Every year I create some sort of back to school gift for my children to give to their new teachers on the first day of school. For the past 3 years it has been a variation on an emergency kit for the teacher.
In case you missed my memo from the past few years, teachers are trapped in the school building until every last student is out the door at the end of the day. There are no quick trips to the grocery store or the gas station for an aspirin or a Coke. If teachers do not bring essentials with them and have a secret stash in the classroom, they are out of luck until the end of the day. Giving an emergency kit to a teacher is a thoughtful gift idea.
The Cloth Wallet
This year I found a free pattern for a business card holder with two pockets on Craftsy.com. They weren’t the right size, but I doubled the fabric piece measurements in the pattern to get the size I needed to hold the contents of the teacher emergency kit. I used 11 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ fabric pieces for the outside, lining, and interfacing and 11 1/2″ x 13″ for the pocket. (FYI– You are required to register on the site before downloading the free pattern.)
Forehead temperature reader: This is a new addition to the emergency kit. Students love to leave the classroom and take a walk. One way for a student to get out of the classroom is to tell the teacher that he/she does not feel well, so the teacher will send that child to the office for a temperature check. Not anymore. With the forehead temp reader, a teacher can quickly see if a child is in fact a little warm, and the student’s plan to sneak out of the room is foiled. The temp reader is not totally accurate, but it is a good gauge. I found mine at CVS.
Advil (I put 5 or 6 in a mini ziploc bead bag I get from Michael’s Crafts)
Tums (inserted 5 or 6 in a mini bead bag)
Blistex (or any kind of chapstick)
Dental flossers (in a mini bead bag)
Travel size Clorox wipes: Here is another new addition to the kit. I am not a fan of Purell or any of the hand sanitizers. It makes my hands smell and have a funny feel to them. I do like a Clorox wipe. I can quickly clean a surface, desk, spill on a backpack, etc. and then my hands are touching things that are (moderately) clean since I cleaned the item rather than my hands.
travel size tissues
quarters for soda money
travel size toothbrush and paste
travel size sewing kit
hair bands or a hair clip
travel size lotion– no scent is better
If you are a sewer and grab the pattern from Craftsy, the original pattern size is fun to make too and is the perfect wrapper for a gift card. Here is what the two sizes look like.
Do you give a back to school gift to your child’s new teacher? What else is a thoughtful sirsee for the beginning of the school year?
I have totally been on a gift kick lately. I have several family member birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Teacher Appreciation in May; all good reasons to hunt around for fun little presents for people. If possible, I try to choose gifts that will work for many individuals, so I can mass produce or buy in bulk.
I recently had coffee with a friend that I met through my children’s swim team. TheSwimFriend has been borrowing an embroidery machine and monogramming almost anything that will fit under the sewing machine foot. During coffee, she showed me a monogrammed umbrella. I had to have one (or five). After a quick trip to Target for travel sized umbrellas, I dropped off my purchases with TheSwimFriend who kindly monogrammed them for me.
I am hoping USPS has already delivered TheRoomMomMom’s Mother’s Day umbrella, so I am not ruining the surprise. Since I used travel size, my mom can leave the umbrella in her car or stuff it in her purse on a rainy day. I had one made for Mr. Star Wars’ teacher for an end of the year gift because the teachers at school have to walk about two blocks from the parking lot to the school, rain or shine. The umbrella is just the right size for a teacher bag. I have a few more ready for upcoming birthday gifts. My favorite combination is the navy and white polka dot umbrella with the kelly green monogram.
TheSwimFriend played around with the monogram size and liked 3 1/2″ tall at the center point. The monogram also needs to have stabilizer on the back in order to keep the umbrella material from puckering.
My SwimFriend did this as a favor for me, and I would like to do something nice back. Any suggestions? TheSwimFriend has seen all of my recent gift ideas.
Rather than throw away the two black bananas sitting on my counter, I baked banana bread. Teacher Appreciation Week is next week, so I used my mini loaf pans and wrapped up the loaves to bring as teacher thank you gifts for my children’s teachers. I always get hungry mid-morning at school and need a little breakfast-y bite. I thought my kids’ teachers might need a little snack too. The mini loaves are a good size for eating at school since they equal about two servings (and taste great with coffee). Teachers can share with a co-teacher or have a bite in the morning and finish the little banana loaf at lunch or at the end of the day.
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. regular oats (not instant)
1 c. mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Crisco or Pam
standard loaf pan (8″x 4″) or 3 mini loaf pans (5 3/4″ x 3 1/4″)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in oats.
In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Stir until just moist.
Pour batter into an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan coated with cooking spray or greased with Crisco. Bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack about 15 minutes and then gently turn pan over to drop the loaf out of the pan. Serve warm or let cool completely on the wire rack and wrap in foil to store.
If using mini loaf pans, fill about halfway with batter. I get about 3 mini loaves per recipe. Reduce the cooking time for the mini size. After about 30 minutes, watch until the top is browned, then test the center to determine if the banana bread is baked through.
Wrap with parchment paper and have kids decorate with stickers if giving as gifts.
These work well as a teacher appreciation gift, hostess gift, and housewarming present.
You know I love teacher gift ideas!
I have a few ideas in the hopper for Teacher Appreciation Week and end of the year, but I like to keep the pipeline stocked. Any other suggestions out there?
Congratulations to Lucy and Stephanie for winning the petal gift bag giveaway! Thanks to all who submitted an entry.
If you missed out on the giveaway but want to make your own petal bag, click here for directions. I have many other little gift ideas for teachers, friends, and neighbors, so be sure to click the picture links below or the Sirsees tab in the black bar above.
Step 2: Click on thisEntry-Formlink after completing step 1 and submit an entry!
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Winners receive one drawstring petal bag containing clear nail polish, nail clippers, tweezers, and an emery board. Keep it for yourself, give it to a friend, or give it to your child’s teacher and become the #1 room parent.