Requesting Gift Suggestions for Teachers and Daycare Workers
December 09, 2008
Hi Ladies, I would like to say thank you in advance for any time that any of you are able to give to this matter since this is the time of year when everyone is so busy.
Every year I have to buy gifts for sveral teachers and daycare workers for my children. I spend many hours racking my brain trying to come up with something nice and thoughtful that won't cost me an arm & a leg, I am coming up short this year, like my brain has gone dry. I know that I am asking for a miracle but as mothers we perform miracles everyday. So I am asking you all for any ideas that you all may have that wouldn't cost a lot per person or take a whole lot of time to asseble, if that is required because I just don't have a lot of time right now.
Again, thank you for any time that you are able to give, it is greatly appreciated.
Hi! As a teacher I would like to add my perspective -- I actually do not like getting store-bought gifts from my students and their parents. I usually end up re-gifting these items b/c I do not care for sweets, I have enough (too many!) little decorative items, and I am picky about lotions, shampoos, and such. My favorite gift from a child/family is a card made by the child. Really, that is plenty! I never think that the family is "skimping" -- in fact I am grateful not to be weighed down with yet another THING. One of the values I aspire to teach my students is that material objects (and competing for them) does not bring happiness, and I appreciate when families embody this in their gift-giving. Other types of gifts you might want to consider: volunteer time in the classroom (if the teacher or daycare center welcomes this), a contribution to a good cause (such as Heifer International or Kiva -- and if a Kiva gift is given to the whole class instead of just the teacher, they can track the progress of an overseas business together!); or if you are really stuck on a THING -- a book for the classroom from the teacher's wish list (most teachers have wish lists at local or chain book sellers; just ask); or if you know the teacher REALLY well, you can give a particular book you know he/she wants, or a gift certificate to a book store.
Last year I got beaded bracklets in all colors at Walgreens and put two or three together with a nice ribon and tied it at the top. The bracklets were only about $1.00 apeice and everyone loved them. They are located at Walgreens in the cosmetic section.
I like giving caregivers and teachers angel ornaments. It's simple, they can use it on their tree or keep it out year-round, and pretty!
I give a card with an inscription like, "an angel for an angel." Good luck to you!
I read through the other responses there were some good ideas. I am a former teacher, and I tend to agree with the mom who said that a "material" gift just isn't necessary or expected. The day before Christmas break, I would go home with a box full of gifts from my students. I truly appreciated each gesture, but to be honest, most were things I just couldn't use. When I taught low-income students, I felt extremely guilty and when I taught in an affluent area, the gifts I received were "over the top" and I felt guilty too. I am being sincere that the best "gifts" I ever got were letters from students (and these were high school students) saying how much they loved me and how they thought my own kids were "lucky" I was their mom. I still have these touching letters and cards in an album and I will keep them forever. There is nothing like a card from a parent saying how you've changed their child's life because you saw in him something others never saw or recognized.
I truly understand the pressure to produce a gift for teachers every year...I deal with that myself with 3 kids of my own. However, your question inspired me to sit down today and write a heartfelt and personal card to each teacher this year.
My mother in law showed me this and it is really cute. You may have to write me back and let me send you a pic of it before you understand as my directions aren't that great.
But you take a man Tube sock and a sack of bird seed. You poor the bird seed into the sock about 3/4 of the way I guess. Then you put a rubber band around the top after all the bird seed you want is in. Then you decide where the body of the snow man will be and the head. Of course the head is smaller so to seperate them you take a piece of felt or any other material and you tie it as a scarf between the body and the head. The head is between the rubber band and the scarf. For the face you just take a marker and dot the eyes and the nose and a smiley line for the mouth OR you could glue felt for the eyes a pair of the eyes that you would get in the craft shop. (You can be creative). Then you take the remaining of the sock (above the rubber band and fold it back down over the rubber band and make it look like a hat on top of the snow man's head. You can glue a little bow at the bottom of the hat. You stand your snow man up and then you make little cards on the computer that say: "Inside your house I will stay, Until you feed me to the birds on christmas day." You can put a picture of a snow man on the little cards that you make on the computer and then on the back you can type the teachers name and from what child. You then put it in a little xmas sack and punch holes in the card that you made and tie the card to the sack and off the kids go to school with a relatively inexpensive and very cute gift.
If you need a pic of it let me know and I will send you one so you can see it.
Every one of the responses you have gotten has been great. I just wanted to add a little because my mother was a teacher for over 30 years and then went back to school, got her Masters and became Assist. Principal for many years. She had a Principalship lined up for the next school year but died Christmas day 1989. The items I have the she lovingly kept throughout all the years were simple items from students. Personalized Christmas tree ornaments were her favorite. She LOVED Christmas. And always had a beautiful tree. The other items she kept that I inherited were simple but beautiful brooches (pins) some were holiday some were not. I wear a cute snowman, she got, on my coat it was not expensive I am sure but it is pretty and sparkly. My brother's wife got the most expensive ones from when Mother taught at a very affluent school- the sterling silver snowflakes and the Reed Barton necklaces the gold earrings. But I get so many comments from friends about the Snowman I appreciate it just like it was real gold and diamonds and rubys! I have enough Christmas pins from her, I can wear a different one every week to church. She kept and I inherited a few pretty little boxes (with paper clips, push pins and do-dads she put in them) that came from students as well. She also kept ALL the special hand written items. Notes, letters and recipes written by the children many had typical misspellings that little children do she loved to read out loud to us and giggle about 'how that showed what a great teacher she was that she could not even teach her studends how to spell'. Many were folded and refolded until well worn showing how much she loved them. Many of the recipes were ones included with the food item she received. If your teachers have children don't worry about giving sweets their kids will love you for them and the recipes will become part of a vast collection the teachers will keep and enjoy again and again. We always did.;-) The long point I am making is teachers that truly love their students will appreciate anything you come up with. My mother always did. Some things as I have mentioned lasted through the years. My mother had been gone this Christmas 19 years and I still use some of the recipes she got over 40 years ago. All you can do, is all you can do, and all you can do is enough.
a teachers daughter,
As a former teacher, I appreciate your desire to give thoughtful, cost-effective gifts. I always loved personalized notepads, etc. and Vistaprint is a good website where they are really cheap!!! I actually used them to get gift for one of my teacher friends, and it was really well received! Hope this helps!
It is so nice of you to think of those people who do so much to help your family. As a teacher I know, do not give candles and lotions! ;) My goodness that is what everyone does and after not teaching for a year I still can give some away, I'll never use what all I have. Also, for me personally, I don't want the extra calories in all the baked food. A kit cat every now and then is nice, but a plate full of choc. chips will go straight to my hips and that is what we think about when seeing it.
The best thing really is gift cards. I hate to be so unpersonal, but they are great. Especially if a mom organizes it to all go into one store. Then, the teacher can really get something nice. I have also loved getting photo books already made with the kids' pictures in them; like they have at snapfish... you can also do them at most grocery stores now and Rite Aides etc. (As long as everyone has permission to be photographed).
Hi A., I wanted to respond with a unique and very inexpensive idea for teachers and daycare workers. I offer this idea every year and they are always a hit!
I am a Tastefully Simple consultant and we have an apple cake mix that you can put in a festive bag, attach with a cute poem (See below) and 2 apples (the cake only requires 2 apples and 2 eggs to make). IF you have never tried our products they are really delicious and a cinch to make. IF you are interested or want additional info- please feel free to email me at my home address at ____@____.com/
Here is the idea:
An inexpensive, practical and unique gift for any teacher!
In a festive gift bag, place the following items:
Nana's Apple Cake Mix ($5.99)
Attach this poem to the bag and voila!
A Gift for My Teacher
Apples for my teacher
As perfect as can be
They are sweet and special just like you
As anyone can see!
Mix the apples with the box inside
You’re sure to find a treat
One you’ll love to share with friends
And everyone you meet!
Happy Holidays to you, Dear Teacher
Hope it is the best
Hoping that this tasty treat
will surely pass the test!
We bake choc chip cookies and peanut butter with M&M cookies and give a dozen cookies to all of the kid's teachers, Sunday school teachers, pastor, etc. Everyone loves to get them. I buy the decorated plastic bags at Michaels or Party City to put them in. The kids love to give them and the teachers love to receive them. Send me a message if you want some recipes. My mom was a home ec teacher and I have GREAT recipes!
When I worked in a daycare the gift I appreciated the most was a gift card for a restaurant that the whole family could eat at and the amount covered that. I appreciated that it made my life easier to be able to feed the entire family not just 1-2 people, not to mention the one for the fancier adult restaurant required for us to find and pay and for childcare dress up.
A., teachers receive the same old stuff each year so I have always tried to stay away from the bath soaps and lotions. I have given movie passes, gift certificates to restaurants, etc but the gift that they just went wild over was giving them homemade casseroles, frozen with directions on the top of the casserole. Trust me, they will love it!!
If you are not comfortable with gift cards, I would recommend giving bags of Starbucks coffee. While their coffee isn't cheap, it's not too terribly expensive. It's also good coffee, and most people are coffee drinkers or at least offer coffee to their guests. So it's usually a gift they'll use up.
That's what I did for all my teachers, and I had Starbucks ground up the coffee in case they didn't have a grinder. Ask for their premium stuff, but don't choose flavored coffees, because not everyone likes that. I also bought small Christmas ornaments and tied one onto the gift bag as a decoration and a gift along with the coffee.
The other thing that I thought about was that I didn't know if teachers talked about their gifts with other teachers, and I didn't want anyone to get upset because of thinking someone else's gift was nicer than theirs. Giving everyone the same present took care of that. For my favorite teachers, I gave them extra help, and they knew how fond of them I was from that.
Don't wear yourself out, I was a daycare and schoolteacher, as well as my mom and sister in law. Many times we receive teacher themed gifts, which are greatly appreciated and are cherished more because of the giver and how special that child, parent and family are to us. So there is no shortage of apple-theme or teacher inscribed items. So I would suggest a gift card, as small as $5 to Starbucks or maybe $10 for a little lunch at Panera Bread or other casual restaraunt. Just being able to get a specialty drink(frappachino, shake,or iced coffee)on occasion is really a nice treat. If you know of a favorite eatery or coffee shop they like it could be from there. They also sell really nice gift card holders now, some are actually an ornament when you remove the gift card and are very reasonably priced at Dollar Tree, Walmart and Target. I assure you this is a nice token of appreciation that your teachers will enjoy.
Sincerely Simplified Shopping,
Every year I go to the dollar store buy some clear half glasses, a votive candle and some tissue paper. Cut the tissue paper into little pieces and have your kids glue to the glass until it is covered. When it is dry (takes a day or two), put a candle in the glass and volia! a present for the teacher. Teachers always enjoy gift cards or a batch of homemade cookies.
What about cookies in a jar or soup in a jar gifts? You assemble the dry ingredients in a mason jar that you can decorate with holiday fabric and ribbons and then the receiver only needs to add wet ingredients. Here is a great website for some soup ideas:
I like them because then the receipient has "quick and easy" meal or snack for their family when they need it.
Something consumable. No knick knacks. This comes from all of my teacher friends. Many teachers don't have time or energy to bake during the holidays or the foot rub or rich hand cream (unscented if you are unsure to tastes) are good since they wash their hands so much. I often bake a loaf of fresh bread if I don't want to give sweets or know they are dieting. I give instructions that the loaf can be frozen and used later and how to warm it so it comes out like it has just been baked.
Something I always got big smiles on for my son's daycare workers was a nice peppermint foot rub. I found one that was inexpensive, not too strongly scented and in a nice looking bottle, but I cannot remember the name. I got that and put it in a nice Christmas bag with other little items such as chocolate and their drink of choice (Diet Coke or whatever.) It just depended upon what I knew about the person.
As a teacher I can tell you that anything for the room would be great. Paper, pencils, crayons, stuff like that. Put a little basket together or box. I don't know how your school system is, but we have to buy a lot of our supplies with our own money. Parents think that the school takes care of all that, but with so many budget cuts the teachers end up buying what they need and they don't get it back. Also, gift cards to a coffee/tea place is nice or bookstore. Hope this helps. Remember, we like to feel appreciated so any thing you give will be nice...just not another coffee mug! ha ha :-) Just kidding. Hope this helps.
Last yeah I sent all of the teahers and assistants something that they all commented on that they loved. Swiss Colony has prewrapped samplers of many of their products. They are priced nicely, and there are many varieties. Something for everyone
We have started giving donations for presents for people like teachers or family friends that we only see a few times a year. This year we gave a lump sum to Heifer International, an organization that gives animals to people in the 3rd world to help them become more self sufficient. Other ideas are a community kitchen, women's shelter, etc. You don't even have to tell them how much you gave, you just make a card that says that you donated money in their honor to whatever cause. For my son's teachers we only did a $5 donation each. At least it's not something that will sit around and you are helping other people at the same time.
Something I received last year which I thought was clever and useful was just a roll of adding machine tape with a small pencil stuck in the middle of the roll (picture the roll on it's flat side, the pencil in the plastic hole) and then wrapped up in clear decorative cellophane. I keep this by my phone...now I always have paper handy by the phone to take messages!
I went to Old Navy during a buy one get one free sale and bought scarves and/or matching gloves for my son's daycare teachers. They have a lot of cute styles to choose from. And these really come in handy when they teachers take the children out to play on cold days. You'll only have to spend $5 - $10 for each teacher.
have your child draw or write a letter to the teacher and frame it. There are several teacher poems out there on the internet that you could also print on pretty paper and frame. All the teachers I talk to say the best gifts are those the kids give/make!
I am making monogrammed coasters out of tiles. It will take some time, but won't have to be wrapped if you don't want to.
4 inch tiles (about 30 cents at a home improvement store)
felt with the sticky bottom to protect tables
letters (I think you can get them at Michaels, another good place is uppercaseliving.com)
Simply put a bow around them and you are done.
You may have to find a consultant for the uppercase living. Best of luck!
Also, as a teacher, it was always wonderful to get just a $5.00 gift card to a store! Who can't use that?
Hi, hope I can help a little... what I did for my daughters teachers was I bought little jars (about Pint size) any kind will work as long as they have lids and also bought a roll of colored gauze and some brightly colored ribbon. Buy a few bags of hard candy (christmasy candy is good) and I put the candy in the jars then wrap with the gauze and tie off with the ribbon... they're really cute and inexpensive to make...
Okay...I have 5 kids (oldest is almost 7), so I feel your pain! Between Sunday School, preschool, and elementary school, I'm out a dozen gifts! And this is not a shameless plug for what I do...it's really a life saver for moms like us!
I sell Taste of Gourmet (www.tasteofgourmet.com) we have pie mixes for 7.95. I make up one fudge pie and one praline pie in the little (3 inch)tart shells. All it takes is eggs and butter! I bag up 3 per teacher and it winds up costing me less than 2.50 per teacher (if you give them 3 pies). I get at least 32 pies out of those 2 mixes!
Both of my sisters are teachers and they confirm that this is the perfect gift (apparently ornaments are the worst...where do you put them all!). They don't have to store it, it won't go directly in the garbage, and it gives them a treat they didn't have to make themselves! The web-site has all of ToG products listed, so you could shop for others as well! E-mail me if you want more info or have questions!
I have a home-based business and I sell beautiful shawls. People love the shawls I sell because they're so soft, comfortable to wear and have beautiful designs. They're especially popular during the winter season when you can pair them up with any dress you're wearing or just put them over your coat for style. I normally price them for $10 to $15 (you would get them for $65 or so in boutiques - they're not available in regular stores) I will be at the Sanderson Holly Days (http://sandersonhs.wcpss.net/) this weekend (Dec. 6th - 9 am to 5 pm & Dec. 7th - 11 am to 4pm) so you can visit my booth (#103 in the Big Gym) and check the shawls out. They certainly make a great gift.
I also have beautiful silk cushion covers which could be used to spruce up the old sofa cushions. They are so beautiful that you have to see them to believe them.
If you can't make it this weekend email me and I'll send you the details.
Everyone is having a tough time right now. Bake something or don't, give a nice card with a very nice note and a $10 food store or walmart gc. They will know that you mean to thank them, and can get themselses a cake or box of candy, just what they want or need.
Something that my mom always used to do was bake mini-loaves of either banana nut or zucchini breads, wrap them in a pretty Christmas colored cellophane, and tie an adorable spreader knife in with a bow made of strips of cloth.
You can buy an inexpensive mini loaf pan at walmart as well as the colored cellophane in the crafts aisle. You can find a set of spreader knives in the kitchen area, and go to the sewing area and find a 1/4 yard of christmas fabric (you will later rip into strips to make the bow).
All of my teachers loved the unique baked gift and found the sweet touch of creativity from the wrapping to be special, as well! If memory serves me right, they actually used to request this from my mom each year! I plan to do this when my 2 y.o. is of school age, too.
Hope this helps you! Good luck and God bless!
I have given teachers walmart gift cards and they seem to appreciate them...also places like staples. Teachers put a lot of their own money into their "children" and often these are the stores where they buy supplies that the school may not provide for them. You couls also buy needed classroom items...boxes of crayons, pencils, notebook paper, etc. The schools my children attend give their teachers a certain amount of these items that they can use throughout the year, buy by the end of the year many supplies are limited. One other thing we did as a group of moms was to donate money toward a dvd player for my daughter's classroom. she had a vcr but no dvd player. Since many children have DVDs now, they want to bring those in for special "movie days". My daughter's teacher loved this and we managed to keep it a surprise until the classroom Christmas party! We had even collected enough money that we put it on a $25 walmart gift card to use however she needed.
Hi A.~ I can see that you are a thoughtful christian woman by your writing style. I have 6 children and I, too, am always searching for something special to give to the people who influence and guide my children.
I am a jeweler with Premier Designs Jewelry and we have a very nice bracelet that is called "The Gift". It is a simple silver chain made from crosses linked together end to end. It has a toggle closure and from the toggle hangs a replica of a Widow's Mite. It comes in a gold box with a scripture card inside from Mark 12:41-44. I feel this makes a wonderful gift for people who give of themselves to help others.
They are regularly $22, but I would be happy to discount these to $15 each. You can contact me at ____@____.com if you are interested. Have a Blessed Day!