Top 5 Gift Ideas for Teachers

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As a mother of five school aged children, I am often stumped as to what sort of gifts to give teachers during the holiday season.  While my children are with their teachers for most of the week days, we really don’t get to know them well enough to know what they would like as a gift.  I usually try to give something somewhat generic that everyone would like, as well as inexpensive so that I’m not breaking the bank buying gifts for everyone.  If you’re trying to figure out what to buy your child’s teacher, check out some of my suggestions below!

Top 5 gift ideas for teachers

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Top 5 Gift Ideas for Teachers

1.  Gift cards

You can’t go wrong with a gift card!  It’s no secret that teachers aren’t the highest paid professionals out there, and often spend a good bit of their personal money on supplies for the classroom.  A simple $5 or $10 card to Starbucks, Target, or a local school supply would be a great gift for any teacher.  Even better would be a Visa or Mastercard card that could be used anywhere!  I know some people feel like gift cards are impersonal, but you could always add in a handwritten note thanking them for all they do.

2.  Edibles

Who doesn’t like indulging in a sweet treat?  A small bag of chocolates or a mug with hot cocoa mix are both easy, inexpensive gifts.  If you’d like to step it up a notch, you could give them something a little more “gourmet” like these handmade wine spreads from Saucy.  Your local sweets shop or bakery would also have several yummy items that would make great presents.  The gift of food is something that the recipient can share with their family as well.

Top 5 gift ideas for teachers

3.  Personalized items

Personalized items like notepads and pens are things that every teacher can use.  You can easily order them online from sites like Vistaprint, and customize them with your child’s teacher’s name.  You could also opt for something like a monogrammed coffee mug, and fill it with candies or tea bags, giving them something they can enjoy now as well as for years to come.

Top 5 gift ideas for teachers

4.  Handmade items

One of my favorite gifts we have given in the past was for a teacher two years ago that was getting married.  I printed out a simple wedding cake outline on cardstock and each of the children in the class colored and decorated their own cake.  We then cut them out and attached them all together (like a honeycomb centerpiece) to make a standup cake that could sit on her desk.  Another great option is to have each of the children draw a picture or write something telling their favorite things about their teacher, and have them all put together into a book.  A simple comb binding could be done at an office supply store, or you could scan them in and use an online service like Shutterfly to have them printed into a hardcover book.

Top 5 gift ideas for teachers

5.  Handwritten note

If you are really on a tight budget and can’t afford to give a gift to your child’s teacher this year, consider giving them a card with a handwritten note inside, telling them thank you for how much work they do every day.  If they have really made a difference in your child’s life, let them know.  Teaching can be a hard (and often, thankless) job, and they’ll really appreciate hearing from you how much you appreciate them.  Be sure to have your child write their own little note to include as well.

Top 5 gift ideas for teachers

If you have a room parent that is coordinating a gift from the class, they may ask for a small cash contribution and then use that to buy one large gift like a gift card to the teacher’s favorite store or restaurant.  Before spending time putting together your own gift, check with the room parent and see if they already have something planned for the whole class.

 Still not sure what to get your child’s teacher?  Just ask them what they would like!  I asked a few of my own teacher friends, and here’s what they had to say:

Barbara from Atlanta’s Frugal Mom said: “What I always liked and treasured best was the personal gifts. As a spec Ed teacher, it meant the world to me to get a “thank you” note from both the child and parents one year from a particular child, especially since she struggled so with the act of writing.  As tempting as it may be, I advise steering away from “teachery” nik-naks. I can’t tell you how many apple-related paraphernalia I have!”  Make sure to check out the rest of MY frugal teacher gift ideas.

Lindsey from Redhead Baby Mama had this to say:  “Personalized notepads are awesome, I once got a travel coffee mug with my initial embroidered on the inside. I still use it! Otherwise, giftcards, or a handwritten note go a long way!”

Miranda from Not Super…Just Mom wrote about teacher gifts on a budget earlier this year, and this really says it all: “When I’m wondering why in the world I got into this profession, I open my “Bad Day box” and read those notes and cards. I remember the students who’ve said “Hey, you know? You made a difference.” I remember that moment and that student and I know that I don’t suck at this. Someone out there thinks I’m doing a good job. And then I find a little well of renewed strength to make it through the day or week or grading period.”

No matter what you choose, don’t forget to think about the other teachers that your children has, such as enrichment instructors like art, music, speech, etc.  Often those teachers are overlooked around the holidays, but they would appreciate a special gift as well!  We typically give a larger gift to their main teacher, and smaller gifts for the other teachers.

What do you give your child’s teacher for the holidays?  Are you a teacher yourself, and if so, what is the best gift you have received from your students in the past?  Share in the comments below!

*This post is Tiffany’s top five teacher gift ideas.  Check out mine here:

Frugal Teacher Gift Ideas

Keep on saving!  :o)

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**


  1. Thank you so much for quoting me. Excellent advice here! Now I’m off to shop for Red’s teachers.

    • Thanks for your input Lindsey! I wrote this post, but haven’t bought a single thing yet! We have school through next Wednesday, so I need to get on it! I think we’re making treats with thank you notes this year for most teachers. I’m the room parent for one of my kids, and we’ll be doing a gift card for her teacher with some fun hands on science toys that can go in the classroom. Happy shopping!

  2. Great list of ideas. I like the edibles idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Nickida! I love giving food stuff for the holidays, especially if it something the kids can help make as well!

  3. Great tips! I usually give food items as well.

    • We usually opt for food for most of the teachers, since we have so many to give to. I always cross my fingers and hope that they aren’t on a diet! 🙂

  4. these are awesome ideas and as a teacher I would love to receive any of these.

    • I’m glad to hear that I have another teacher’s stamp of approval! 🙂 I need to add in a section of “what not to buy” and get a list of not-so-nice gifts from everyone too!

  5. What great ideas! We always try and give something handmade, hoping I have time this year to make cookies in a jar!

  6. I love all these. I always try to do the handmade items.

  7. These are great ideas. I am a teacher and the best gifts I have received are handmade. 🙂

  8. Thanks for including me! The Starbucks gift cards were always my favorites behind handwritten notes

  9. Krystle says:

    Great ideas! We always gave our teacher some sort of foodie gift to enjoy over the holidays!

  10. Some nice ideas – I always find this quite hard as don’t want to spend a lot of money, but want to show appreciation.

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