Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up, and there's plenty of time left to get crafty with your kids and make something meaningful for the men and women who have the very important task of educating future generations. These eight great ideas recognize the teachers in our lives, and make great parent-child projects. Need additional inspiration? Check out this amazing Teacher Appreciation Week Party, and incorporate your favorite element(s) into your own thoughtful gesture.
Put down the "best teacher ever" mug . . . and the vanilla candle, and the personalized ornament, and, heaven forbid, those apples! This year give your children's teachers the gifts they really want. Chocolates and Starbucks cards might be nice, but if you really want to impress teacher, consider one of the gifts below.
- A group gift: Your teacher doesn't expect each student's parents to spend hundreds of dollars on a gift, but an iPad or Kindle is probably at the top of his wish list. If you have a cohesive group of parents, ask everyone if they would like to pitch in for one big (and much-appreciated) gift.
- Gift cards: They may be boring, but gift cards mean that your child's teacher can buy exactly what they want. Cards for Amazon, iTunes, or an office-supply store are helpful for classroom supplies, but you can also consider your teacher's personal preferences. Think about Sephora cards for beauty addicts, department-store gift cards for fashionistas, or restaurant gift certificates for foodies.
- Little luxuries: Candles and lotions can be tricky, since fragrance is such a personal thing, but a small, universally liked luxury item like a pair of J.Crew cashmere gloves or a designer umbrella is usually a hit.
- School supplies: So many teachers end up paying for supplies out of their own pockets, so help lighten the load by stocking them up. Consider games, books, puzzles, stickers, markers, and colored pencils (we love stylish Muji pencils).
- Something personal: If you've gotten to know your teacher well, then gift her something you know she'll love. Book fans might love a beautifully designed Penguin classic, theater lovers would appreciate tickets to a local show, cooks might like a new kitchen gadget, and caffeine addicts would flip for the new Starbucks Verismo.
- Thank-you note : If your budget is tight, then a handwritten, thoughtful thank-you letter is always appreciated, especially when it comes on Rifle Paper Co.'s floral card.
For every child who's had a great school year, there's a teacher (or two!) who deserves some gratitude and thanks. Tap into your creative side and gift them with something really thoughtful this year. We've come up with seven ways to say "We appreciate you!" that they're likely to enjoy both in and out of the classroom.
Some days nothing says I love you — or I like you a lot — like a hot cup of coffee or tea. Particularly when that sweet caffeine fix is served in a custom doodled mug. As we prepare for the season of dads and kindergarten grads consider brewing up a simple arts and crafts project aimed at making a favorite teacher — or father's every morning. Younger children may need you to play art director, but if your child is old enough to wield a Sharpie without tattooing himself, he can do this project on his own. Here's a guide to making a goofy personalized mug gift for less than $3!
What does every teacher get on the first day of school? An apple. Smiling faces would be more than enough for any educator, but parents often usher them in with a less than shiny fruit that ends up in the teacher's lounge. In an effort to do something fun the night before my daughter's very first day of preschool, together we made Rice Krispies apples that I hope won't be tossed into the compost.
To see how to make these tasty delights, read more
We all know the drill — the bell rings on the last day of school and students line their teachers' desks with boxes of candy, coffee gift cards and glass apples. But when economic times are tough and families need to stick to budgets, a creative thank-you is a nice concept that will evoke the year's memories.
Inspired by Maum's school bus tea bags, we asked our favorite lil ones to help make a yellow bus filled with tea bags adorned with each member of the class's picture. It costs just dollars to create and will invite the teacher to kick back and relax with a soothing cup once the last kiddo has cleared out his desk.
To see how to create the moving tea box, read more