Wednesday, May 7, 2008


They are so wonderful, and so under appreciated. With DI ending, I received some lovely cards and even a very unexpected gift. They just lifted my heart, and made all of the times, I was exhausted and came home grumbling go away, and I'm now excited about next year again.
This in turn got me realizing that school's end is coming upon us at an alarming rate. Every year we always get/make something for the boys' teachers and include a note/card stating our appreciation. Usually the boys come up with the idea, well this year they haven't had any wonderful brain storms yet, but I thought I would compile a list of things we've done in the past for teachers, teacher aids, Sunday school teachers, coaches, etc... I thought maybe it would help some of you that may be in a similar situation.
As always the more you know about the teacher the more personal you can make these gifts. Also, if it's supplies you want to purchase, ask the teacher, she/he may have a wishlist.

  • Gift Certificates- The old tried and true. You can get anything from a nice dinner out to school supplies, I know many people do Starbucks (we may be one of the few places on Earth without a Starbucks near us.) One of my favorites is a Gift Certificate for Haagen Dazs Ice Cream. They are $4 plus shipping and they can go get a container of yummy ice cream.
  • Personalized Pen/Pencil/Post-Its/Stamp- These are really wonderful for the teachers and they can always use more of them. For pencils I usually go through oriental trading company. They also make nice gifts for kids. Teacher's love them because if a child borrows a pencil, they know who to return it to. Post-Its I get through here because I don't have to order in a huge bulk. They also have rubber stamps.
  • Sharpies- In my house Sharpies make the world go round. I have never spoken to a teacher who couldn't use more sharpies!
  • Plant/Flowers- If someone gardens or loves plants, a nice potted plant is wonderful. If they don't garden, I think even some men enjoy getting a bouquet of flowers on occasion! Your child could paint/decorate the vase/pot to make it more personalized.
  • Donate a book/CD/Game to the class- Usually we do this around Christmas, so that our children can also enjoy them and see them being used, but at the end of the year would also be a nice addition.
  • Scrapbook/project book- If you are great with scrap booking or you took lots of pictures while helping out in class make a nice little scrapbook (at home or online published) for the teacher with captions as to what everything is. Also, one particular teacher in my sons' school always writes a book to be submitted into a contest every year. We have gotten runner up both years that my 2 oldest were in her class. I took the story and got it published into 2 real hard cover books. One for her to keep at home, and one for her classroom. She loved it so much!
  • Notebook holder- I made these for Christmas this year. I have also seen patterns for them. I winged mine, but this is a lovely looking pattern by Pink Chalk Studios. Your child can pick out the fabric that their teacher will like.
  • Ice Cream Ball- My sons would never forgive me if I didn't mention this one. My sons had teachers who loved to go camping with their families. And this is one of our favorite things, so they thought their teachers would love them too. We got notes during the summer from BOTH of them saying how much fun they had making icecream. They knew that those were definitely winner gifts!
  • Throw Pillow- We made these last year by embroidering a picture the child had drawn of them with their teacher. They picked out fabric and helped sew the whole thing together. These were a huge hit.
  • Baked Treats- Who doesn't love something homemade and sweet!?! Cake in a jar is what my boys are making grandmas for mother's day, but these would be great for teacher gifts too, especially male teachers! But bars, cookies, sweetbreads, etc... would all be wonderfully received. We made delicious banana bread one year and gave it to all of the teacher's aides and secretary, etc... They loved it!
  • Travel Kleenex/Tissue Holder- I have made these for family, but they would go over well teachers too I would think. There is a lovely tutorial here.
  • Pencil or cosmetic case- Filled with things or empty, who can't use a zip pouch? They are easy enough for older kids to make, younger may need some help, even the youngest child can pick out fabric. There are many tutorials online here are just a few 1, 2, 3, 4 all a little different, but all quite easy. Personalize as little or as much as you want.
  • Grocery tote- With everyone trying to be more green/ecofriendly my kids really like to give as gifts filled grocery totes. But they wouldn't have to be filled. A grocery tote is quite wonderful. There are tutorials to make them. Here is a whole list of different grocery tote tutorials. Or you can purchase them. Some of my favorites to purchase are ACME Workhorse and Envirosax because of how small they fold up.
  • Waterbottle- This is near and dear to me. It sickens me as to how many water bottles are gone through. I carry my trusty SIGG bottles with me everywhere I go. There are SIGG and Klean Kanteen, I like both. Others may like different brands, but these are my personal favorites.

Well, that's all I have for now, I'd love to hear any of your wonderful ideas. To me even if you get nothing (which is absolutely ok!) I think it is very important that a hand written note from the parents, and from the student thanking the teacher be sent to school.


Average Jane Crafter said...

This is a fantastic list! Some friends and I were *just* talking about the dilemma of figuring out teacher gifts. This is a great resource. Thank you! :)

pj said...

I love the embroidered pillows. What a great idea!

Tab said...

I'm glad you like them!

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