It’s that time of year when you have to buy gifts for all your child’s teachers. And if your kid is like my youngest…well….you need to make sure you have an absolutely stellar gift or she might not come back from Winter break! I’m kidding. Kind of.
I know you’ve probably scoured the Internet in hopes of finding that one genius idea. Well, this is it. This list is legit y’all. I asked actual teachers to find out what they really want. I asked young teachers, old teachers, experienced teachers and new teachers. I curated this list into the best of the best. So while there are lots of other ideas, these were the most commonly requested.
What not to give? I asked teachers that too. And while the thought behind the gift truly is appreciated, teachers do not want any more coffee mugs or candles. No jewelry and definitely no Christmas decor. Steer clear of those things and you’ll probably have a winning gift.
1. Gift Cards – Teachers love gift cards because they can get exactly what they want or even what they need for their classroom. The top requests: Amazon, Target, iTunes and Starbucks. “I just bought a heavy duty pencil sharpener for the classroom with an Amazon gift card this week!” – Mrs. B. (Kindergarten)
2. Hand Soap – Teachers wash their hands a bazillion times a day. Grab them some hand soap pumps to keep their supply up. Grab generic unscented ones for classroom use and/or scented ones they can use at home. “I love receiving Bath & Body Works soap pumps!” – Ms. S. (3rd Grade)
3. Classroom Magazine Subscription – Give the teacher a gift subscription to a popular kids’ magazine. They are about the same price as a hard back book and students get new fresh content month after month. Some favorites are Nat Geo Kids, Highlights and Time for Kids but there are tons of options. “My students look forward to the new magazines each month. It really helps encourage reading.” – Mrs. G. (4th Grade)
4. Personalized Note Cards – Teachers write lots of notes. Even in this day and age with email, they still write countless hand written notes. Make that time special with some beautiful, custom notecards. We love the selection from Minted. “I love getting personalized note pads and thank you cards.” – Mrs. B. (Kindergarten)
5. The Creating Really Awesome Free Things Book – Have you seen this amazing book yet? It’s full of seriously fun, super easy projects for kids. One hundred of them, to be exact. It’s the perfect inspiration book for pre-k teachers. I am giving our teachers gift cards this year but I plan to include this book as well.
6. Flowers – Brighten up your favorite teacher’s day with a pretty vase full of bright flowers. Another suggestion from our surveyed teachers was potted kitchen herbs. I’ve even done mason jars full of tulips at Valentine’s Day. The possibilities on this are endless and they will bring such joy.
7. A Favorite Drink – I’m pretty sure most school districts have rules about giving teachers alcohol so you might want to skip giving adult beverages but grab a case of her favorite soda or sparkling water. Or pick up a Sonic drink for her one afternoon on your way to pick up. I took Sonic drinks to school one day last month and the teachers thanked me again and again. “The perfect simple gift: a cute glass container filled with my favorite candy and a 6-pack of my favorite drink.” – Mrs. B. (Kindergarten)
8. School Supplies – Teachers often have to buy school supplies from their own pockets. Help alleviate the burden and give them some at the Holidays. Some of our favorite ideas are dry erase markers, colorful Sharpies, Post-it notes and Ticonderoga pencils. “Bundles of colorful sharpies make me giddy.” – Mrs. G. (4th Grade)
9. Coffee! – Most teachers love coffee, as evidenced by Starbucks gift cards being a top request for gift idea #1. Go a step further and grab them a nice bag of coffee beans or a box of K-Cups, or something to brew in their classroom. “Coffee is my lifeline. Any student who brings me coffee gets an automatic A. I’m only half kidding.” – Mrs. W. (8th Grade)
10. A Simple Thank You Note – You don’t need a lot of money to thank a teacher. Most of them would just be happy with a card expressing your thanks. All of the teachers I interviewed mentioned this. A physical gift is nice but words really convey gratitude. “Just a nice note saying thank you for all your time and patience is really appreciated.” – Ms. S. (3rd Grade)