Teacher-Approved Gift Ideas

Early Childhood Professionals Share The Best Teacher Gift Ideas

Wondering how best to share appreciation and gratitude with the teachers and caregivers who nurture your sons and daughters? To find out, we went straight to the source – our own early childhood professionals at Early Learning Indiana. Below, you’ll find three kinds of teacher gift ideas that our staff recommend, but don’t forget that the most important gift you can give teachers is your partnership in helping your child learn, grow and thrive!

Gifts that Pamper

Want to encourage a hard-working teacher to take a moment for themselves? Consider giving a gift card or special treat based on how you know that they renew themselves. The best way to find out about that? Just ask! “Do you have any weekend plans?” and “You work so hard. How do you like to relax and treat yourself?” are both great ways to start a conversation about self-care strategies!

Here are a few ideas that our staff shared:

  • Gift cards for a coffee shop or a jumbo pack of Keurig cups are hits for the caffeine-fueled caregiver.
  • Movie tickets, music or bookstore certificates make media-loving program staff happy.
  • Hearty houseplants are ideal for teachers who make nature a regular part of their classroom plans.

Gifts that Help Them Achieve Their Mission

Fun fact: Our staff are incredibly committed to their work. And that means that they are often in the habit of paying for extra classroom materials and activities themselves. While it can seem self-serving to share resources that can be used with your own children, many staff appreciate having a chance to invest more into their profession!

Here are a few ideas that our staff shared:

  • Many centers maintain a wish list for program materials – items from that can be great!
  • Gift cards might allow a teacher to split the spending between themselves and their students – think big box stores with craft supplies, learning toys and maybe a treat for staff.
  • A voucher for a team meal, if you’d like to give to the whole center – teachers tend to get lots of treats around the holiday, but having a gift card for catering a team training or meeting can make their lives a little bit rosier throughout the year!
  • Your center director or a colleague may have an idea for an early childhood or youth development book that the teacher would love – don’t hesitate to ask!

Gifts from the Heart

More than anything else, our experts recommended one type of gift: things that reflect the impact of their work or the magic of their bond with your children. The reality is that most early childhood educators come to the field not for material rewards, but for a mix of talent and commitment to helping our youngest community members turn into tomorrow’s leaders.

So, when they have the chance to hear about how much you and your child see the impact of their work, early childhood educators beam with joy. Plus, many of our staff said that they know how much great care costs our families, so they don’t expect material gifts at all.

Here are a few ideas that our staff shared:

  • A drawing, painting or other piece of art created by your child – and if your child has enough words, it’s a great idea to include what he says he loves about his teacher.
  • A heartfelt reflection from you about the impact of their work can mean the world to your child’s caregiver.
  • Create an ornament or other craft to give to their teacher.

Don’t stress about creating a Pinterest-worthy gift for your child’s teachers and caregivers, just make it personal and from the heart!

Plasticine modeling clay in children class. Teacher teaches in school.

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