Teachers are real-life superheroes. They educate, innovate, encourage and support. Every day they touch the lives of millions of children and their work and impact extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Take the time to celebrate the V.I.T—Very Important Teacher—in your life during PTA Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11!
Want to get a little something for your child’s favorite teacher but have no time and a tight budget? We’ve got you covered with some clever, crafty and cheap gift ideas for teachers.
Price Range: $5 – $10
Let’s set the scene: A teacher walks into class on Friday morning, exhausted and totally ready for the weekend—and there waiting on the desk is a piping cup of coffee, their favorite breakfast treat and a card from the entire class. Can a gift be any more thoughtful?
Make this a class present! Collect a dollar from each student and add a gift card to the mix.
This kind of gift is a great way to teach your elementary-aged children that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a good teacher’s day.
Price Range: $2 – $10
Paper, pens, thumb drives, crayons, markers…. These sound like boring gift ideas, but most teachers spend their own hard-earned paychecks on supplies for their classrooms. Isn’t Teacher Appreciation Week a good time give back?
Parents and children can either put together their own gift boxes with a few items, or this can be a class project where each student brings in an item. Imagine how happy your child’s teacher will be when they open a big box of school supplies. And another perk—all you had to do was pick up an inexpensive school supply. How fabulous is that?
For the Techie Teacher
Price Range: $10-$15
Something that just about everyone needs is a mobile battery charger. You can pick them up for as little as $10.
If you want to make it special, add your teacher’s initials with a paint or glitter pen.
Something Homemade – An Apple for the Teacher
Price Range: $1 – $10
We always associate apples with teachers, so let’s run with that. First, you’ll need apples. If you want to make this a classroom giveaway, have every student bring in one apple. Be sure to challenge the students to bring in different types of apples.
For the sweet-treat part, if you don’t have a beloved homemade sauce that just screams of indulgence, then we’ve found a few online that will help you out.
All of these recipes involve cheap ingredients and take very little time to make. Store one sauce (or all of them) in a jar and add them to the apples your child’s classmates brought in. Creative treat – no stress!
Crafty Phone Case
Price Range: $3 – $5
You can buy blank cell phone cases for pennies, so buy a few and let your kids go nuts with their paint pens and permanent markers. For extra credit, be sure to write the phrase, “World’s Best Teacher” on there.
If you’ve got an extra crafty kid in the house, you can also decoupage old artwork, photos, or candy wrappers onto the case.
Thank You Card
Price Range: Free!
All teachers really want at the end of the day is to know the difference they make in the community is being noticed and appreciated. Have your little one create a personalized “Thank You” card out of construction paper, or download and print PTA’s appreciation certificates!
As a little educational bonus, while creating the card your child will be working on their penmanship and reading comprehension skills!
As you can see, being thoughtful doesn’t take a lot of time or money—especially for the teacher who does so much for your favorite student. Don’t forget to share photos and your activities during the week by using the hashtag #ThankATeacher on social media. If you have other last-minute gift ideas, tell us about them in the comments below so we can share your ideas with other busy parents!
Scott Meeks is the communications manager at National PTA.