I can’t remember if teacher gifts were a thing when I was a kid. I know the most they ever got from me was a flower picked from the garden and wrapped in wet paper towel. Haha! But I feel like it’s appropriate to give a small token of our appreciation to the teachers who work so hard helping our kids learn and grow.
I certainly don’t think it’s necessary and I have no doubt that some years I won’t have my act together, but it’s still a nice gesture. So in order to avoid scrambling at the last minute for an acceptable gift, I’ve compiled a list of 11 awesome teacher gift ideas to refer back to.
This blog post contains affiliate links. Learn more.
There’s a few criteria I like to follow when it comes to teacher gifts. First, unless you know the teacher and their tastes very well, steer clear of anything too specific. So no decor, books or jewellery.
Instead, try to stay in the theme of ‘consumables’, things that will get eaten or otherwise used up. That way, if they don’t find the item to their taste, they will still appreciate the sentiment and then they can re-gift it. It’s a win either way.
I think it’s nice to try to involve the children too, either in picking something out or making a card. It adds a nice personal touch.
1. Something Edible
Have the kids help you make a batch of cookies or fudge. A box of chocolates is never a bad idea, or a jar of homemade (or locally bought) preserves. And who doesn’t love an apple pie? Can’t go wrong there!
2. Potted Plant
Ok, I know this isn’t a consumable, but it’s easily re-gifted or it’s something they can keep in the classroom. Think of plants that require very minimal care like a succulent or an air plant.
3. Locally Made Soaps
A bar of Dove does not count! Lol! Check out local markets, there’s usually a soap maker or two.
There’s a soap maker in my area that makes the most divine almond scented soap. I swear I smell like cake whenever I use it!
4. Movie Tickets
These days I think you just get a gift card for the movie theatre, but it sounds better to say you gave/got movie tickets!
A nice mix of teas that aren’t readily available at the grocery store would be lovely. Especially if they come in pretty packaging and are called things like Soothing Green Sencha! Teachers need all the soothing they can get!
6. Handmade Mittens or Socks
It doesn’t have to be handmade by you, check out local farmer’s markets for a knitter’s booth. You could also go with a mug cozy or dishcloths if it’s an end of year gift.
7. Restaurant Gift Certificate
Everybody’s gotta eat! You’d need to know a little bit about the teacher for this to work though. For example I don’t recommend a Pizza Hut gift certificate for a health nut. 🙂
8. Donation in Their Name
This works on many levels. If you have absolutely no idea what the teacher would like, or you know them to be very particular, then a donation in their name is a great idea. You can pick a local charity (like a children’s hospital or pregnancy centre) or a well known organization. It’s very thoughtful and will be appreciated.
9. Mug +
homemade hot chocolate mix or
a selection of teas or
a selection of coffee packets or
an apple cider mix
(this mug made me giggle!)
Again, locally made is better. Or something kinda fancy, with a pretty candle holder or re-usable jar.
11. Gift Card
And last but not least, you can always get a gift card. You could get something from a coffee shop (Starbuck’s or Tim Horton’s) or from the liquor store.
You could also get a gift card they can spend on items for the classroom, like for the bookstore or an amazon gift card. Teachers notoriously spend a lot of their own money on supplies for their classrooms, so I’m sure this would be hugely appreciated!
All of these teacher gift ideas would work great for either Christmas or end of year, with a few minor tweaks.
If you’re a teacher, what’s the best gift you’ve received from a student/parent?