Unique and thoughtful preschool teacher gifts

Preschool teachers spend so much time with your little ones, and their job is far from easy! They play a pretty important role in our children’s lives. Some parents may choose to recognize that with a small gift to show their appreciation for the hard work their teachers do.

So, whether you are searching for the perfect end-of-year gift, a holiday gift, something for teacher appreciation week, or a simple thank-you, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading for unique and thoughtful gift ideas that will surely put a smile on your favorite teacher’s face, no matter the occasion.

Why give gifts to preschool teachers?

Not everyone shows their appreciation by gift-giving, and that is totally okay! It is not mandatory (or even expected) that you give your child’s teacher a gift. But, if you can, and you want to, there are a couple of reasons why it’s a nice gesture.

First of all, it shows your appreciation for all that they do. Teaching can sometimes feel like a thankless job, and even the most minor thank you makes a significant impact.

For example, when I was teaching a preschool-prep program, one Mama brought the teaching team coffees on a couple of different Fridays. It absolutely made our days… And helped us get through the last day of the week (which can sometimes be tough!). I still look back on those mornings and smile because of how kind it was. And this was over 6 years ago!

It also helps them feel valued and appreciated, which can greatly impact their job satisfaction. There is way more to teaching than what happens in the classroom; knowing that parents appreciate that is huge. Plus, most educators spend all day (and all night!) thinking about how we can provide the best education for your children. Knowing that we are also in your thoughts outside class time is heartwarming!

Gift ideas for any occasion

When it comes to gift-giving, it’s always best to give something the recipient wants or needs. It’s even better when the gift is thoughtful and unique.

Also, I just want to say – Don’t worry too much about what you give them! Finding the best teacher gift should be a fun thing. Preschool teacher gifts should be simple and affordable. It’s all about the gesture!

Another idea is to collaborate with other parents to get a group gift! This way, you can pool your money and get a bigger gift for the teacher.

With these things in mind, here are some ideas for gifts that preschool teachers will love!

Homemade gifts:

This is at the top of my list for a reason! Giving a homemade gift is a super thoughtful way to show your appreciation. Whether your talent is card-making, soap-making, jewelry creating, or art, I’m positive that giving a gift that you made yourself will make your teacher’s day.

A good coffee mug:

Not all teachers drink coffee, but most of the ones I’ve met do! If not, they probably enjoy tea. I know that when I’m teaching, I need all the caffeine I can get… But I also know that I’m often too busy to drink it right away when I’m on the floor.

A good coffee mug is a game-changer (insulated, please)! This way, your teacher can enjoy their drink warm throughout the day – A few sips of coffee between crafts, play, or snack time might be exactly what they need to keep them energized! If they prefer iced coffee, you could get them a cold cup instead!

If you decide to give a coffee mug for a gift to your child’s teacher, just try to get one that is sturdy and has a good lid. After all, preschool teachers are constantly on the go and need a mug that can keep up with them.

A gift card to their favorite coffee shop:

If you’re not sure what kind of coffee mug to get, or if you want to give your child’s teacher a little something extra, a gift card to their favorite coffee shop is always a good idea.

Preschool teachers can use it to buy their favorite coffee or tea, or they can use it to treat themselves to a yummy pastry (or a breakfast before teaching!). This option is a safe bet – It’s always been a huge hit!

A tea infuser:

If they aren’t into coffee, you could get them a tea infuser or a teapot! Whether they make tea at school or enjoy a cup at home, this is something any tea lover would use on a regular basis.

If you’re not sure that they like coffee or tea, you could also find a good-quality water bottle. There are lots with adorable sayings, or heavy duty ones meant for people on the go.

Survival kit:

I just love making “survival kits” and personalized gift baskets. They’re simple, cute, fun, and easy to personalize.

This is also a great gift for first-time preschool teachers or teachers new to your school. Preschool Teacher Survival Kits usually include things like a mug, tea bags, hand sanitizer, cute pens, sticky notes, and other useful items. A little chocolate or other treats don’t hurt, either!

Basically, imagine yourself teaching 10 toddler-aged students all day – What would you need to survive? Putting together a simple survival kit is a fun way to show them you care while giving them small gifts that they can use in the classroom.

A self-care kit:

We always say (in the teaching circle) that teaching is work from the heart. Education is a passion-driven industry but takes a lot out of the emotional cup. Giving a little self-care kit will remind your favorite teacher to slow down, rest, and give themselves the same care and attention that they give your children.

When I put together gift baskets of any kind, I try to do something to drink, something to eat, something to pamper, and something personalized.

Here are some other things you could include in your self-care gift:

  • Things for an at-home spa night (face masks, candles, bath bombs, etc)
  • Gift cards for your favorite store that sells personal care items
    • Or a gift card for a local spa so they can get a spa treatment
  • Essential oils
  • Something cozy – Warm socks are always fun if it’s winter time!
  • Movie tickets

A personalized preschool teacher gift:

Personalized gifts are always special, and they show that you put extra thought into what you are giving. This may be tricky if they’re a first-year teacher or you’re still getting to know them, but trust me, it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant!

If you do know your child’s teacher well, you may be able to find a gift that is specifically tailored to their interests. For example, if they love gardening, you could give them some cute new gardening gloves or a lovely plant or flower. If you know they’re into baking or cooking, you could get a unique set of measuring cups.

Gifting one of their favorite things shows that you pay attention to them and their interests!

A classroom supplies bundle:

Another great option for preschool teachers is a classroom supplies bundle. This can include markers, pens, paper, and other small items they always need. If you notice that they often laminate their own materials – get them some laminating sheets!

Often, any extra supplies for the school year come out of the teacher’s pocket. They often use their own money for classroom supplies, learning materials, and fun games for the kiddos. This can be a lot for one person when you have to provide supplies for a whole class! So, offsetting this with even one pack of pencils or crayons can be a big deal.

Plus, practical gifts always make the best gifts! (In my opinion, anyway!)

A personalized notebook:

Preschool teachers often have to write a lot of notes, so a personalized notebook would be a great gift. They can use it to keep track of their thoughts and ideas, jot down things they don’t want to forget or just to write down grocery lists.

Try to find one that’s a bit heavy duty, so they can easily toss it in their bag and bring it back and forth between school and home.

If you can’t personalize one, no stress! Consider adding a sweet little handwritten note on the inside – It’s sure to brighten their days.

A preschool teacher t-shirt:

This is a fun and practical gift that most preschool teachers would love. You can find these shirts online or at your local store. There are lots of cute ones with sayings about being a teacher, being kind, etc.!

Label maker:

It takes a wild amount of organization to teach any grade, but especially preschool! Preschool can be a very chaotic place, and anything you can do to help them get organized will be appreciated.

A label maker or a set of color-coded file folders would be a great and practical gift!

Gift cards:

Gift cards are always a great option. They can use them to buy supplies for their classroom or to treat themselves to a well-deserved pedicure. No matter what you choose, your child’s teacher is sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Is the teacher an avid reader? A gift card to a local bookstore is the best gift for someone who is always looking for the next best book.

A preschool teacher appreciation card:

This is a great way to show your child’s teacher how much you appreciate them. You can find these cards at your local store or online.

For an added special touch, ask your child if they want to write or draw something in it too! Even if they’re too young to write, the card will be extra sentimental if it’s from both you and the kids.

A preschool teacher keychain:

This is a great gift for teachers who are always on the go. Preschool teachers often have to juggle many different things, and a keychain will help them keep their keys together. You can also find fun ones with sayings or designs that will bring joy to their days.

Gift ideas for the end of school

If it’s the end of the school year (and especially if your little one will be off to elementary school after this), you might want to get a teacher gift to say thank you for everything throughout the preschool year.

So for the end of the year, how about a personalized gift with the child’s handprint and a heartfelt message? Or a beautiful plant that can be enjoyed year-round?

Most teachers take the summer off (but lots also have a second job, too), so you could also get something practical like a tote bag that they can use all summer long.

Holiday gift ideas

Maybe it’s Christmas break, valentines day, or any other holiday that you’d like to give a gift for? I love the idea of giving tasty treats or homemade cards to mark these special occasions. They’re simple and affordable ideas but are a big gesture of gratitude.

Another idea is to make a DIY hot chocolate set, perfect for cuddling up with a mug of hot cocoa during the winter break.

Conclusion

Don’t feel obligated to give gifts to your kid’s teacher, of course! But, if you have the money and the desire to, then gift giving is a lovely way to show you are grateful for their positive impact your preschool teacher has on your child’s life.

Preschool teachers work hard, and they deserve to be recognized for all that they do. There are many different gift options available, and sometimes it’s tough to know just what to get! But, whether you go with something cute, practical, or give one of your own favorite gifts, I can promise that you will make even the simplest of gifts will make their day!

What do you think is the best gift for someone’s favorite teacher? We’d love to know!

Elke Crosson

Elke Crosson has her BA in International Relations with a minor in Spanish at UBC (Okanagan). She is currently in her second year of the Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with dreams of becoming an elementary-level teacher.

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