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Creative Gift Ideas for the Educators in Your Life
Rally the troops, whip out the glue gun, and bookmark this blog post, because Teacher Appreciation Week 2016 is right around the corner: May 3rd! This year, let’s go beyond the traditional shiny red apple and give our teachers something they’ll really love.
Below you’ll find creative gift ideas for educators that are personalized, unique and loaded with lovely teacher puns. We scoured the depths of Pinterest and looked to some of our favorite blogs for a list of gift ideas that are 1. Practical and 2. Able to be created with your kids (for moms and dads) or students (for PTO groups).
Take a look and let us know in comments how you plan on showing appreciation to the teachers in your life!
Edible Gifts for Our Educators
In our experience, one of the quickest ways to a teacher’s heart is through the stomach.
This adage also applies to husbands, wives, children, and almost every human being. Basically what we’re trying to say is, who doesn’t love food??
Below are some edible gift ideas that you can purchase at the store, make at home, and personalize to please the taste buds of your lucky teacher. These are also great gifts for getting your kids involved, whether through helping you shop for tasty treats or assisting you with cooking up the goodies.
Transformed Pringle Cans
With some colored construction paper, cutout letters, tape, and creativity, you can make your very own pencil surprise! Just take an old Pringles can and cover it in construction paper to mimic the look of a giant pencil.
Make a cone by twisting and taping a thick piece of construction paper and gluing/taping it to the top of the can. Then, you and your child can go shopping for small treats to put in the can!
Even personalize this gift with cutout letters, like the example shown below (notice the lovely “No. 1” pun).
Soda-Lighted You Are My Teacher
We got this awesome idea from Tammy Mitchell Designs (get the free printables!).
Get a six-pack of your teacher's favorite soda drinks and attach a note that says, "I'm Soda-lighted that you were my teachers this year" and signed by your child. Or, take the pun a step further and get Mountain Dew with a note that says, "We appreciate everything you DEW." You could also go a step further and get custom labels on a six-pack of Jones Sodas. For PTO Groups, consider getting enough 12-packs of personalized Jones Sodas for all your teachers with labels that say "Thank You" (or another enjoyable pun!).
Mason Jar M&Ms
The writers at Domestically Speaking say this is one of their favorite teacher appreciation gift ideas, and we have to agree! Fill up a mason jar with M&Ms and then have your child help make a list of the best aspects of his/her teacher. Then, assign each M&M color with one of those attributes, for example:
Conclude the note by saying, "You are a Marvelous & Maginificent Teacher, thank you for being my M&M" and signed by your kid.
Classroom Gifts & Supplies
It's no secret that most teachers still have to pay for their own classroom supplies. In fact, in a survey conducted the National School Supply and Equipment Association just a couple years ago found that 99.5% of teachers use their own money to keep their classroom supplies stocked and spend over $400 a year to do so. This means that Teacher Appreciation Week is a great opportunity to help our educators out by giving them some creative, personalized gifts that they can use for the whole class!
Simply get a can, container, or basket and put some floral foam (styrafoam may also work) in the bottom. Purchase a fresh pack of dry erase markers (of course, other supplies like glue sticks, regular markers, or rulers will also work), and stick them into the foam. Get your child to help out by having him/her draw and color flowers on a construction paper. Then cut them out and use a hole-punch to make holes in the middle of flowers, big enough for you to slide them onto the tops of the upright markers.
You can then add some easter grass, or other decorations, and write on the container "Thank You, Mr/Mrs./Miss (fill in the blank)!"
A Laundry List (or Basket) of Books
Get a laundry basket and fill it with age-appropriate books for students. Deliver it to the classroom and watch the teacher light up! They will appreciate the addition to their libraries and it can only help encourage the children to keep learning.
Check out your local Salvation Army, thrift store, or mom & pop bookstore for some inexpensive book-buying options. Have your child pick out which books to purchase (bonus: challenge him/her to read a few before giving them to the classroom!).
School Supplies Cake
To form the structure of the cake use two containers or storage bins, the first one being more flat and wide and the second one having some vertical height. Place the taller bin (upside down) on top of the wider bin and attach using tape or hot glue. Attach a tissue box to the top to finish of the tiered cake structure.
Then, simply start attaching supplies, such as pencils, crayons, glue sticks, hand sanitizer and whatever else you pick up, to your cake!
You can even add some flair with ribbon, fun borders, and a note from your child saying thank you for a great year!
Gifts From the Heart
Nothing says thank you more than gifts that are personal and come from the heart. These gift ideas really get your kids involved and can be incorporated into the classroom for all students to take part in Teacher Appreciation Week.
Have each child in the class write memories they have of the school year and things they appreciate about their teacher. Put all the slips of paper in a mason jar, decorate the jar and let the teacher enjoy the uplifting messages for a long time to come!
Decorate the Door
Have the kids decorate the door to the classroom with pictures, artwork from the school year, and thank you notes to the teacher! It shows thoughtfulness, creative effort and can be a great way to relive fun memories from throughout the year.
Create a Story
Have your child write a story about their teacher and their classmates that can be read for years to come. There are many companies that will take your child’s artwork and story and turn it into a hardback book! Check out Illustory to get started with your kids and create a wonderful memory that will last forever.
How Do You Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week?
It'd be great to hear how parents and PTO Groups celebrate this week of appreciation for teachers throughout the country! Let us know your gift ideas in comments or ask any follow-up questions from what you've read here in the TGMC blog.