It might feel oh-so-right to walk towards candles, chocolate and chachkis as teacher gifts but resist the urge! There is a whole world beyond the traditional “gift” aisle. A world filled with easy, unique and budget-friendly gift possibilities.
Have your child create artwork on a 8×10 blank sheet (regular computer paper) Draw, colour, paint…they all work well. Scan the artwork on to your computer. Then, upload the artwork to your favourite photo lab website. Use the artwork to create 5×7 cards (which come with envelopes!).
(Note: often photo labs provide the option for writing something on the back of the card…you can make your card even more memorable by adding: “Made by John, age 9, Gr. 4”) Include some postage stamps to complete this practical yet very personal teacher gift.
Honour your teacher by making a charitable contribution in their name. CanadaHelps.org [http://www.canadahelps.org] has over 83,000 Canadian charities where you can safely and simply donate with a click of your mouse. Local food banks, hospitals and community-based family organizations are also meaningful charities to donate to in honour of your teacher.
You can also donate directly to the teacher’s classroom. Give a book for the class library, some dollar store items to contribute to the class treasure chest or an interesting plant to add life to the classroom.
Gift cards are the perfect one-size-fits-all teacher gift. They can be enjoyed. They can be practical. They can be a treat.
- Bookstore gift cards
- Coffee shop gift cards (yum – double double!)
- Movie gift cards (both movie theatre and movie rental store work well)
- Home renovation gift cards (if you know your teacher has a particular passion for gardening, renovating or decorating)
- Pair a bookstore gift card with a homemade bookmark.
- Pair a movie rental gift card with some microwave popcorn.
In addition to Made-by-ME cards, there are many great, reasonably priced, homemade gifts possibilities. Gifts from a mason jar (as in: layering cookie mix, brownie mix or soup mix) can be a yummy and inexpensive teacher gift. (Note: you can simply google recipes – and don’t forget to add baking/cooking instructions on the card!).
Other homemade food gifts can be jams or baked items (or jams and baked items together – delish!). It can also be a great activity for your child. Have them measure the flour and pour the milk for homemade bread.
Including your child in the activity of creating a teacher present makes it ever more meaningful – both to the child and the teacher.
Try this fun activity (age appropriate for pre-schoolers upward)
Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments
1/3 cup cinnamon
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tbsp white glue
Combine ingredients until it forms into dough (using hands work best). Roll out dough (use an art mat or baking sheet). Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Use a straw to poke a hole in the top of your ornament (for the ribbon). Gently lift off ornament and lay on baking rack for 24 hours to dry. When dry, thread ribbon through ornament to hang. Place this one-of-a-kind fragrant ornament in a gift box for delivery to your teacher.
Think outside the traditional gift isle when considering a teacher gift this year. There are many unique gifts available – for under $25!