Favorite teacher gifts: parents and teachers share ideas

It's the last week of school here in Portland! Do you know where your teacher gift is?

Amazon: Teacher Of The Year Travel Coffee MugWe've discussed this topic quite a bit over the years. Here are a few links to inspire:

Teacher gift ideas? Talk amongst yourselves.
In which we brainstorm all sorts of simple, creative, do-able ideas.

Best teacher gift ever: Homemade chai concentrate
I still make this for teachers and get raves every time. Works well for iced chai in the summertime.

How to organize a holiday gift for your kid's teacher
Good system for the holidays or for the end of the year.

Teacher Appreciation Week flash cards (free printable)
This lovely printable works well as an end-of-the-year gift, and is still available for free download.

Any more last-minute teacher gift ideas?


  1. says

    This idea is too late for this year but maybe this can go in the archives. The parents of my son’s K class contributed money and I created a photo book for the teacher (Shutterfly). With a class of 22, each parent only needs to contribute 2 or 3 dollars and a beautiful book is the result. Since I was the class photographer I already had the photos.

  2. Kris says

    The best teacher gift is something for the classroom. Mugs, ornaments, picture frames, etc. are way over done. (Go to a goodwill the week after school is out and I bet you’ll see hundreds of these items.) And homemade treats can be kind of if-fy. But, teachers spend a ton of their own money buying things for the classroom. Ask the teacher for their classroom wish list and distribute it to all the parents. I guarantee this will be the best gift ever!

  3. SLK in Va Beach says

    I second Kris’ suggestion. We like to donate books to the classroom. I ask the teacher if there are any subjects she’d like to add to the class library and she will usually give me a run down of upcoming units. This year we donated a book on the solar system and another on the lifecycle of mammals. We inscribe a dedication to the teacher on the inside cover. It is wonderful to know that our gift will be used for years to come and gives the teacher another exciting tool to use in her units.

  4. says

    We made handmade seed-paper (sprinkle marigold seeds into the paper before it sets) and then cut this to add to cards for the teachers. A little more than “just a card” but not a trinket they had to store later.

    I’ve also knit washcloths, and wrapped with a nice soap.

  5. Celeste O says

    I give giftcards to Caribou and a handwritten card thanking the teacher for everything they’ve done for my child that year.

  6. says

    I like the idea of a photobook, and I wish I’d thought of it earlier in the year… next year.

    One thing we did in high school, our AP English teacher actually did her class mommento as an assignment :) She gave each student a fabric square and we were required to write some kind of poem of our choosing, place it on the square and decorate it accordingly. She then would sew the squares into a quilt, she kept the quilts for each class year.

    In the spring she had us print books of our writing for her, 10 pieces she may have already seen and 10 brand new pieces. She told us she had boxes and boxes of our books to read in her retirement, which she is currently enjoying :)

  7. Crystal C says

    My son and I had planted seeds at home to grow a couple of weeks prior to school ending. This was his Kinder year. I got an idea so we took a couple of the Forget Me Nots that had sprouted, and put them in a small pretty pot. Attached a note cut out of paper in the shape of a flower that said thank you for helping me grow. I’m not sure how much his teacher liked it, but he and I were excited to give her something special and that he had been working on for awhile.

  8. Kristin says

    We gave my son’s teacher a gift of “an education for a child” through World Vision. If you look on the World Vision website you can purchase an education for an under privileged child. It covers supplies and cost of school for one year. It was meaningful and still not clutter. I also sometimes give coffee gift cards too.

  9. Melanie says

    As a teacher, the best gifts I got were from the kids themselves. I had one little girl who was an amazing artist and made me a picture with pastels. Beautiful! Another student made me a cookie mix in a jar. Loved it! I read someone else remark about mugs. While I agree that you get a lot of mugs I did get a very special mug my first year teaching. One parent had our class picture printed on a mug. It meant the the world to me!
    Now that I’m on the other side of the classroom door I have had my son make his own gifts for his teachers. Last year we made a caramel dipped apple as kind of a play on giving the teacher an apple. He loved it because he got to make it. We’ve also made chocolate dipped pretzels and strawberries for the teacher. Edible gifts are always good and if they come handmade from the child, even better!

  10. Melanie says

    I also wanted to add that the parents of our preschool got together and chipped in to get the teacher a spa package. Well deserved!

  11. says

    First, I put the kids in front of the TV. Nothing else keeps them in one spot like the television.

    Next, I turn on every room light. Once all the lights are on, I do a thorough room-by-room search for a stuff.

    When a room is clear, I turn out the light and close the door.

    Once all the lights are out and doors are closed, I know I’ve hit every space. Now, if something doesn’t make it home with us, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

    If your kids are old enough, I would add a step before the room-by-room inspection: have them pack their suitcases, or at least gather their stuff into a single corner. My motto: “always better when several brains work on a problem.”

    Do you have a system for packing up at the end of a vacation?