Would any of you out there have some good advice on how to save money on "teacher gifts"? I have a bunch of children and they have a bunch of teachers each (not to mention the bus drivers, principals, vice-principals and school secretaries)!
I simply haven't the funds to be able to buy substantial thank you gifts for them all, but I can't really leave anyone out either. I need to spend as little as I can get away with, without being obvious about it. Help? Thank you so much!
By AnnahFM from Toronto, Ontario
Here are some of my favorite teacher gifts:
Painting framed and signed and put in a dollar frame.
Homemade cookies (or not) wrapped in pretty plastic wrap.
Dollar frame with a poem in it for the teacher about the teacher.
Candles are fun~
I would also buy those white lunch bags and decorate them with markers and such instead of buying those bags...creativity is always best! Hope this helps!
My late father-in-law was a bus driver for his entire career. Believe me after receiving oh so many buses, in the forms of trinkets, knick knacks, key chains, and magnets etc. he was grateful for the occasional restaurant gift certificate. Eventually, the kids caught on that just because your a teacher or a bus driver, doesn't mean you want 100 apples or buses every year.
P.S. I am sure that they are appreciative of gifts, but cards of thanks and praise are always good too. He would put the handmade ones up on the bus ceiling and it always made the kids proud to see them there.
As a retired special education teacher, the gifts I remember the most and still have are notes and drawings made by made students thanking me or telling what they enjoyed. They are precious misspellings and all.
I can see that you've recieved some good ideas already and I would like to reinforce that something the child makes is especially appreciated. A gift certificate for a restaurant is great but might be too spendy for so many. I vote for a handmade card by the child with a personal note from you. Most teachers, etc. have enough trinkets to dust!
Check out this web site. FamilyFun.com In the search area, put in "gifts for teachers". It has a few suggestions you may like. I think you'll enjoy checking out the web site too!
What about a neat coffee/tea mug? You can make the "cakes in a mug" and put one in each mug. I have made these for Sunday School teachers and they are much appreciated. They can leave the mug at school and not worry about not having something to drink our of.
As a teacher's daughter, I can tell you that when my mom passed away, 20+ years after she retired, I cleared out a big dresser drawer full of costume jewelry, scarves, hankies, etc. that she kept and appreciated, but literally never had time to use because there was so much of it. Please don't waste your money on knick-knacks unless you know the recipient well enough to know they'll be appreciated.
On the other hand, the gifts of baked goods were a huge blessing to her (especially at Christmas) because she never had to bake anything herself! So I vote for edible items--make them healthy, tasty or both depending on your preference--and if the recipient doesn't like them you can bet there's someone close to them who will.
As a former teacher, I would suggest a handwritten thankyou note/card from the child if you have a lot of people to thank/gift. A school picture of the kid, and/or a hand drawn picture is something nice to enclose. I also vote for the hand baked goodies.
If you had only one or two gifts to give, you could give something with the apple motif or a mug. I always liked those, although I suppose some people don't appreciate them. I used to keep a lot of those things at school on my bulletin board so that I would be reminded of my former students. Another small gift that I liked was a pen or pencil (good quality, but not expensive) that said something like "teacher's pen" or something like that. Cute to use, and something that one uses up. Candles are another good choice, if you know that the person might burn them (some people don't!), as they are also consumable.
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