Coming up with creative teacher gift ideas kind of stresses me out. I am so grateful for my kids’ teachers. They put so much time, and energy, and love into their jobs and caring for my children – I want them to know how much we appreciate them. At the same time, it can be hard to know what they want, or like, or need. I reached out to my mom (a teacher), her network of teacher friends, and my mother-in-law (a retired teacher and school counselor) to put together this list of teacher gift ideas for less than $10.
And it has changed (for the better!) the way I’ll give gifts to my kids’ teachers.
Here are some very popular teacher gift ideas that are *super* easy to give and guaranteed to be well-received!
I do have one quick note though. I wrote this post pre-pandemic. And unless you’ve been sitting under a rock, you probably know that prices have been going way (way!) up. So bear with me…some of these may be a little more than ten bucks, but they were all $10 or less when I wrote this post (which I am updating in 2023…so hopefully it’s still good!).
1. Gift cards. This was the #1 answer, and everyone said the same thing – it doesn’t need to be a lot! Just enough to buy a coffee at Starbucks is much-appreciated, and you can guarantee it will be used. Here are some suggestions for favorite gift cards for teachers:
- Teachers Pay Teachers (I LOVE THIS IDEA – totally going to do it!)
- Sonic End of Year Teacher Gift (this is SO CUTE)
- Local restaurants (for example, a $5 Sonic card if there’s a Sonic nearby – nothing fancy)
- Dollar Tree
2. Sharpies. Several teachers said they love getting Sharpies (and this fills a need, too – they’re fun but they will also be used!), Metallic sharpies (gold and silver) were also mentioned as being a specific need/want.
3. Journals. Blank journals are inexpensive, cute, and will be put to use.
4. Teacher supply baskets filled with handy but inexpensive teacher goodies like pens, paper clips, post-its, stickers, etc. (this could run over $10, but if you find a discount store or shop the dollar bins at Target, you can keep the cost way down).
5. Books for the classroom (my son is really excited about the US Presidents – I love the idea of buying some new books about the Presidents for his class).
6. Credit to the school cafeteria. This idea is from my mother-in-law, who mentioned that teachers have to pay for their food or drinks from the cafeteria, too – and many teachers will get a drink every day. Super easy and one of those things I know anyone would appreciate.
7. Favorite drinks or lunch from a favorite local restaurant. If you know what your child’s teacher likes to eat or drink, this is a small gesture that can really mean a lot.
8. Homemade treats (obviously, be sure to ask about allergies and/or include the ingredient list!). Add one of these cute printables for a personal touch.
9. Summer (or Winter) break “survival kit” (specifically, I am thinking a $5 Starbucks card, some chap stick and sunscreen – that sort of thing).
10. Handwritten note from the child. I’m having my kids each write a little note to their teacher this year telling them what they love about them. You can use this printable template to guide them.
11. DIY Thanks for Helping Me Grow potted plant (inexpensive and relatively easy to make…but SUPER adorable)
14. All you need is some red yarn to DIY this apple pom pom garland!
One thing they all said they didn’t need? Mugs. I know teachers are grateful for everything they get from their students, but mugs are a popular gift – so it’s not something they necessarily need.
Use the list above for teacher gift ideas and really, I don’t think you can go wrong!
What is your favorite teacher gift to give? Or if you’re a teacher, what do you love to receive?