…I’ve got nothing.

(Except for Claire’s teacher since one of the moms was on-the-ball enough to get a really good group gift together.)

School’s going to be out before I know it, and I LOVE our teachers. They have changed the lives of my children, literally. I want them to know how much I adore them for what they have done this year.

Any creative ideas out there?

Post-edit note: THANK YOU for the wonderful ideas…keep them coming! I just have to add that I just found out that “A Mother’s Book of Secrets” is on sale for about a month for $9.98 (50% off!!). That is cheaper than I can get it as the author. Seriously, I’m going to stock up…and I couldn’t help but think this would be a good end-of-the-year teacher appreciation gift too!

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  1. i but a cheap sytrofoam cooler. marinate some steaks in a ziplock baggie. wrap a couple of potatos in tinfoil. add a bag of salad and some really unique dressing in a bottle. throw in some yummy dessert. put all food items in the cooler. decorate the cooler with balloons or have your child draw on the cooler. and take it the last day of school for them to have for dinner that night (or they can save it for another night soon). i have done this for several years and the teachers love it. how do i know? i was a teacher once (before kids) and a parent made this gift for me.

  2. Having been a teacher and having given to many teachers – I most enjoyed gift or restaurant cards, a movie pass or a homemade food item. No Clutter!!. Candles, lotions and other stuff are fun but you can only use so much. Group Gifts are also wonderful, One year both my Co teacher and me each got $100 gift cert to a spa so that was my 2 pedicures for the summer, loved it.

  3. Lea's idea totally ROCKS!!! I love it!

    We brought in box lunches to our teachers this week as our gift! We sent out little order forms, where the teachers could specify their sandwich makings and any special requests.

    We added homemade cookies, a water bottle and a Cyrstal Light powder packet-thing!

  4. I lived across the street from a teacher who would bring over her end of the year stuff every year and give me whatever I wanted to take off her hands. She always told me how much she appreciated the thought that went into gifts but that the last thing she needed was more stuff (unless it was stuff she actually needed for her classroom.)! Since then I try to hang on to the fliers that teachers send home at the beginning of the year that are needed classroom supplies and I gift those things at the end of the year as appreciation gifts. I have also given their teachers gift cards for supplies, movie or restaurant gift cards for a night out or a grade appropriate book for their classroom library with my child's picture taped inside the front cover with their name and year and a message of appreciation. Good luck!

  5. Sorry Shawni, deleted my post accidentally — I was saying, my aunt is a teacher and said she always had so much "stuff" at the end of the year. We bake a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread and wrap it up cute with strawberry jam we made as well. You are so good at the bread — bet any teacher would really feel loved!

  6. i was totally going to suggest our famous…ok maybe not famous, but favorite bread and jam. but if i'm really honest with myself they will just get a necklace…or movie passes. yeah…movie passes are lookin' really good right now. ahhhhhhhh!!!

  7. I take my kids' teachers dinner also. I use disposable casserole dishes make Manicotti (that they take home to bake), a bag of bread sticks, a bag of salad, and a homemade cake. I just throw it all into a gift bag with a card, but I like the idea of a decorated cooler. When I do that the teachers always tell me that it is the nicest gift they have ever received.

    My friend told me about your blog and I am glad she did. 🙂 You have a beautiful family.

  8. I agree with Delilas comments! As a former teacher (Elementary) I recieved many different types of gifts. I would say ornaments, lotions, and candles were never my favorite -but I did appreciate the thought. I just don't know if picking a scent for someone is the way to go.

    Gift cards – especially if you can key into one of their passions (a garden shop, coffee, clothing,) or a barnes and noble gift card where they can use it towards their classroom if they wanted…or their summer reading.

    One thing I always loved the most was a professional letter giving specific examples of what you appreciated about their work for the year. A couple times the parent sent a copy to the principal and that was HUGE! Always nice to have someone toot your horn to someone higher up on the food chain 🙂 And awesome for the portfolio!

    Good luck! Go with the heart and get the kiddos involved.

  9. Last year I bought a cute Chinese take out container from Michaels and filled it with paper shred, fortune cookies, and chopsticks + a gift card to Pei Wei. Then I made a cute tag that said "We were so FORTUNATE to have you as our teacher this year"!

  10. The problem is sometimes there is an ethical restriction from a gift card that is too much money or certain items are prohibited.

    A note is the best. They have to much stuff-mugs and such..

    Our PTO collected from families who wanted to contribute a gift certificate to the teacher for the scholastic sale, so they could get items for their class. It was easy. I didn't realize I even did an end of the year teacher gift until I sent it in and got the thank you note.

  11. Shawns, My sister the teacher, says that a nice hand written note is the best gift she ever got. Have the kids write notes to their teachers and they will be grateful not to have all the nicknacks! Can't wait to see you in a few days!

  12. Shawns, my sister the teacher, says that the best gift she ever got was a hand written note of thanks. Have the kiddos write notes and save the teachers from the pile of nicknacks! Can't wait to see you in a few days!

  13. We have an annual teacher appreciation dinner at our house. Each child invites their teacher (and spouse if they have one). We have a nice dinner and we usually play a fun group game. The teachers always seem to appreciate it and we have many good memories. Next week we're hosting our 10th dinner!

  14. I think vouchers to dinner, movies, spa etc are so lovely and encourage the teacher to enjoy a little pampering/night out as thanks! so much better than the tonnes of candles, soaps, chocolates etc.

    You could always ask other families to join with you and then get a voucher for greater value – and they'll think you're wonderful and organised in return!

  15. Everyone has such great ideas! Thanks!! Here is a cute saying you can attach to a loaf of homemade bread:
    …For "Rising" to the occasion, large or small,
    …For being there when you were "Kneaded",
    …For helping others to "Heel" with TLC.
    …For never "Loafing" on the job,
    No matter how you "Slice" it,
    You're the best!

    Make it a great day!

  16. There are so many great ideas! I just went to a card making class last night at a stamp store last night and the instructor (a friend) showed me what she just ordered for her teachers….a personalized stamp that said…"This book belongs to the Class of ___". She gives them every year for the teacher's in class library's. She includes a stamp pad with it. It was only 12.99 for the stamp. I promptly ordered mine! Let us know what you decide to do!
    LOVE your blog and you have a precious family! (I borrowed your Valentine's hearts idea!) : )

  17. I was just re-reading my comment and thought it sounded like I meant "Class of 2010", but I meant to say class of Ms. so-and-so, etc. Hope that helps! : )

  18. I used to teach school, and as much I apprecitated the though of a knick-nack, I never liked getting them. I always ended up regifting them or giving them to DI or goodwill after a while. A gift certificate would be the very best gift you could give…to the teacher's favortie ice cream shop, or resturaunt, the movies, etc.

  19. I ended up ordering personalized note pads from Etsy …. I love that site! You can find the cutest stuff on there for super cheap! Good luck!

  20. Check out howdoesshe.com they have a whole section on teacher appreciation gifts. The website is a group of three moms from boise. You will love it!

  21. Last year I found a great beach/pool bag at Restoration Hardware that was great…big and cute. I filled it with a cute towel, sunblocks, lip stuff, magazines, treats, and diet cokes…Cooper's teacher LOVED it. Said it was one of the best gifts she has ever gotten….
    Now we have her again for Jackson this year and I don't know what to give her!

  22. I managed to squeeze in one year of teaching after I graduated and before my baby girl was born, so was on the other end of the end-of-the-year teacher appreciation gifts thing, and I was given some beautiful gifts. My most memorable: one of my 'tough' boys came in bouncing one morning with excitement holding a wrapped gift. "Mrs E, I picked this myself, and I bought it with my own money, and it costed $8, and I reeeaaallly think you're gonna love it!!" he exclaimed, "Can you please open it right now?!!". I opened it with some anticipation, to find a truly awful 3D shiny placemat of a kitten that looks like it wants to eat somebody. How did he miss all of my 'I'm not an animal person, I don't like pets' references throughout the year?! He was just so cute and excited though, I loved what it meant, the sweet accompanying card, and I don't think I'll ever forget it. I hung it in a coveted spot among the class' drawings above my desk 🙂

  23. As a teacher, I love when the kids bring in hand made cards – My very favorites are those that have a deliberate item they are thanking you for – the more specific the better- not just thanks for being a great teacher – I just got a card from a boy (I teach 8th grade) that said "I am so happy I REALLY learned how to do algebra this year! I really get it now!" That means more than a million candles!

    Nothing lifts my spirits and reinforces my choice to teach than this!

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