Great Class Gifts: Low Cost and Sure to Please
The pools are about to open and the books are about to close. The school year is almost done, but before your kids bolt from school without a second thought, remember to thank their teachers for all the hard work they've done throughout the year.
Ask your room parent about the school district’s policy on end-of-year teacher gifts. Some allow parents to collect cash and gift cards, others have a strict dollar limit. Here are a few fun low-cost options involving the whole class:
5 Simple Ideas for Teacher Gifts
- Treasure Chest: Provide each child with a small envelope and ask the family to contribute a summer ‘treasure’. It can be anything – an inspirational quote, a thank you note, a small toy, photo, movie tickets, or even a gift certificate to your favorite local book store, restaurant or salon. Package the sealed envelopes in a toy treasure box (or a box with a photo of a treasure chest) add chocolate coins and present it to the teacher with this note:
We’ve treasured your teaching all year long. Please enjoy these small treasures from us. (Opening one a day this summer takes more patience, but brings more delight!)
- Summer Reading Escape: Ask parents to provide their favorite gently used books and magazines. Package them in a colorful beach tote with a new beach towel, sunscreen and water bottle. If your class is the cash-gathering kind, purchase an e-reader and online book store gift certificate.
- Garden Gadgets: If you’re teacher is a gardener, ask members of the class to donate seed packets, garden tools or small gift certificates to home and garden supply stores. Present them in a large watering can with a bow and a potted plant. (This same theme idea can be replicated for other hobbies - art baskets, cooking supplies, etc.)
- A Thank You Boquet: We polled teachers a while back and the thing that they appreciated most (yes, even over another candle, or school-themed trinket), was a simple thank you note. Send two colorful index cards home with each child. Write one thank you note yourself and have your child write one too - be sure to make it personal (sentence starters below). Gather up all the notecards and assemble them in a colorful basket with a foam bottom. Use florist note-card holder picks to hold the thank you cards. (Supplies available at any craft store). Some parents may want to include photos or gift cards also.
- You’re extra special because…
- Thank you for…
- I love how you…
- This year you’ve taught me…
A Few Hours Off: Things get stressful towards the end of the year with tests and all the kids getting antsy to get out for the summer. Have parents take turns helping in the classroom. This can be by organizing a reading circle, an end of the year party put on by parents, or signing up to help with all the end-of-year packing up that needs to be done in the classroom.
Make the end of the school year a celebration, and not just because your kids are escaping school. Have it be a time to remember the good times of the past year, and to thank their teacher for their hard work.
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And for even more great end of the school year ideas including specific ideas for retiring teachers and middle school and high school teachers, please check out our free ebook The Greatest Gifts for Teachers. We'd love to hear your ideas too. Please click 'comments' below.
photo courtesy of Photobucket and Xmadedx