The first full week of May is National Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States. It is no secret that I love putting together small gifts or gestures of appreciation for my children’s teachers. Many people work with my kids, so I am always trying to find a gift idea that I can mass produce and is cost effective. When we start counting the various core teachers, special area teachers, and support staff who interact with my 5th and 7th grader on a daily basis, it is over 25 people.
To make sure I do not leave anyone out, I am setting up a beverage bar tomorrow for the entire faculty. I bought 16-oz. Solo cups in a fun color, pretty straws, and a selection of individual sized drinks. My school has an ice machine, but if this is something you are considering for teachers, don’t forget bags of ice too. People can drop in all day to the teacher break area and fix a cold drink to take back to the classroom.
- Provide a variety of sizes and options. I purchased Coke and Diet Coke in 12-oz and 8-oz cans, sparkly flavored waters, Snapples, and a few sodas in bottles with twist off lids. A twist off lid is great if you don’t want to finish the drink in one sitting (or students return and you have to start teaching again). The smaller soda cans work well if you need a little refreshment but don’t have time for a larger drink.
- In place of a beverage bar where people go to a common location and serve themselves, you could print a fun, individual label and attach to the Solo cup. THESE LABELS are Avery 5263, 2″ x 4″. Put a can of soda and straw in the cup and deliver to individual teachers.
- If this is something your school’s PTA or parents’ group is considering for the faculty and staff, they could order Personalized Can Coozies with the school logo to give to teachers. There are many sites that sell party items like this in bulk for groups.
- Depending on how well you know the teachers, you could kick the beverage idea up a level and give individual gift bags with cocktail kits. There are so many airplane sized liquor options at liquor stores now, it can be fun to give a small bottle of alcohol, a mixer, and a lime. This may not be appropriate for your school community– you be the judge. I did put together a little gift like this for the teachers returning from multi-day field trip with my daughter to Williamsburg, VA. I knew the group of teacher chaperones, and I was pretty confident they would love the gift!
I have many great teacher gift ideas. CLICK HERE for more inspiration.
Next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week! Mark your calendars and shout out a thank you as you head through carpool line. If you want to do a little more to show some appreciation, you can borrow my idea. I always try to put together a small thank you gift for all of my children’s teachers, so they know that I do recognize the work they do each day. This year’s teacher appreciation sirsee is not too grand but remember that it does not have to be big or showy (or expensive) to be enjoyed. The purpose is to let educators know that their work is noticed.
My kids and I made mini clipboards for Post-it notes and added Papermate Flair Pens in fun colors. Teachers go nuts for the Flair felt tip pens and even if they don’t have a pen preference, all teachers use marking pens and Post-it notes, so I am fairly confident the gift won’t end up in the trash.
- 3″ x 3″ Post-it notepads (colors that match your coasters)
- 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ cardboard drink coasters (see notes below)
- 1″ binder clips (or one size bigger)
- Papermate Flair pens, assorted colors
- Remove the back paper from a Post-it notepad. Center the Post-it to the top edge of the coaster. Press the Post-it and attach.
- Add binder clip to the top of the coaster and Post-it notepad to secure. Leave the “handles” folded up.
- Print a message for the top page. It is possible to print on Post-it notes and attach as the top sheet of your notepad gift. Use THIS TEMPLATE for a Post-it message. For complete directions for printing on Post-it notes, CLICK HERE.
- Tie curly ribbon around the middle and slide a pen under the curly ribbon to complete the gift set.
- You can use coasters with cork backing too. I had a really hard time finding coasters that were not made of stone and super thick. They can be ordered online, or you can visit your local watering hole and ask if they will donate to your teacher appreciation cause. The cardboard coasters are easy to cover with scrapbook paper, and then you can choose your color scheme.
- While we were on the coaster hunt, Miss Priss found mini clipboards with attached notepads and a magnet back at Michael’s Crafts for $2 a piece. We bought every one they had and supplemented with the few pink cardboard coasters I did find.
For more teacher gift ideas I have used in the past, CLICK HERE.
I love teacher gift ideas. I won’t lie. It consumes quite a bit of my time around back to school, holidays, Teacher Appreciation Day, and end of the school year. Since I am both a teacher and a parent, I am conscious of both sides of the gift giving process. My goal when choosing teacher gifts are to think of small items that are cost efficient, practical, thoughtful, simple, useful, and I like the gifts to be attractive.
Here is what works:
- a thoughtful aspect– there is a personal touch to the gift like a handwritten note (and a handwritten note of thanks is always enough!)
- a useful aspect– the gift can be used in the teacher’s daily life
- generic– if you do not know the teacher personally, stick with items that most people like (do not get too specific like Red Hot candies because you think your child had a “red hot” year)
Here is what does NOT work:
- cute for cute’s sake– a gift that has great packaging but has no purpose
- teacher stereotypes– things that fall in the apple or school supply motif arena
Below are links to 10 ideas that have a range of cost and crafty levels. All have been tested and received well by teachers, coaches, school support staff, helpful neighbors, party hosts, friends… Click on the name or image to learn how to make the gift.
- Teacher Emergency Kit (I have a few versions of the kit. Click HERE, HERE, or HERE to see different options.)
- Teacher Lunch (You could also make a bento style lunch like THIS ONE.)
- Freezable Meal
- Mason Jar Soup Mixes
- Flavored Sugar or Dip Mixes
- Manicure Kit
- Lottery Tickets (To see a different type of scrapbook paper envelope, CLICK HERE.)
- Ribbon Bookmarks
- Insulated Drink Cups
- Monogrammed Umbrellas
I have lots of posts with teacher appreciation gift suggestions. Search Teacher Gifts in the search box on my blog, click on the Teacher Gifts link in the side margin of the blog, or click on the Sirsees tab near my blog header.
Honestly, I need an Etsy store for all of my craft project overages (or I need craft counseling). Currently, I am over-producing ribbon bookmarks to wrap around journal books. I was testing an idea to make some riboon bookmarks to give to my children’s teachers for Teacher’s Appreciation Day on May 3. Come to find out, the ribbon bookmarks are easy to make; the color combinations look super cute, and I like making things in large batches.
I thought these would make nice teacher gifts because, as a teacher, I always need something to mark my page in all of my teacher materials. Teachers use bookmarks for class novels, textbooks, manuals, planning books, grade books… I currently have about 8 Post-it notes, 3 notecards, and 11 scraps of paper peeking out of the stack of teacher books near my school computer. A few ribbon bookmarks would definitely come in handy for me. Plus, they have the added benefit of not dropping out of the book when I pick it up, and I can slide my scraps of papers with notes under the edge of the bookmark where it will hold.
- durable ribbon, at least 1/2″ wide (like grosgrain ribbon)
- buttons in coordinating colors
- Fray Check (a little like clear fingernail polish to keep ribbon ends from unraveling)
- covered hair bands in coordinating colors
- thread in coordinating colors
- Cut strips of ribbon to match the size of the book you will use with your bookmark. I used 5″ x 8″ journals, which are a similar size to a basic paperback book. I cut my ribbons to 15″. This allowed for the length of the attached rubberband not stretched too much and a little end piece to fold around the rubberband when sewing. Your finished bookmark stretches a little because of the rubberband, so the bookmark will fit a book that is a little bigger and smaller than the book you use as a guide for measuring.
- Drop Fray Check onto each end of the ribbon to prevent the ribbon ends from fraying. Let dry.
- Place the rubberband near one end of the ribbon and fold the ribbon end over. Stitch across the width of the ribbon with the rubberband held in place. You can hand sew or use a sewing machine.
- Loop the ribbon over and let the ends meet to see which side of the ribbon will need the button attached. Sew the button to the non-rubberband end of the ribbon. The button should be attached with only a little ribbon showing beyond the edge of the button.
I am exhausted. The teachers at my school all feel the same way. We pass each other in the hallway with a slight nod and a reference to the remaining time until our summer release. I am not sure why this year I feel more tired than usual, but since it seems to be a common theme, I put together small “restful” gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week. I found directions at MarthaStewart.com for sachets filled with lavender. Apparently, if you place lavender under your pillow while you sleep, it will bring sweet dreams. Sign me up!
The parents’ group at our school organizes daily events for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, but I usually like to send an extra thank you to all of the teachers who work with my two children. Since I work at the school my children attend, I know teachers put in additional time with my kids who arrive early and leave late every day. The lavender sachets are meant to be a fancy version of a card. Just a small sirsee to say that we appreciate our teachers.
- 5″ fabric squares with pinked edges (Hobby Lobby sells 24 packs of assorted fabrics)
- lavender buds (Whole Foods sells small quantities in the spice section, I ordered in bulk from www.thesage.com)
- funnel (to fill sachet pouches)
- sewing machine
- Sachet Gift Tag
- Sew two fabric squares together with a 1/2″ seam allowance, right sides out. Leave a 1 1/2″ opening.
- Poke the funnel into the opening and fill with lavender. I filled with about 1/4 c. of lavender.
- Sew opening closed.
- Print and cut the Sachet Gift Tag labels on white cardstock, add a signature and short note to the tag, and tie to the sachet with coordinating ribbon.
For more Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas, visit my Teacher Gifts link in the side bar.