Finding a preschool teacher gift can be a tall order: What’s moderately priced, conveys your appreciation for the teacher’s hard work, and isn’t too generic? In many cases, you may not know much about the teacher’s interests outside of school. That’s where this list comes in: here are some affordable, easy gift ideas that are sure to brighten any preschool teacher's day. Don’t miss the special tips below the list.
- Winter fruit basket. Sure, you could buy a pre-made gift basket, but assembling your own is much friendlier on the budget. Plus, your preschooler can help choose the items and put the basket together. If you don’t already have one, pick up a basket at your local craft store, like Michaels or Jo-Ann, then fill it with in-season fruit from your local farmers market, dried fruit, nuts, tea bags … whatever you think the teacher would enjoy. For a unique winter treat, include a few persimmons or Asian pears (insider tip: Ken's Top Notch Produce at the Torrance Farmers Market sells especially sweet, refreshing Asian pears).
- Breakfast in a bag. Put a muffin or breakfast bread mix (like banana nut bread), your favorite tea bags or ground coffee, a mug and some magazines in a reusable tote or a plain paper grocery bag that your preschooler can decorate.
- Hand sanitizer or hand lotion in a personalized bottle. Buy an empty plastic hand soap dispenser with a pump (check in the travel aisle at drugstores or retailers like Target; dollar stores will also often carry empty dispensers). Help your child decorate the dispenser with permanent marker, puffy paint and/or stickers. Fill it with hand sanitizer or hand lotion. The teacher can put it on her desk and use it throughout the day.
- Classroom supplies. If you’ve noticed that your child’s preschool class needs markers, more storage bins, new books or other supplies, you can put together a kit with those items. Or, ask the teacher or the preschool director if there is a “wish list” for the class. You could also purchase a gift card to a teacher supply store. Try Lakeshore Learning Center (South Bay location in Carson) or Teacher Supply at the Rolling Hills Plaza in Torrance.
- Gift card to a local coffeehouse. If you’re really short on time, you can always pick up a gift card to Starbucks, Coffee Bean or any other local coffeehouse. A hand-drawn card or batch of freshly baked cookies make this gift even more special.
When you’re putting together a gift for your child’s teacher, don’t forget the teacher’s aide. Many parents opt to give a scaled-down version of the teacher’s gift for the aide. If you miss the winter break cutoff at school, you could give a gift to ring in the New Year, or just remember your child’s teacher at the next gift-giving occasion. Finally, remember to include your child in as much of the gift-giving process as possible. The important thing isn’t the gift itself – it’s teaching your child the joy of giving.
For more great gift ideas, read “Holiday gift ideas for your child’s teacher.”