20 Back-to-School Teacher Gifts to Make With Your Kids

Are your kids nervous about meeting their new teachers?

Want to find a way to ease the transition?

Work with your kids to make a teacher back-to-school present.

When you make a gift for your child’s teacher, you create a connection from the get-go.

The team at My Kids’ Adventures scoured the web for the best teacher gift ideas.

In this article I’ll share five fun things you can make to welcome your child’s teacher back to school and start the year off with a smile.

Kids going back to school? Make teacher gifts together to ease kids into their new schedule, show teachers you care and get the year off to a great start.

Why Make Teacher Gifts?

No matter how big your kids get, the transition from summer vacation to the start of a new school year can be a challenge. This can be especially difficult for young kids.

When you work together to make something for your kids’ teachers, it will help your kids get prepared for and even a little excited about the new school year.

Teacher gifts are also a great way to introduce your family to your kids’ new teachers and let them know they’re appreciated from the very start.

There are plenty of things teachers want and/or need at the start of the school year. They’ll love any of these teacher gifts.

Teacher gifts aren’t just for back-to-school time. At the start of the school year, you can also ask your child’s teacher to fill out this questionnaire. That way, you’ll have at your fingertips a list of things the teacher likes so you can create a special something on holidays and throughout the year.

Here are five fantastic presents you and your kids can make for their teachers.

#1: Supply Cakes

A lot of teachers spend their own money on school supplies for their classrooms. “Bake” a supply cake that your teacher can share with the class. There are two fun elements when you build a supply cake: choosing the supplies and then constructing it.

As Denise from Simply Create did on What’s Scrapping, take two nesting boxes and glue them together to make the cake shape. Once you have the base, add the supplies in a decorative display.

school supply cake

Teachers and students will devour a school supply cake.

Use glue or ribbon to attach the supplies to the cake. There’s a gift wrapped tissue box on the top tier of this one to keep the glue bottles in place.

To add cake to this “cake,” Denise included cupcakes with custom toppers (to make your own, simply glue a custom or printed sign to a lollipop stick).

For her school supply cake, The Outlaw Mom amped up a version of the baby shower diaper cake.

tiered supply cake

The sky’s the limit when you create a school supply cake. Add as many tiers as you want.

Start with a round gift or hat box (filled with school supplies), put markers in a plastic container for the next section and place an empty ribbon spool (with glue bottles attached) above it.

The top of this cake has two rulers, along with mini calculators rubber-banded together with a “zillion” #2 pencils.

Like a traditional tiered cake, add a base. The extra space allows for even more supplies.

The back-to-school cake from One Charming Party is more decorative than functional, but it’s certainly fun!

special cake

Celebrate back-to-school with a special cake.

Glue two Styrofoam rounds together, place rubber bands around them and stick pencils around the cake. Place colored rubber bands on the top as frosting and stick pencils in the top for candles.

To turn this into a supply cake, use a sturdy round container instead of Styrofoam, add the pencils and fill with supplies.

Constructing a supply cake is a fun family project. Go shopping with your kids to find the things you want to include and then figure out the best way to put the cake together.

#2: Apples for the Teacher

Bringing an apple to your teacher on the first day of school is a centuries-old tradition. Here are some modern apple treats you and your kids can make for their teachers.

Make mini-Oreo apple pops, like these on the Skip to My Lou blog from Brooke, one of The Crafting Chicks.

apple pops

These apple pops are no-bake.

Put mini Oreo cookies on a toothpick and dip in red candy melts (that’s more of a parent task). Use pretzel sticks for stems and cut-down watermelon Airheads for the leaf.

For variety, here’s a more traditional Oreo cake pop recipe.

Gourmet Mom on-the-Go‘s Krispie Apple Treats are another fun no-bake option.

mini apple treats

Mini-apples that aren’t apples for the teacher.

Make marshmallow Rice Krispie treats with red Jello to get the right color.

These use a mini Tootsie Roll for the stem and icing for the leaf.

On the Saved by Love blog, Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday shows how to make an apple-shaped treat cup.

All you need is an old plastic soda bottle, red paint, treat bags, a twist tie, green card stock and red candy.

apple treat cup

Cut down and spray-paint old soda bottles to turn them into apple treat cups.

Take an old plastic soda bottle, cut it in half and cover the bottom part with red paint. After it dries, fill a treat bag with red candy to fit in the cup. Then close it with a twist tie and add a leaf cut from green card stock. Voilà: a red treat inside of an apple.

If you want to go all out, make an apple gift basket. Sister Suitcase blog has an adorable printable that you can attach to a basket full of apple-shaped goodies.

apple gift basket

Put a bunch of apple treats together to make a gift basket.

Take a container and add homemade apple juice, apple cookies and other apple recipes. Don’t forget the apple!

#3: Crayon Creations

Crayons bring magic to the classroom, so they’re the perfect item to add charm to a teacher’s gift!

This crayon cup from Paging Fun Mums is cute and easy to make.

crayon cup

Every teacher needs a cup for pens and pencils.

Take a pen or pencil cup and use a glue gun to attach the crayons.

For younger kids, as you choose which crayon goes where, use the time for a color lesson or to talk about what things come in each color.

A little more complex is the crayon frame from Mom it Forward.

crayon frame

Add a quote to your crayon frame for an extra-special touch.

For this project, take a wooden frame and strategically place the crayons, then glue them on.

For an extra touch, take a favorite quote or find a quote online, print it and put it in the frame.

A framed crayon monogram, like this one from A Mom with a Lesson Plan, is another way to show your child’s teacher you care.

crayon initial

Use crayons to put your teacher’s initial in a frame.

Print out your teacher’s initial, so it fits nicely in the frame you have. You may want to also put the teacher’s name below it.

Place the crayons over where they would fit on the letter; shave crayons, if necessary, to cut them down to fit. Once you have your design, glue the crayons in place.

Connect the sheet to cardboard, so it’s extra-sturdy. Remove the glass from the frame and put in your masterpiece.

This isn’t all crayons, but this back-to-school wreath from Miss Lovie was too adorable to pass up! And it has crayon accents, so it’s all good.

back to school wreath

This back-to-school wreath will make teachers and students feel welcome.

Buy or make a basic wreath and cover it with fabric. Using a hot glue gun, attach common classroom items, based on your child’s grade.

Adorn with ribbon, banners, whatever it needs to make it seem homey.

For an extra touch, add a mini chalkboard with a special message.

If you want to make an all-crayon wreath, check out this one from The Ballard Bunch blog.

crayon wreath

A wreath with all crayons is colorful and fun.

Cover a foam wreath with fabric scraps, and then use a hot glue gun to attach the crayons around the wreath. Embellish with more fabric.

A decorative gift, especially one made with love, will make a classroom instantly feel like home.

#4: Treats With Printables

There are three kinds of treats for teachers: cookies you buy, delicacies you bake and treats that look like school supplies. Add a printable and make it even more special.

The Crunchy Frugalista‘s smart cookie tag is an easy addition to a bag of cookies. Just download the printable, print and attach.

smart cookie

A printable attached to a treat makes a nice gift.

The berry excited tag from Sweet Rose Studio is a nice addition to strawberry cookies you make with your child. The recipe is super-easy, too!

strawberry cookies

Show the teacher you’re “berry excited” with strawberry cookies and a special tag.

Transform Rolos into a pencil-shaped treat. Use yellow paper for the pencil, pink for the eraser and a Hershey’s kiss for the tip. Full instructions on Live Laugh Rowe.

rolo pencil treats

Turn Rolos into a pencil.

Turn Hersey’s Nuggets into school buses with this printable from Like A Pretty Petunia. Print and replace the wrappers. Then punch out black dots from card stock and glue on for the wheels.

chocolate school bus

Your teacher will “wheelie” love chocolate school buses.

This edible glue stick from The Celebration Shoppe is very clever. Take a push-up pop container, decorate and add the printable. Then fill with a layer of blue and white candy.

edible glue stick

This edible glue stick will show teachers how happy you are to be stuck with them.

Treats aren’t just good for back-to-school. Consider these ideas for holidays, open house and Teacher Appreciation Week, too.

#5: Survival Kit

Put together things your teacher will need personally and professionally for the school year.

The teacher’s survival kit from Serenity Now includes a personalized greeting. Older kids can write their own note, while younger ones can draw a picture to go along with a card you write.

teacher survival kit

This teacher’s survival kit has a personalized note attached.

For their first day of school survival kit, Bee in Our Bonnet took a floss organizer from the craft store. She made a label and then added essentials like candy, hand sanitizer and school supplies.

first day kit

The label turns a floss organizer into a survival kit.

Mallory from Purplest Pecalin went all-out with her teacher’s kit. She decorated the top (inside and out) and added embellishments on the outside before stuffing it with teacher essentials.

teacher kit

This teacher’s kit has fun stuff, as well as essentials.

A teacher survival kit is another opportunity for you and your kids to brainstorm together. Write a list of things you think your teachers would like, and then shop for them together.

Some Final Thoughts

Work with your kids to put together your favorite teacher’s gift, and spend time bonding and getting ready for back-to-school as a family.

The new school year isn’t just a transition for the kids. The teachers are adjusting too! New kids, new schedule—there’s a lot to get done.

Your kids’ teachers will play an import role in their lives for the next year. Show them you care and get the year off to a fantastic start!

What do you think? What gifts have you given your kids’ teachers? What will you give them this year? What unique ideas do you have for food, supplies or other gifts? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see pictures too.

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About the Author, Debra Eckerling

Debra Eckerling is an editor at My Kids Adventures. The creator of Write On Online, a website and community for writers, Debra helps individuals define, plan and achieve their goals. Other posts by »


  1. KJ Ammerman says:

    My kids will be helping me make the Rolo-pencils. Thanks, Deb!

  2. Thanks for all the cute ideas, Debra! I love the Rice Krispie Treat apples and the crayon monograms. We’ll be ready for the first day of school!

  3. Cool. Those are the easiest too! Have fun!

  4. Can’t believe it’s that time of year already. And there’s just enough time to sneak in a couple more crafts before the school starts too! Enjoy!

  5. Crystal Foth says:

    Adorable awesome ideas! I love the crayon monogram! I want one of those!

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