I am just going to through it out there that I’m that mom who brings a gift for the teacher on the first day. And Christmas, Teacher Appreciation, and the last day of school, too. (Although it’s more iffy on that last one because I’m usually dragging to the finish line so it doesn’t always happen.)
Most of the moms I’ve talked to balk at this and say they aren’t spending any more money because supplies were already a fortune. But I’m here to show you that making a teacher gift it can be easy and affordable and take less than 15 minutes and cost you $15 or less.
Have you seen these containers? If you have small kids you probably have a couple in your refrigerator right now. I have this from our recent road trip and thought the container was perfect for something so I saved it. In the past I’ve used small storage containers, mason jars, a really small tote from a local consultant, or even a very small gift bag if I have one hanging around. I’ve really gotten creative with these in the past but today we’re doing this for under $15!
I’m using some of my scrapbooking supplies, but if you aren’t a scrapbooker you can use construction paper or printer paper and have your child draw something on the small piece we cut out. It really doesn’t matter but I’m using this stuff so my husband can see my recent splurge on new supplies is going to be used in real life.
The first step is to measure how big of a piece you need. On my container my labels (top and bottom) peeled off easily, but on the top it was still really sticky so I didn’t want to leave it like that because I don’t know what’s going to stick to it once it gets in my vehicle. It would be kind of embarrassing to walk in with a soggy cracker and maybe a straw wrapper stuck to it.
So I covered that part up. I’m going to advice to NOT use a glue stick if you’re using a plastic container. It doesn’t stick well and it’s just a pain. I used double stick tape and it worked out just fine and was faster.
Once you get your paper on, you decorate (unless your child drew a picture, then I would just leave it as is and let their artwork shine). In my case I used two stickers, and then I found a roll of washi tape and I wrapped it around, but that’s totally optional.
You have a finished gift container! Look at you, Martha Stewart-ing over here!
Now to fill it. I’ve used ALL kinds of things for this. I think of this as a “back to school survival kit” so I try to think, if I was going to be stuck in a classroom and no way to run to the store quick, what would be handy? In my case I put some chocolate, a post it note pad, some Tylenol, gum, those little tooth brush things because they are AMAZING, Shout Wipes, and a little sign thing I found in the dollar spot at Target. All of the items I’ve included cost me just a bit under $15 and I threw them in my cart when I was already at the store.
Other ideas could be little bottle of lotion (I know you have a coupon for a free item at Bath & Body Works in the abyss of your purse because I have three…) or hand sanitizer, lip balm, Tums, pens, those water flavor packets, a gift card for a coffee shop on the route to the school, or a gift card to a place that delivers lunch to the school, etc. So many little items can fit into here and a really perfect spot to look for items? The travel section! The items are already small and they are inexpensive.
Also- add a little note saying you’re excited about the school year and you open for communication. It’s so important that teachers know you are an ally and you are an equal partner in your child’s education, and that you appreciate what a big job they are taking on.
If you have a cool idea for a Back to School teacher gift, I’d love to hear it, I’m always looking for new ideas and projects!