Ask any teacher who has been at the job longer than a couple of years and you’ll probably discover that he or she has enough “best teacher” mugs and other tchotchkes to last a lifetime. And while your child’s teacher truly appreciates the gesture of thanks, a useful gift would be even more appreciated. We’ve compiled a list of five teacher gifts that are both affordable for you and will be super appreciated by your child’s teacher.
- A handwritten note or piece of art from your child. From appreciative notes written in crayon to expressive pieces of watercolor art, you can’t beat a child’s imagination when making a memorable gift for a teacher. Receiving a child’s handmade item, which expresses their gratitude, can be a teacher’s greatest reward during the year.
- School supplies. Believe it or not, teachers often spend part of their own salary on school supplies—schools rarely provide all of the items teachers need to keep kids interested throughout the school year. You can help defray those costs by buying some of those materials yourself. Desired items usually include things such as sticky notes, markers and highlighters, crayons, craft sticks, paints, sidewalk chalk, sharpies, stickers and double sided tape. Alternately, if you aren’t sure what to provide give your child’s teacher a gift certificate to a local office supply or art store.
- Personal items. No, we aren’t talking about buying your child’s teacher deodorant or toothpaste! But most teachers would welcome hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, tissues, stain remover and hand lotion. You’ll get extra points if the items such as hand sanitizers and lotions have a fresh, clean smell!
- Gift cards. Gift cards are always handy and can be purchased in a variety of denominations to fit within your budget. Often you can choose the design of the card for a personalized look. To determine what the best gift card choice is for a particular teacher, have your child (if he or she is old enough) do a bit of reconnaissance work. Does Mrs. “A” come in every morning with a beverage from Starbucks? Does she treat herself to chocolate after lunch every day? Finding out some simple things about the teachers’ preferences can help you pick out an appropriate gift card.
- Food and beverages. OK, who doesn’t like good food and good drink? Foods that won’t go bad quickly are most appreciated, so forget that crate of oranges from Florida. Boxes of chocolates and cheese and crackers are always safe choices. Nuts are good as long as you know that your child’s teacher does not have an allergy. You can also buy specialized mixes for muffins, pancakes, and cider drinks. To make the gift of food a bit more special, include copies of some of your favorite recipes for complementary items.
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