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  • Writer's pictureAshley Thorn

End-of-Year Teacher Gifts

Updated: May 7, 2019

Preface: I know this may seem like a strange topic for a therapy blog, but read on to find out how this simple, practical tradition actually promotes positive relationship skills, and tips for how to make it happen.

School is almost out! Yay! (Or maybe “Ahhhh!!!!...I can’t ever quite decide how I feel about it.) But at any rate, this is a time when many people are frantically trying to put together teacher gifts. Now, maybe you’re not someone that does this, and that’s completely fine. I personally enjoy this little tradition, because I feel it’s important to acknowledge the ending and transition into the next academic phase, pay tribute to the relationship that has existed between my child, their teacher, and myself, and show appreciation for how hard my child’s teacher has worked all year not only to teach my child, but to look out for and provide them with a safe place to grow and learn. However, it can be difficult to try and come up with a gift that’s fun, useful, and maybe even meaningful without going too far over the top. So, in an effort to help you navigate this tiny piece of your parent/teacher/child relationship, I’ve put together a few ideas that I’ve used:

This is what my kids’ teachers are getting this year. It was easy to put together, inexpensive, and hopefully something a little different than the average teacher gift. It costs $10, comes with a “Free Drink” card, and they can refill their mug anytime for just $1. And let's face it…who doesn’t like a big mugful of soda water on a hot, summer day?! Click here for a free printable!

Relax in the Sun Tote

I’ve used this one a couple of times, and it’s always a hit! Plus, you can do it more inexpensively than you might think. When I’ve put this together, I’ve often been able to find most of it at the dollar store! This time of year they will be fully stocked with flip-flops, sunglasses, sunscreen, drink containers, totes for holding it all…the only thing I’ve generally had to find elsewhere is a towel. But even that I’ve been able to find at Walmart or Target for around $5. Click here for my free version of a Fun in the Sun printable!

This is a fun one that I’ve done variations on for Valentine’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, etc. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can find individual or bags of bath bombs at Lush, Harmons, Target, or Walmart. If you’re going the lip balm route, you can find EOS lip balm to fit on those printables just about anywhere.

Here is another easy idea that you can go big or small with. Along with polish, I've often added socks, flip-flops, nail files, grooming kits, etc. They have an entire cosmetics section at the dollar store or local grocery stores, or if you want to go fancier you can visit Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta, or Sephora. Picture is linked.

Gift Card Printables

When in doubt...get a gift card! These work in a pinch, and are great for both male & female teachers. It's nice to jazz them up with a printable, so be sure to click the image for a link to some. Picture is linked.

Personal Thank You Letter

If you're not into buying gifts, or want to add a little something extra, helping your child to write a letter or make something personal is also a great way to go. Adding meaning to your gift in this way is something that will enable your child to participate more, prompt them to consider the relationship they've had with their teacher, and teach them skills for expressing how they feel to people they care about. Picture is linked.'s not about the gift. It's about what the gift represents-you and your child's appreciation for the relationship you've both had with this teacher, and the work that teacher has put in on your family's behalf. It may seem like a silly, meaningless tradition, but it really can be a visual model for helping your child learn to consider what others have done for them, and that it's important to communicate feelings of gratitude to those we care about.


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