The first full week in May is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Did you forget? For goodness’s sake, learn how to work your phone and mark your calendar. But don’t worry because we’ve got your appreciation gift ideas right here.
We are big fans of teachers here in The Sisterhood, but then again, who isn’t? They change the world one little corner of it at a time by tapping those hidden reservoirs of awesome in their students.
With that in mind, we present you with two categories of gifts: some for the whole class to do and some for just your child to make. Either way, the teachers will know how much they’re appreciated without costing you a lot of time or money.
1. The TOTE-ally wonderful bag.
This one requires a go-getter Mom to spearhead it, most likely you, but that’s the biggest hurdle. Just order a canvas tote like the ones from LL Bean or Lands’ End. Buy an assortment of fabric paints. Arrange to meet with the class at a time when the teacher is elsewhere, usually lunch or recess. Paint each child’s hand, place it on the tote, and then have each child sign his or her hand print. (And yes, you’d better have hand wipes.) With a fabric pen, write a cute saying like “We have to hand it to you . . . You’re the best!” Or “You’re hands down the best teacher!”
2. Show them the money . . . or at least the gift cards.
This one is a breeze but will have your teacher celebrating all year long. Have every student bring a gift card worth $5 to school. Place them all in a pretty basket and present it to the teacher.
3. “Thanks for Helping Us Grow!”
Show your teacher how much she has helped you grow by offering her a whole garden of her own. Have each child contribute a seed packet. Then help each child craft and decorate a pocket for each packet. Attach all the pockets to popsicle sticks and arrange in a pot. (Try reading those last two sentences aloud. Our gift to you.)
4. Give the “write” stuff.
Have the kids design custom stationary for their favorite teacher! Give each child two pieces of paper. Help them stamp their fingerprints in the corners and then show them how to create animals with them by drawing on details with colored pencils or crayons. Notes home have never looked so good.
5. Color your teacher fabulous!
Have each child donate a crayon he or she used in class during the year. Use the crayons to create the first letter of your favorite teacher’s name by gluing them on a piece of craft paper, then place the creation in a frame. Ask each child to remember something he or she drew that year with the crayon. Print their answers and tape to the back of the frame. Sweetness achieved!
Not really feeling up to organizing a herd? Here are six more simple ideas just perfect for your little scholar to give.
1. Make an acrostic poem.
This quick form of poetry uses the letters of a word to begin each line. It’s an activity that even young children can do. Use the word “teacher” or even the teacher’s name. Write the name vertically and fill in the poem next to the appropriate letters. For example: Teaches us how to count, Every day, she is happy to see me, etc. Make it extra special by putting it in a decorative frame.
2. Write a meaningful thank you note.
There is something special in this fast paced world about receiving a handwritten letter of appreciation. It is also an important skill for any child to learn. There is no better time than this to show them how.
3. Create a book of gratitude.
Have your child write or type 5 to 10 valuable lessons he or she has learned from that teacher on separate pieces of fancy paper then make them into a little book.
4. Pass along some favorite easy recipes.
Do you have those go-to recipes that save you on a busy day? Share them with a busy teacher. You could put them in a decorative recipe box or better yet, just attach them to a plate of cookies. Here are some of our favorite recipes if you are searching for some to share, just click here.
5. Give supplies in a cup.
Need a quick and easy way to show you care? How about filling one of those lidded clear plastic reusable cups with some craft supplies. Paper clips, dry erase markers, or permanent markers make a colorful presentation. Don’t forget to add a cute note to the straw – “I am filled to the brim with appreciation” to complete the look of the gift.
6. Honor an interest.
Is there something special the teacher likes? You can assemble a unique gift highlighting that interest. Use mints or candy to fill a tumbler emblazoned with his or her favorite team’s logo. Nestle a favorite DVD and some bags of microwave popcorn in a decorative bowl. The possibilities are endless.
Now go out there and show some appreciation!
-Ellen and Erin
Check out our books, please, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”
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