, coach or mentor, and the gift that they treasure the most is a handwritten note from a child or parent letting them know how much they made a difference in the life of a child!
Books or gift card to a bookstore – I haven’t met a teacher yet who didn’t love books! Many teachers even stock their own classroom libraries with children’s books, and a gift card is a great way to help them. Or if you know the teacher’s favorite children’s author, you can get a nice hardcover book by that author.
Magazine subscription – This can be tailored to a teacher’s hobbies or interests (like cooking or scrapbooking) – or you can get a subscription to a children’s magazine that can be used in the classroom.
Candy bar message – This idea came from Renee on our Facebook page during Teacher Appreciation week. Give a candy bar with a cute saying on it, such as a Milky way (“you’re outta this world“) or Skor (“we scored when we got you as a teacher“), etc. I think this is so cute, and coupled with a hand-drawn card from the child, it is thoughtful, yet inexpensive.
A scrapbook – As a scrapbooker, I personally love this idea! One idea is to give a blank scrapbook and some basic supplies so the teacher can put together an album themselves of a favorite trip, holiday or even the school year. Another idea is to put together an album with snapshots of the entire school year (this definitely requires some advance planning, as you would need to have a good supply of photos throughout the year). This is a good project to involve other families in, to help with gathering pictures and putting together pages. This can be taken to another level by having each child in the class (with help from a family member) put together 1 page of the album with pictures of the child, a drawing by the child and a special message from the child.
Homemade mix – These are simple, inexpensive and the child can help to create them. First, get some nice large jelly jars. Some ideas of mixes to put in them are: homemade pancake mix, chocolate chip cookie dry ingredients (layered in the jar), hot chocolate mix with mini-marshmellows, etc.
What are some of the most fun and unique gifts you’ve either received as a teacher or given as a parent? Please share … I want to get a jump start on my own end of year gift-giving!