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Hipsters to the Rescue: Teacher Gift Ideas Needed (+ Cute Bath & Body Works Hand Soap Idea)

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Check out this email I received from Hip2Save reader Melissa –

[h2s_box width=”2″ style=”dotted” color=”#DB3C18″]It’s that time of the year again when we have to start thinking about Christmas gifts for children’s teachers. I have a 4 year old who goes to preschool and I really want to give Christmas gifts to all his teachers. He has 5 teachers in his classroom. I am in a dilemma…what is an appropriate budget? [/h2s_box]

With that being said, if you’re looking for an affordable gift idea for teachers, neighbors, friends, and more, consider making “We Wash You a Merry Christmas!” hand soaps using this printable template and Bath & Body Works hand soaps (currently on sale 5/$18 or 7/$24) or whatever hand soaps you like! Then just add some ribbon and a personalized note and you have a super cute and frugal gift idea! πŸ™‚

If you’re planning toΒ shop online, you may want to use the promo code FA143271 to score $10 off a $30 or more purchase + Free Shipping on a $50 order (expires 12/7). Or the promo code WILDVANILLA to score 20% off your entire order (expires 12/31). Or you may want to use the code DOLLARLOVE to score $1 shipping when you place a $25 order.

Now it’s your turn…what are your frugal but thoughtful teacher gift ideas? And, if you’re a teacher, we’d love to hear what gifts you appreciate most! πŸ™‚

(Thanks, Melissa!)

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Comments 147

  1. Tia

    I’m doing a $10 Target GC and one of the $3 Bath & Body Works lotions for my preschooler’s 4 teachers/assistants.

  2. Allison M

    I work at Bath & Body Works, and I’m a teacher, and I never discourage BBW gifts! My son is in preschool and we have 5 teachers to buy for too. I usually do hand soaps (when they go $2.50) or travel size body care (when they go 3 for $6). BBW has a 100% guarantee too so if they hate the scent it can be easily exchanged.

    • Lisa

      Does BBW have a guarantee on candles at all? I bought a 3-wick of the Sweater Weather and the scent was way too strong for me when burning.

      • Becks

        Yes! I bought a candle & I didn’t like it & they let me exchange it. I also had a little rust form on a hand soap cover & took it back no problem!

      • Marcheta

        Yes! They guarantee all products. I bought a candle that smelled delightful in store, but when I got him it smelled like grass and weeds. Not pleasant. I took it back and exchanged it. I was given no problems. My toddler also broke a brand new candle and I took it back and was given a new one to replace it. Excellent cust svc with these issues! My hubby thought I was nuts taking back a lit candle! 😊

      • Allison M

        Yep! Anything (within reason) can be exchanged. If you buy something and don’t like the scent, you can exchange it. If it doesn’t work properly, you can exchange it. They want you to be happy with your purchases from them πŸ™‚

        • MommySpendsLess

          I would add the warning that you can only evenly exchange for the same kind of product in a different scent. For example Amber Blush lotion for Cherry Blossom lotion. When I tried to exchange a Body Cream for a Body Lotion I just got store credit for the latest sale price for the Cream. The associate said it was because they sometimes run promotions just on one type of product. I understand the policy and given how strict some stores are becoming I though I was lucky to get anything without a receipt so I’m not upset, just wanted to clarify for others πŸ™‚

          • Lisa

            Thank you all so much for the comments. I will exchange it for my favorite scent & stick with ones I know I like! πŸ™‚

  3. cpa4life

    I plan on giving my daughter’s teachers Lenox tea cups(bought for $2 each instead of $20 because of a hip2save reader comment) filled with some tea bags,
    Lindor chocolates, hot chocalate packet, and instant coffee mix. I figured with all those kids, they could always use a gift that delivers caffeine. Cost was about $5.

  4. Samantha

    I got the $3 Bath and Body Works lotion deal. Used a coupon and got 10 for $21.95! What would be something cute to put on a tag for those for teachers/assistants? Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

    • vmm

      Hope the new year goes SMOOTHLY…

      • MiisNoel

        vmm … I like this! πŸ™‚ You could even add to it Samantha …
        “The holidays can be a ‘lil ROUGH. Here’s to making sure your New Year is SMOOTH.” Something like that. ;]

        • vmm

          yes! MiisNoel, that’s super cute! I like that for Christmas or even just “the school year ” instead of “holidays” if for the end of year or a random time even. I used the “hope your year goes smoothly” for my kindergartener’s teacher’s first day(she was fresh out of college so anxious I’m sure)

    • Tracey

      Ok Samantha, here goes:

      Holiday cheer I wish for you
      This sweet little token I give to you
      A thought or two I have of you
      Lessons I learn because of you
      Thank you, for being you!

      • Caryn

        LOVE this Tracey πŸ™‚

        • Tracey

          Thanks so much!! πŸ™‚

    • MiisNoel

      “Something for your Mistle Toes.” ;]

  5. mamabug

    We are doing this only we are adding a note that says ‘We wish you a germ free Christmas, we wish you a germ free Christmas, we wish you a germ free Christmas and a soapy New Year’ πŸ™‚

    • Christi S

      oh my that is adorable!!!

  6. Jen

    One time use only $10 Gift Certificate to Bath and Body Works:
    eGift Card# 6006495907501079338 PIN# 4107
    Please post when used. Merry Christmas! πŸ™‚

    • cpa4life

      Yeah! I will try and use now. thanks

      • Jen

        You’re welcome! πŸ™‚

      • cpa4life

        bummer, didnt check out fast enough and someone else grabbed it. Thanks anyway

    • MrsMassone

      Thanks Jen. I am using it

    • Roksana

      Used! Really appreciate it! God bless!!! πŸ™‚

    • Priscilla G.

      Thanks!
      I did used it.
      Merry Christmas to you too!

      I was actually having not a god day and, you bright my day!
      Thanks!

      • Priscilla G.

        *good

        • Jen

          Glad it cheered you up! πŸ™‚

          • Priscilla G.

            Yes you did!

            πŸ™‚

            I will pay it forward! πŸ˜‰

  7. Dee

    I’m making sugar cookie scrub for my kids’ teachers. 12 total! With this gift idea, my kids (ages 4, 2, and 1) can help, making the gift a little more personal to them. Well, maybe not the 1 year old, lol.

    • Jodi

      Dee, I’d love to have a copy of the sugar cookie scrub recipe! That sounds like it would smell so yummy!! Thank you! πŸ™‚

      • Dee

        Jodi, I found the recipe on Pinterest. I can’t remember the exact measurements off the top of my head, but the ingredients are granulated sugar, brown sugar, olive oil, and vanilla extract. The original recipe is used as a foot scrub, but I’ve been using it as a body scrub. Living in IL, my skin needs all the help it can get this time of year! If you Google it, I’m sure you will find it!

  8. Christi S

    I’ve been collecting small denomination gift cards thru the year, like the $5 Dunkin Donuts or $10 Starbucks from various rewards sites. Then add a mug and some of the Ferrero Rocher Chocolates Collin mentioned at Costco. I have my daughter make a card too, because I think that is what they like the most πŸ˜‰ In previous years, a local cupcake shop had “Cupcake Coupons” in a sheet of 12 for $30. I gave my daughter’s preschool teachers a few of those in a nice card and they LOVED it!

    • Lily

      I’m a 7th grade science teacher, and you’re right! I love handmade cards from my students the most! I have all of mine saved from my first year teaching until now! :0

  9. Joy

    I’m a sub teacher and work in 8 differrent schools from elementary to high school. You should know that often teachers put these lotions, handsoaps and hand santizers in the staff bathrooms or in their classrooms for students to use because they are inundated with the same gift from at least 15-20 other students. This the most overdone gift next to teacher mugs. So if you’re looking for something more unique and personal I would go with another idea. Just something to keep in mind.

    • kelsey

      Joy, what do you suggest? I really want to show my appreciation and want my gift to be appreciated as well.

    • CMarie

      Just to elaborate on what Joy said, I once asked my girlfriend, an elementary school teacher, what she did NOT want as a gift. She said, although she appreciates any gift, really, she would suggest staying away from the following since she has TONS: a) anything apple-themed (too overdone), b) mugs, c) candles. She re-iterated that teachers love gift cards (yeah, I know, boring). She said one other thing that I thought was interesting…she said she gets several gifts that contain a picture of the student….like a tree ornament with a picture of the child (possibly even posing with her). Although she likes her students, they aren’t her family. I was flabbergasted that people would give something like that!

  10. SLS

    As a teacher, I do not encourage scented product gifts. Many people (teachers, family members, friends, etc.) can be incredible sensitive or allergic to a wide-variety of scents and if I were to receive anything scented, I’d have to regift it or throw it out before I got home.

    Small denomination gift cards, gloves, socks, scarves, mugs, calendars, hand-made art from children, and anything along these lines are really great and really appreciated!

    Also, please don’t assume your teacher(s) are Christian and/or celebrate Christmas. I like to give New Years gifts/ cards for this reason.

    Thanks for thinking of teachers during the winter holidays!

    • CW

      Yes SLS I totally agree! I am one of those severely allergic teachers, on a $3,000 a month space shuttle developed drug for severe allergies and asthma. I get scented lotions, perfumes, candles and using them, and in some cases just having them in the room (even jar candles unlit) can send me to the ER. I like your suggestions above.

    • MiisNoel

      Please don’t throw out any scented products you should receive, there are several places that would appreciate the donation. :]

      • SLS

        I don’t donate scented products for the reasons I discuss above. I do not want to give anyone something scented unless I know they like it or want it. When I make donations, they are of fragrance-free items or items that aren’t associated with scent in the first place.

        • MiisNoel

          I can understand your reasoning, but a local church in my area provides items to the homeless, as well as offering meals and a place to shower, in which they provide them with toiletry items … Regardless of scent the items are needed! Additionally there is also a local woman’s shelter that aids in assisting woman and children recovering domestic violence … They too gladly accept all kinds of toiletry items, regardless of scent and even used (like soap, shampoo, etc.). Although inconvenient to search out, I urge you to find someone in your area that would accept and use these items. No need to throw them into a landfill.

        • Dee

          This so incredibly wasteful! Please donate as others have suggested. The whole world is not allergic or sensitive to smell.

          • SLS

            No, but people who are allergic and sensitive to scent often cannot be around anyone who wears anything scented. Going out into spaces where others are wearing scented products can be an awful ad even dangerous experience because of this. I will not donate scented products to anyone because of this. It is not wasteful when the items can be damaging and hurtful to others.

            • Dee

              You sound like a very unhappy person. Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving and a VERY MERRY Christmas! πŸ™‚

            • MiisNoel

              Dee … Ditto!^ You actually stole the words right from my mouth!!! :]

    • April

      I like to save the scented things I get (that I don’t like) to give when people collect for the troops, homeless shelters, etc. There’s always someone out there who would LOVE them! Also, a lot of times I do let the kids use the scents that I like. That way they feel pretty special when they can use something of mine. I teach kindergarten and they really get into stuff like that.

    • MosleyMom

      We give out Thanksgiving gifts since not everyone is religious. I’m all done with teachers, bus drivers, etc. already πŸ™‚

      • SLS

        Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving either.

        • Selah

          Who cares???? It’s the thoughtfulness of the gift that counts. All this PC nonsense ruins that. And the scented items should be donated. If people are sensitive to them, they won’t choose to take them!

          • Wendy R

            Thanksgiving is for giving thanks to those who you are grateful for. I think it’s a good time to appreciate people. Every teacher my kids ever had sent Happy Thanksgiving notes, or worksheets home. I don’t understand. I would be thankful for any gift, and if it’s something I can’t use someone can.

        • Sissy

          I read this hearing SNL Debbie Downer music? “WaaaaahWaaaaah!!!” πŸ˜› There’s always gonna be one Negative Nancy or Grumpy Gus that ruins the CHEER outta the season. (My daughter calls ’em “joy killers”. The rest of the year “fun suckers”.) It’s upsetting this is coming from a teacher? And not donating your scented gifts is nothing but wasteful!

  11. Tracy

    I used. Thank you so much!

  12. tracy

    I agree with the gift card idea. Teachers are seriously underpaid and they often buy things for their classroom out of their own pocket. Let them get something they will use in their own scent or taste. You also don’t know if they have allergies or special diets. A Target or Walmart gift card may not be cute but they are more useful. Add a thoughtful card.

    • Audra

      My son’s have 10 teachers between them- would it be tacky to do a $5 gift card each or should we think of something else? I didn’t know if $5 was too small.

      • Just Me

        I’m going to write a letter to the teacher and ask what sort of the things he might like. And then I’m going to send a letter home and ask the parents if they want to go in on a gift card. I think my dinky $5 gc might be lame but if other parents wanted to go in then it could be a pretty nice gift.

        • yvonne

          I would be thrilled with a $5 gift card…..A dunkin donuts card for that amount is 2 free coffees!!! I always make my children ask their teachers if they drink coffee in the weeks before Christmas break!

      • Erin

        No! If everyone gave $5, most teachers would receive more than $100, which I’m sure they’d be *thrilled* to receive!

      • SLS

        No – not too small at all!

      • laura

        I would be thrilled with a $5 gift card!

      • Jodi

        I think a $5 GC is great! I sometimes got them for Panera or a local ice cream shop and $5 would cover the cost of that visit for me.

      • Lorianne

        As a teacher, I would much rather have a $5 gift card than another mug, candle, or body lotion. But that is my 2 cents. Many school faculty rooms have keurig machines, so if you are able to find a deal on k-cups, teachers who like coffee might appreciate the k-cups.

        • Lucy

          I’m not a teacher but k cups is a great idea! Same with $5 gift cards. πŸ™‚

      • GK

        I think a $5 gift card is fine!
        I am a middle school teacher.

      • Christy

        I’m a teacher and I would completely rather get a $5 gift card than something I’m unable to use. I feel really bad when I get a gift that I can’t use because I know that the parent has spent their money on it for me. If you include a sweet note detailing what you appreciate about that teacher, let me tell you, that is the best!!

  13. Tracey

    When my boys were younger, their teachers had treasure boxes that the students could earn prizes from. Seeing the treasure boxes were “very experienced” shoe boxes, we came up with the idea of making a real treasure box. We went to Michaels and got unfinished treasure chests that we stained and painted to look aged. We filled the treasure boxes with prizes to be shared with the students and a few prizes for the teacher. A practical gift for the teachers without a lot of clutter.

    • Lilith

      LOVE this! Great idea!

  14. Linda

    I am getting cute baskets from the Target One Spot and filling them up with fruit and wrapping them with clear gift wrap. It’s all I can afford and I think that the teachers will appreciate the healthy food since that is what they want the students to bring to school

    • Brianna

      It is my first year with teachers and I was planning something similar or a costco cash card, since it will allow them access to the store and ability to purchase items for more than the card out of their pocket without a membership.

      • Kim W

        Nice thought, but I am pretty sure that you still need a membership to use the cash card in costco.

        • Brianna

          You must be a Costco member to purchase or reload Costco Cash Cards. Members and non-members may use the cash cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and online at Costco.com or on Costco.ca. Costco Cash balances may be used toward membership or merchandise.

  15. MrsMassone

    I’m a teacher and the soaps are my favorite. I prefer them over the lotions. Perfect gift for me!

  16. Corinne

    My middle sons kindergarten teacher is a guy and I’m having a hard time thinking of stuff for him. Any male teacher ideas?

    • kori

      Buffalo Wild Wings gift card or if you have a Hickory Farms by you, their gifts sets are tasty.

    • Mary

      How about a Christmas tie or a gift card to a book store or a restaurant/coffee place:)

    • Tracey

      I bet he would really appreciate an Amazon gift card so it could cover any item he wants. Or, a Restaurant.com gift card could work too. Good towards restaurants that he gets to pick. πŸ™‚

      • Corinne

        Thanks all! Great ideas!! I was trying to avoid a gift card but I think it’s inevitable. Best way to go.

        • Tia

          My husband got a sweater from a student a few years ago. I would never have been brave enough to buy my child’s teacher a gift like that but he loved it. It’s nothing bold just a very nice sweater that goes with anything.

        • Tracey

          If you want to be personal even with a gift card, how about getting a gift card holder from a Home Depot, Tractor Supply or another store. They have really cute holders that are shaped like tool boxes, tackle boxes, pick up trucks- all kinds of designs. And the gift card holder afterwards could be used as a paperclip dispenser πŸ˜‰

  17. Nes

    As a teacher, I am always excited to know I am appreciated. Teacher gifts usually dry up by the time they hit middle school so it’s almost more meaningful to get them now. My favorite gifts over the years have included stationery. Food and gift cards are always nice.

  18. Michelle

    Hello there, being a teacher I want to thank any parent or child that thinks of me during the Holiday season. I do not expect a gift. But if you do think of a teacher to give a gift to, we would be happy for gift cards so that we can more than likely purchase something for our classrooms. We spend so much money out of our own pockets, that we try to stock up on sale items over the summer to replenish classroom supplies. Ideas for gift cards could be Target, Walmart, Office Max. Michaels, Hobby Lobby, a local teacher store etc. I also agree with no soap, candles, apple themes or tea or coffee cups…we have way too many or the scents are a no-no for allergy reasons. I hope this was helpful, Thank you.

  19. Amy

    As a teacher, I truly believe that “it’s the thought that counts,” and I am always thrilled with any gift. When I taught pre-school for one year, virtually every student brought me a gift. However, I typically teach high school and very rarely receive gifts. I am honored when a student is thoughtful enough to bring a card to wish me, “Merry Christmas.”

    • MiisNoel

      I understand it’s a bummer to be inundated with coffee mugs or scented lotions … And can be a pain to exchange, save to regift, donate, etc., but I agree with you Amy, “it’s the thought that counts.”

  20. Iwhuff

    I’ve been snagging deals for about a month so I’m giving my teachers paper towels, tissue, tide (sensitive), soap, razors, etc. all in a santa bag. I hope they like it!

  21. Angela

    I’m doing hand sanitizer from bbw and a pack of tissues with a little candy and a note that says we tissue a merry Christmas and a no flu new year

    • Starkissed01

      Cute idea!!

  22. Tracey

    I learned Sculpy techniques from my Ma, and I am teaching my kids as well. It’s basically play doh for adults, once you make the piece it can be baked and you keep it forever. My daughter has many teachers but not everyone celebrates Christmas. So I came up with the idea where we make a personalized token that could be put on the desk. My daughter made two rattle ornaments for her reading teacher who is expecting twins. sculpy also makes eraser clay so each teacher gets a bundle of erasers (one less item they pay for out of pocket). The clay can be bought at any Craft store and it’s not expensive. My son who’s two is starting to help out this year and he loves it. πŸ™‚

  23. Mary

    I’m a teacher as well, and to be honest, a handwritten note is always at the top of my list and just makes my day:)

  24. Joy

    Every Black Friday I stock up on a variety of dvds from Wal-Mart for $1.98 each. I take curly ribbon and attach a bag of popcorn, a pouch of hot chocolate and a candy cane to each. Then I go to my four childrens’ teachers, teachers assistants, extra-curricular staff, and administrators, and let them choose their movie night. Everyone seems to enjoy getting to chose their own movie. The guys like the action flicks. The ladies like chick flicks. I include options like Scooby Doos or animated movies for those who have children. The movie nights cost $3 or less.

    • Jodi

      That is a cute idea, Joy!

  25. rosana

    I only have 1 kid in school and his teacher send an email saying that she was diabetes and her kids also dont eat candy. And dont think I will get her lotions. Taking my son to hallmark so he can choose something cute for her.

  26. Stacy

    I thoughts bout doing a $7 chick fil a calendar and every month they get to enjoy a “gift” from my child.

    • laura

      love, love, love this idea! (and I’m a teacher!)

    • Kim

      That’s what I gave my children’s teachers last year.

    • Lindsey

      As a teacher (middle school grades 6-8) and a parent of 2 in preschool that is a fabulous idea. I think I am going to “steal” it for my own children’s teachers! I would be thrilled with this gift as a teacher. But, honestly, no gift is needed and it is truly the thought that counts. Sometimes the children that can’t afford gifts are saddened by the fact that they can’t give gifts. My mother once had a child (first grade) “borrow” a piece of (costume) jewelry from her mother so she had a gift to give. I don’t have a single mug or apple any of my students have given me in the 10 years I have been teaching. I do however have every thank you note ever written by a student or their parent/guardian.

  27. BearsBootsnBlessings

    I made two small apothecary snow globe jars. I also added hand cream and hand soap SLS and scrent free. I may add one of the Cannon blankets from the Sears and Kmart deals.

  28. Vanessa

    I always shop the school supply deals during July/August and also the free paper at Staples. Also get $10 gift cards through various sites like Pampers and also add Meijer ones. I fill a gift basket with a ream of paper and various stationery items and add a $10 gift card to each basket. The teachers always love the supplies.

    • Mo

      I do this too! I originally got the idea in a similar H2S post 4 years ago and have been doing it ever since!! I put everything in a milk crate (new, retail from office supply stores or big box stores like Target -back to school clearance can be a good time to find deals on these or other large tubs) that can be used to store things in the classroom. I put the large things like paper reams on the bottom and tuck the smaller things in or attach them to bamboo skewers to let them stick out of the top a little. We wrap in clear cellophane like a gift basket and tie with wrapping ribbon and wired ribbon (I try to buy at end of season each year). I try to include a small denomination gift card I think the teacher will like. Personalized deals (if shipping is reasonable) (notepads, return labels that instead read ‘This Book Belongs to Mr./Ms. __’s Class,’ stationary, business cards that read ‘This is good for ___’ for rewards/treasure boxes, from sites like Vista Print & Shutterfly are great additions too! Love all the little sayings people have come up w/in the comments! I save them in a word doc and use on smaller teacher/staff appreciation gifts throughout the year. πŸ™‚

  29. Lucy

    My MIL is a teacher and she donates most of her teacher gifts to a local hospital that raffles them off to raise money for different fundraisers. I feel bad that she doesn’t get to enjoy her gifts, but she receives the same stuff over and over every year. You only need so many ornaments and mugs. Also, she receives a lot of BBW lotions and shower gels but her school won’t allow her to use scented products due to students’ allergies.

    What she really enjoys is Starbucks gift cards! Even a $5 gift card to Starbucks is greatly appreciated.

  30. Shelby

    I am in the pet care business and for some of my clients last year I bought pineapples and foil wrapped holiday chocolates that came with strings attached (purchased at Aldi’s). Also some foil chocolate balls, mini candy canes and hung them on the leaves of the pineapple! Stuck a couple balls in between the leaves. The possibilities are endless! It’s like a pineapple Christmas tree! Also tied a ribbon around the neck. They turned out so cute. It’s important not to buy the pineapple too early since it is ready to eat as soon it is picked. You don’t want pineapples sitting around the house for a week before they are given. To purchase one day prior is ideal. I think this would be a great teacher gift too!

  31. lindsey

    I am a teacher and have received gift cards, chocolates, flowers, a poinsettia, cd’s of music, baked goods, holiday ornaments, paperweight for my desk, photo album… I am a “special” area teacher–music–so it is just nice to be thought of since I am not in the regular classroom. I love gift cards and anything thoughtful. That said, I am getting my kids’ teachers/sitters a bottle of wine and a restaurant gift card. (Will drop off at home and not take to school.)

  32. Amy

    Jalapeno jelly is very easy to make (just google for recipes.) A jar of jelly, a box of Ritz crackers and a package of cream cheese, and we are very well loved! We have teachers who request it from year to year!

  33. Jamie

    I am a teacher and it is so nice to be thought of this time of year. I have heard people talk in this thread about $5 gift cards and I love getting these! $5 is the perfect amount to say “thank you” my favorite is to starbucks or dunkin. $5 will get you a couple coffees and when working with children, there is nothing better than coffee! On the same note, many times teacher’s rooms have Keurig machines so K Cups are also a great idea (especially with all of Collin’s deals).

    Unless you know the teacher really really well, I would say stay away from homemade baked goods. I do not feel comfortable eating anything homemade by students, so when I receive these things I thank the students and parents for being thoughtful and then get rid of the food at home.

    Soaps (like posted above) would be fantastic, as would hand sanitizer, red pens, a box of pencils, or classroom supplies. I buy so many pencils, pens, sanitizer, tissues, etc.. each year out of my own pocket and would be grateful to get something practical like these supplies.

    My all time favorite gift was a pineapple. A parent decided to send in pineapples and a note for all the teachers and it was amazing! Fresh fruit to eat during a season of unhealthy snacks is great.

    Long story short, anything is appreciated – and don’t forget your “specials” teachers if they spend extra time with your kids, like band or coaches etc…

    • Jamie

      Also, I am going to go out on a limb and say that I like the cheesy apple teacher mugs πŸ™‚ But I seem to be in the minority!

  34. laura

    I’m a teacher as well. I appreciate any token a student gives me. I really enjoy either gift cards (even $5 is awesome, I can get breakfast at McDonald’s for $5 for example) or gifts that are consumable like homemade treats (can you say Oreo balls? YUM!) I know some teachers would never eat something a student gave them, but I have no issues with it.
    I will admit that I have received tons of soap, lotion, and candles. You can only use so much of that stuff. If you are going that route, I’d suggest gentle scents; nothing flowery. I personally love the B&BW peppermint scent.

  35. AE

    I am a 6th grade teacher and am trying to get gifts for all my kids-23 total. I am trying hard to get great gifts without spending a ton of money. If anyone has $10 ll bean codes they are willing to share I would greatly appreciate it! My students would love hats & water bottles. I am also looking for BBW frees. Please email hwsgigles8@hotmail.com if you have anything you can share!!! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

    • AE

      Oh forgot to add I love getting BBW soaps and think $5 GC are great idea….would love Amazon or target πŸ™‚

  36. Leah

    I am a teacher, and I appreciate any gift from students/parents. That being said, I enjoy consumable gifts – cookies, fruit, candy, etc. because even if I end up not wanting to eat it, I can share it with my family. $5 giftcards are also awesome – being able to stop one day for a drink at Starbucks with a giftcard before school is a fabulous treat.

    Personally, I am not a fan of lotions, soaps, candles, etc. because I have super sensitive skin and certain scents bother me. I am also not a fan of knickknack type items.

  37. Misty

    As a teacher, I love any gift, because as others have said, it really is the thought that counts. I love personalized ornaments that I can out on my classroom tree. I love lotions, soaps, and candles. Giftcards, even $5, are very much appreciated! Because I often spend my own money on school supplies, I don’t mind getting glue sticks, paper towels, and such. If you truly appreciate your child’s teacher, send him/her a note of thanks along with a gift. πŸ™‚

  38. CrescentCityCurly

    My sister is a teacher and some of the gifts she has enjoyed the most is a gift certificate for a massage (the student’s grandma owned a spa) and gift cards. One year her class (or their parents) pooled their money and got her a gift card for a restaurant. She was able to take a day off from cooking during the Christmas break and spend quality time with her family at the same time. I also know that she too would appreciate small denomination gift cards over mugs, soap, etc. So parents save yourselves the headaches and just get gift cards. Can’t go wrong with that.

  39. Amy

    My son is in first grade and I have been trying to think of a fun and inexpensive gift for his teachers. I have decided to give a gift bag full of items and attach a note that says snow day survival kit. I am including hot chocolate, marshmallows, a snowman mug, a snowman fleece throw, and a box of white chocolate covered covered cookies. If you live in an area that doesn’t get snow, you could call it a winter break survival kit.

    • Ammie

      This is such a great idea! Very, very thoughtful. (Much better than a gift card IMO.) You could have your son draw a snowman or color one in for the card. And the white chocolate covered Oreos could be “snowman poop.” LOL! I like the corny puns/jokes.

  40. Angel

    I’m putting a 3 dollar BBw lotion with a $1 antibacterial hand pocket with a tag that says your “scent”sational.

    • Elaine

      Good idea!

  41. jenn

    I bought Plastic Tumblers at the Dollar Store and decorated each one with vinyl that I cut from my Cricut. Each teacher has their initial on them. I filled them with candy and flavored water pouches I’ve gotten on sell.

  42. Katie

    My favorite gift was a favorite warm drink (coffee/tea/cider) brought in at the beginning of the day. The thoughtfulness and pride the student had when bringing the drinks in (we had three teachers in class) made it that much better.

  43. GK

    I’m a teacher and my number one favorite thing is a sincere thank you card or letter from a student and/or parent. Someone above said it is the thought that counts and she is right! That being said…I’d have to go with a Starbucks card!

  44. Heather B.

    I send a short little questionnaire sheet to the teachers after they return from Thanksgiving. I ask favorite color, favorite dessert, favorite candy, favorite drink, favorite food and a few other questions. This gives me an idea what they like then I get them a colored travel cup stuffed with their favorite candy and 1-2 $5 gift cards, maybe to star bucks or their favorite restaurant. You get the idea. I spend about $20 but they are individualized to each teacher. I’m sure I spend more than most do but the teachers work so hard

  45. Jake

    I’m a teacher. The most appreciated gift from my perspective is an email to the school board or principal (copied to me so I know about it!) saying something I’ve done positive for your student. So often parents only contact our supervisors when they have a complaint and the good stuff they say to us directly. It would be nice for the bosses to hear the good more often!

    • Heather

      That is such a great idea! Thanks!

    • Mary

      I’m at teacher and that would be fantastic if a parent did this:)

    • Mo

      Here here!!

      I do this as our end of year gift in May. I give one copy to the principal and one to the teacher. I sure hope it helps them!!

  46. Heather

    I would say too let’s not forget about your child’s school bus driver. They arrive on time every morning and afternoon to your house for months. They get them to school safely and on time and deliver them back safely. Getting anywhere on time consistently is quite a mighty undertaking. They also endure the heat and cold without complaint. I always include them and they are always so appreciative, I think they are almost always over looked. Even a $5 GC to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks would mean a lot.

    • liz

      Amen! We love our bus driver and always give her something. Also, my husband is a middle school teacher and LOVES getting gift cards (never think $5 is not appreciated!). When I taught middle school I loved any gift, but my favorite was a tacky angel a kid picked out from the dollar store. He didn’t have a lot of money,so it really touched me that he still got me something. The thought is definitely what counts!!

    • sheila

      I agree! My husband is a school bus driver and he used to get gifts. The past couple of years not a thing…mind you my husband drives special ed students with high needs. His job can be tough…cleaning up body fluids, strapping in wheel chairs, and so on..and he does it cheerily with no complaints. I’m the one who notices….and help him with the thank you cards afterwards. I just think that transporting our kids safely can be appreciated with a heartfelt thank you….yes its a job…but a small gift really warms the heart. I’m a teacher and get a lot of gifts.. and I treasure each sentiment whether it’s homemade or store bought….we do what we do with love!

      • Wendy R

        We always give to our bus driver! Gift cards and a thank you note. My youngest has autism, and where he is much better now, he used to be a bit of a challenge.

    • Jacki

      Yes, the bus drivers! My kids took the bys in middle school and we always had a gift for the bus driver. They got my kids to and from school every day safely!

    • JA

      Oh yes, I love my daughter’s bus driver! We give her something every Christmas and at the end of the year and sometimes my daughter will make a craft or picture for her just because. This is our finally year having her and I plan on giving her a nice gift card at the end of the school year. We will miss her!

    • Sped teach

      I once watched a parent give a school bus driver a gift. I got nothing. That was a slap in the face.

      • Wendy R

        Are you a bus driver also? Maybe they only had enough for one gift. One bus driver, 5 teachers. Sometimes you have to do what you can. If you are a bus aid then I can see your feelings being hurt.

    • Mo

      In always on the lookout for something small I can pull off on our budget to thank every staff member our boys work with at their schools. When our oldest started public school kindergarten I realized how sad it would be to be overlooked when you are the bus driver, crossing guard, janitor, cafeteria worker, specials teachers etc. They ALL work so hard – and with 5x the kiddos home room teachers do to boot! One day I hope I can afford larger thank yous to them.

  47. Jen

    I am a high school teacher, my husband is a middle school teacher and we have three children, 6th grade, 1st grade, and 2 years old, preschool. I buy my kids teachers snacks to keep in their desks for those days when they are hungry or when there is hungry student. I buy a couple of varieties when the snack sizes are BOGO and package them up. This is what I would want and the teachers over the years have always given me the impression that they appreciate the practical snacks.

  48. Nel

    What about a little basket of fruit? I think that’s a gift anyone could use and appreciate.

    • Mary

      Great idea Nel!

  49. MommySpendsLess

    My daughter’s teacher is going on maternity leave from Dec 2 until the end of January. I’m thinking a Christmas gift a month early doesn’t make much sense but I want to let her know she’s appreciated…any thoughts? I already gave her a back to school basket at the end of the first week full of colorful pens, Sharpies, dry erase markers and pre-sharpened pencils, put together and decorated kind of like a bouquet with a thank you note for helping make the first week go smoothly (kindergarten). Do I get a little something baby-related, a welcome back or new year gift? Just wait until the end of the year? What should I do for the substitute? It’s the school’s regular sub so my daughter has already had her a couple times for P.E. but will have only had her daily for a couple weeks before Christmas break starts.

    • Mary

      I would get her something for the baby—that’s what I would want! Maybe one of the ideas above (soap, hand sanitizer, fruit, etc) for her sub. πŸ™‚

    • vmm

      I’d treat the sub as though she were the normal teacher and get her a small gift or gift card at Christmas with a thank you/well done type note.

      I’d give the teacher on leave a small gift that includes caffeine(or a gift card for some) in some way or maybe a small picture frame with a note that you mean it for a pic of her baby while she’s at work…obviously, not obligated but a sweet sentiment. I’m a full time working mom and it seems like those things would be good to me for getting thru the first few days back at work without the baby…

  50. Jae

    Or you can support local business and buy my handmade gift sets or hand poured soaps for only $10!!! Use code HOLIDAY to get $3 OFF my 3 piece gift set until Dec. 31st!!! http://www.benjaminsoapcompany.com I use all natural high quality ingredients and source locally when I can πŸ™‚

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