The end of the school year is approaching, and along with school kids that are moving up another year, there are the little ones who are about to embark upon school for the first time too. Of course, this means leaving behind the security of nursery and preschool, and that can be hard for both the kids and the staff. So what do we parents do, along side coaching our children and making sure they’re ready for the next chapter in their lives? We show our appreciation, of course. To the teachers who have cared for, nurtured and taught our children through difficult days and happy days. Teacher gifts are becoming more and more popular and while there is a risk of ‘going too far’ we do think it’s nice to say a simple thank you at the end of the year. We’ve put together some of our our favourite ideas that we’ve seen around and about- gifts that you can make with your children, that won’t cost the earth but will mean a lot. Here are our top three ideas for teacher gifts!
Paint a picture
This is probably the most simple and yet most effective gift you can give. Ask your child to paint a picture of their teacher, and pop it into a nice frame for them. Alternatively, you can ask your child to paint directly onto canvas, and if you’re feeling creative yourself you can add embellishments and text to it too. Other ideas for paintings are:
- A finger print tree: draw the tree trunk and branches by hand, then fill in the leaves and blossom with different colorued finger prints. This looks highly effective when it’s finished, and we’ve seen some on Pinterest that have added the words “Thank you for helping me grow.” Lovely!
- Hand prints. Very simple, but a lovely reminder of past pupils for the teacher. Your child can simply write their name on the hand print, or you can be clever and write something like “Thanks for giving me a hand this year!”
- Melted crayon art. This requires lots of adult help and is best done with older children, but the results can be amazing. Place a square of masking tape in the middle of a canvas, then use a glue gun to stick crayons all along the top edge of the canvas. use a hair dryer to melt the crayons so that the wax drips all down the canvas. This part takes a while, and lots of patience, but once the wax runs it really runs! When you peel the tape away, you have a clear space where you can either pop a photo of your child, or your child can draw her teacher, a different picture, or write some words. The finished product can be really stunning.
- Make a crayon collage. Instead of melting the crayons, use them to make a collage instead. Draw the teacher’s surname’s initial onto canvas, and stick the crayons onto it to form that letter in a bright rainbow coloured collage. Simple, but effective.
Give a plant
Plants are a wonderful gift for anyone, and lots of teachers will appreciate them because they can be kept in the classroom for future pupils to learn about plants and growing too. Some good ideas of plants to give:
- Bonsai trees. Pop a label on that reads “Thank you for helping me grow!”
- Sunflowers. They won’t last long but will look pretty, are seasonal and you can pop a label on that reads “Thank you for helping me to bloom!”
- Chilli plant. Different, but still greatly appreciated. Label suggestion: “Thank you for firing my imagination!”
- Seeds, with small watering can and trowel and a pot decorated by your child. Give this gift with a label that reads “Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that will grow forever.”
Pencil pot/ desk tidy
All teachers can use them and you can make them! How simple this gift is, is up to you. Take an old tin can and stick coloured lolly pop sticks around the outside. Done. Or buy a specially made pot from somewhere like Hobby craft and decorate it with gems, or collage. Its up to you. This is a practical gift that can be used again and again, and one that your child will enjoy making too. Some great ideas for this type of gift include:
- Decorate a plant pot and present it filled with pens, pencils and so on. Makes a different looking pencil pot!
- Decorate a Kilner or jam jar and fill that with various stationery items.
- Paint a pot or jar with blackboard paint and get your child to write the teacher’s name in chalk around the outside.
- Stick wax crayons around the outside of a pot.
Of course, if you don’t have time to make something, don’t stress about it! You don’t have to spend a fortune on gifts, but you don’t have to make one at all. A bunch of flowers or box of chocolates would do just as well. It’s also worth noting that the majority of teachers don’t expect a gift at all- so a simple thank you card or just a well meaning note from your will mean just as much at the end of the school year.