Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Summer Salad Teacher Appreciation Printable from Our Best BitesAt the end of last summer, Sara and I were both joking about how no teacher would ever ask us to be the room moms. Which was a joke one should never make because guess who ended up being the room moms in their kids’ classes? Both of us.

My kids have been blessed with really, truly amazing teachers and I am just endlessly thankful for their love, dedication, blood, sweat, tears, stress, sleepless nights, and the time they sacrifice with their own friends and families. I know myself well enough to know I couldn’t homeschool my kids, and I’m so grateful that when I send my kids to school every morning, I know they’re in good hands.

Teacher appreciation seems to fall at different times throughout the year–my kids’ school had teacher appreciation week in March and I know many people had theirs a few weeks ago. But even though we’ve already had ours, I wanted to celebrate summer and show my appreciation for them by putting together little gift…um…colanders for our teachers and created a printable (click here for the file) that I printed out on white cardstock (I’m writing a note on the back of that and my kids are each writing their teachers their own note.)

Summer salad printable from Our Best BitesThey all love to cook, so I stopped at Target and got a colander similar to this one. I filled it with a set of cute, inexpensive dishcloths, an OXO Salad Dressing Shaker, a paring knife,a pair of salad hands, and I included one of our Flavor Variety Gift Sets, which are currently sold out, but shhhh…we’re getting more soon! You could easily substitute any of our oils, though, and it would be completely adorable.

Lettuce Rejoice Gift SetIf that doesn’t grab your fancy, check out this post that has instructions for these three super cute and easy ideas:

Berry-Baskets-for-Teacher-Appreciation Tin-Can-Treats-from-Our-Best-Bites-for-Mothers-Day-and-Teachers-too Printable-Chocolate-Bar-Wrapper

Here are some of my favorite other ideas I’ve seen floating around the internets. In my own brain, I try to remember that teachers have lots of students and that they probably get a knick knacks, so I try to keep things semi-useful. Which, if it were me, would be food, chocolate, and gift cards. And Diet Coke. And Sharpies.

“Thanks a Latte” from Eighteen 25thanks a latte

“Thank you for Coloring Our Lives and Making Us Sharpies” from design. wash. rinse. repeat.

sharpiesBecause…Target. From landeelu.
Printable+Target+Gift+Card+HolderHopefully that gives you guys some ideas in case you’re still looking for teacher appreciation ideas. And seriously…to all you teachers out there, I’m giving you a big, fat thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have such a great love from the teachers I had and so much love for my kids’ teachers that I just think you guys and nurses kind of have the market cornered on professions that make a ginormous difference!

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. As a former teacher, I have to say that little treats are nice but gift cards to restaurants, even $5 or $10 ones , are great ! Think $10 to Poppas restaurants or $5 to an ice cream or yogurt place or local bakery. With a cute card from you and your child. The target or Walmart cards are great too. I have way too many kitchen and bath products.

  2. As a teacher, I’d love to receive any of these gifts; they are wonderful, and I would feel very grateful for them (especially the coffee one)! However, my absolute favorite thing to get are notes and cards from parents and kids that tell me what I did that year that mattered the most or helped them learn a difficult concept. Those items go into a drawer at home. When I’m having a particularly hard day, I open that drawer and read until I feel uplifted and remember why I went into teaching in the first place. 🙂

    1. I know, hahaha! I gave them to the teachers myself, so I didn’t send my kids to school with knives. 🙂

  3. I LOVE this idea and I am totally stealing it for our teachers! I would caution though that some schools have a zero and I mean ZERO tolerance policy on knives, so maybe skip the paring knife?

  4. These are cute!

    As the wife of a teacher I always recommend salty/savory snacks. When my husband was at a private school he’d come home with an overwhelming mound of cookies, chocolate, fudge, etc. (Especially at Christmas) Pretty soon nothing looks appetizing & you really just want something salty to balance it out.

    Now that he’s at a public school that doesn’t matter as much. We are surprised if he gets anything, haha! (he teaches high school)

  5. I love that idea and I can’t wait to try some of your olive oil! Thanks for featuring my Target gift card printable! You are awesome and I bet you’re killin’ it as room mom!

  6. I am a teacher and while classroom supplies are always nice (as commented above), small personal gifts like these that Kate suggested are really sweet for an end of the year gift! I echo her advice: get to know a few of your teacher’s faves, even if it’s a Coke and a Kit Kat tied with a bow. Thanks, Kate, for your creative, cute, personal suggestions.

  7. I hate to be the stupid spoil sport but as a soon to be teacher (hooray for the end of student teaching) I have observed super strict rules to keep children safe. There are no knives allowed in our school (even plastic ones) so just keep that in mind when bringing it into the school. This is the cutest thing ever and I just LOVE it!

  8. I hate to be a spoiled sport but when my kids were in school the teachers wanted things for the classroom and even had a list of books they wanted parents to buy instead of giving them personal presents. This was more important to them than a gift basket multiplied by 25 from each child in the classroom filled with things they already had or wouldn’t use and would just give away. The gift cards for retail stores where they could buy something for the classroom is a great idea. Also, the favorite things with pictures and notes from the kids would make memories last a life time and be so unique. Just my two cents. Thanks

    1. You make a good point, which is why knowing the teacher and being mindful of them and their personalities is important. I wouldn’t give the olive oil to someone who didn’t cook, I probably wouldn’t give a Starbucks card to someone who doesn’t drink coffee, candles/lotions/etc. are iffy because those things are so personal. BUT. I think sometimes we forget that teachers are people, too, and that people like gifts that don’t deal directly with their professions. I like gift cards to places like Target because they can use it for school supplies or they can use it for a new skirt or some makeup or on a season of a TV show that they’ve wanted to catch up on. If people want to go the gift route, I think a thoughtful, useful gift is rarely out of order. Teachers rarely splurge on themselves, so sometimes we have to do it for them. 🙂

  9. I was also the room mom this year. I like to do little things throughout the week, and then do a bigger gift on the last day of teacher appreciation week. But this year I have pregnancy brain, and forgot on Monday. My son was sick on Wednesday, and Thursday is our Friday (every Friday off, it rocks). So, Thursday I rushed and put the gifts together last minute. Oh, and it was also her birthday. Lol. I did the Target gift card, a lunch tote (You’re a tote-ally awesome teacher) and a bunch of nail polish, files, a manicure set (Mani thanks for all you do). I love this idea, but she’s moving out of state, and don’t want to give her a bunch of stuff she has to pack. Maybe next year!

  10. 3rd grade teacher here, and I would LOVE this gift! Actually, I’d love anything that you put together. You have the most adorable ideas. I agree, stick with chocolate, gift cards, Diet Coke, and office supplies. Markers are my favorite. Thanks for loving on your kids’ teachers. They will be so thrilled with these thoughtful gifts.

  11. I also had the “honor” of being the organizer of teacher appreciation. Our school gets a little wild and we have to decorate the entire rooms. It was a chore and this year our theme was our teacher’s favorite things: Kids and Dogs. Each child took a pic with their dog, a stand in dog, stuffed dogs, or one even drew a dog. They were all so cute. We hung those up and then afterwards I put them all in a scrapbook along with a note from each child. She started tearing up when I gave them to her. It was sweet. Yay me!

  12. This is perfect. My friend made her own sugar scrub for teachers gifts and I remember you making a sugar scrub one time. I was coming on the site to look it up and Teacher’s Gifts was posted with different ideas. Love the ideas and my mind is in total think mode. It is hard because I have 3 kids but my daughter has different teachers and aids (special education) and then I can’t forget about her sweet school bus driver.

    Thank you for making it so much easier.

  13. Oh girl. I am room too this year and if I had to give myself a grade, it’s well below average. Would you believe I FORGOT teacher appreciation week?? Like totally spaced it. I thought it was the week after…. I need to something extra special for end of the year. Loving the colander/salad theme idea. I just *might* redeem myself!

    1. Oh, dude, I sucked, lol. They gave us a little folder full of helpful information at the beginning of the tear, like their favorite things and where they like to shop and class lists and pretty much nothing got utilized for mich more than birthday party invitations. I should probably be forever banned from room-momming.