Parent Volunteer Gifts

Updated on April 16, 2010
C.R. asks from Everett, WA
10 answers

Hi Ladies,

I teach third grade and I have several parent volunteers that come in each week to help in the classroom. At the end of each year I give them a little gift to let them know how much the kids and I appreciate their hard work and time. I'm wondering what you moms would like to receive that would let you know how truly appreciated your time and effort was. I always have the kids sign a card, but I would also like to get a little something more. I did $5 Starbucks cards at Christmas time, so I need something different.

I would like to come up with something affordable and simple as well - we are trying hard to save money and my husband is in nursing school full-time - the three of us are struggling a bit and I just plain ol' don't have time for much! I also have 6 volunteers, so it could potentially get pricey. In the past, I have given plants or little beaded watches that I bought at our school carnival for about $8. Also, one of my great volunteers is a dad, not a mom. I've had both of his children, so he's been helping in my classroom for two years. What do I get a dad!?

Thanks so much for taking the time to think about it!

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answers from Dallas on

Something easy you can buy in bulk for cheap maybe? You can even make something simple as well, or even make a little plate of cookies or something.

I got these as little birdseed hanger gifts for a luncheon and they were pretty cute. They average about $4 a piece with shipping and she can make a listing for you for just a small amount:

But honestly, if I were a volunteer parent, I wouldn't expect to receive anything. The little card you give, or maybe even a drawing from the class would be plenty, especially since you already gave them a Christmas present!

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answers from Kansas City on

How wonderful you want to recognize your volunteers!
I've been involved not only in my kid's classes over the years but also with several community organizations. Without sounding like it is not appreciated, the little trinkets end up getting lost in some cabinet somewhere.
Speaking for myself the things I love the most AND display are pieces of artwork from the kids. I have a little painted tile, little clay cups, pictures drawn by the kids, etc. IF the pics were on standard sized paper you could go get cheap frames to put them in or I've framed my own.
It will be the thought they were appreciated they will remember.

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answers from Sacramento on

We don't expect anything as parent volunteers. I received a small gift card at Christmas, but was really surprised to receive it. You could even just create handmade thank-you cards and have the kids decorate and sign them. We're all in tune to the budget cuts at schools right now and I would feel worse, honestly, getting something that had a real monetary value to it because I would figure it came out of the teacher's own money.

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answers from Seattle on

Take a class photo with your own camera and go to walmart and have the picture blown up to an 8 X 10 and have the children sign the back of it. You don't have to frame it, just think of a nice way to present it and leave it up to the volunteers to choose their own frame. Walmart also creates posters too starting around $6 so that might be an option. You can make a collage which I think is nice, and again have the children sign it.

My first idea was a t-shirt with the class photo on it and have the children sign the shirt, but that can run just under double the cost of a poster being made (t-shirt with photo can also be done through walmart). I'm not sure what you're exact budget is, but I tried to keep it around $10 max.

Here's the website for walmarts photo gift ideas:

Good Luck, and let us know what you end up doing :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I think a "treasure box" for each of them is a great idea! They have plain wooden boxes at Micheal's and Hobby lobby for about 1-2 dollars. The kids can all write notes and help paint the boxes. Or flower pots?



answers from Dallas on

I have to agree that a personal note is great. I have aslo enjoyed a gift of notes cards with a personal note. Plus it encourages me to do the same with notes.


answers from Fresno on

I was a room mom last year, and I received a little candle and lotion set from Bath & Body Works from the teachers. I loved it, and I think at BBW every so often they have a buy one get one (half off? free?) sale, so that could make it pretty affordable. For the dad, maybe a book store gift card?



answers from Kansas City on

I have done extensive volunteering for my school, and I have also been a room mom a number of times. I don't expect a thing. I do this because I love my kids and I love being around all of the kiddos at school.

Having said that, when I do receive thanks, it's the personal notes from the kids that are the best. I keep them in my own little "treasure box" and pull them out on days when I need a boost.

A class picture would be awesome. Have a few of the kids hold up signs that say "thank you" (made by the kids, of course!) and just print them off on your printers at school. If you go for a 5x7 size, you can put it on a larger piece of paper and have the kids sign it in different color markers. Then go to the Dollar Store and get an 8x10 frame.

You are so thoughtful, it's nice to be appreciated, but know that most good volunteers do it because they WANT to. Good luck!


answers from Richland on

I once volunteered a couple of years as Santa for my kids elementary school. The only thing I wanted was the negative of the photo and made Christmas cards out of them. They tried to give me a 25 dollar gift certificate. I declined it. Suggested they give to a needy family. With that in mind take a picture of the parent helping their child without them knowing it. Photo shop a note and have it printed at walmart. Make a simple frame or just include it with a simple card you made. For me that would be more appreciated than anything you could buy.



answers from Portland on

A card is enough. I am a teacher and also volunteer parent in my child's classroom, so I feel both sides:) I am honestly swept away when a parent or teacher take the time to write thank-you inside a card and present to me:) Little trinkets make for uncomfortable "oh that's nice" conversation and just add to the junk pile at home. It creates a never-ending unneeded gift giving cycle, as then the parents may feel obligated to reciprocate when they may be financially burdened as well. 30 years from now, I will still have my thank you cards in my album, and they will have meaning:)