20 Back-to-School Teacher Gifts to Make With Your Kids
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
All you need is an old plastic soda bottle, red paint, treat bags, a twist tie, green card stock and red candy.
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.
#3: Crayon Creations
Crayons bring magic to the classroom, so they’re the perfect item to add charm to a teacher’s gift!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Debra Eckerling »