10 Gifts Teachers Really Want for the Holidays

Great Gifts for Teachers for the Holidays

It’s hard to come up with just the right holiday gift for your child’s teacher. This year try to avoid the apple-themed knick-knacks or #1 Teacher t-shirts and give one of the gifts teachers really want for the holidays!


Heart made from pencil shavings
Kelly Sillaste/Moment Open/Getty Images

Let’s face it. In some ways teaching can be a very under-appreciated job and most teachers simply need to know they’re doing well. Although you don’t need to wait until the holidays to say “thanks,” a nice greeting card or letter detailing how your child’s life has been touched by his teacher is a wonderful gift.


A donated gift for a classmate in need.

Every year, across the country, there are students in classrooms who will go home to a giftless holiday. It’s pretty likely your child’s teacher is already trying to find ways to remedy this, but ask her if there is something you can provide for anyone in the class. Just know she probably won’t be able to let you know to whom your gift is going, but does it really matter?

A card created by and/or written in by your child.

Nothing is more meaningful to a teacher then seeing that she’s making a difference in a child’s life. Knowing that your child has spent the time to think about what to say is gift enough.

Homemade holiday foods.

Gifts like bread in a nice container or a "gift in a jar" are very nice, inexpensive, thoughtful gifts. It’s fun to work together as a family to do the baking and wrapping, too. Every year, my kids and I get out the chocolate molds and make a mug full of holiday-themed chocolate pretzel sticks for their teachers.

A whole-class handprint gift.

These are fun to make and a nice tangible memory of the year’s class. Some of the more memorable treasured gifts I’ve gotten in the past include a recycled canvas bag with all my students’ names and hand-prints and a beautiful quilt put together using linen squares with handprints and names.

Flowers, a plant or seeds for a garden.

Flowers can really brighten up a teacher’s desk and mood and they’re portable enough to come home at the end of the day. A plant or seeds for a garden may take a little longer to bloom, but they can be annual reminders of your child. (If your child’s teacher has a green thumb, that is!)


All right, this one might just be me, but I love having a small box of chocolate, some chocolate cookies or another little sweet to help me get through the holiday classroom (and home) crazies.

A gift certificate,

A gift certificate to a bookstore, office supply store, restaurant, coffee shop, Bath & Body Works...OK, you get the point. A gift card is a greatly appreciated gift. It doesn’t have to be large, it shows you're thinking of the teacher and it can either be to supplement the out-of-pocket costs for the classroom or to give your child’s teacher a well-deserved treat.

Donations to the classroom library or gift certificate to Scholastic Book Club.

Every teacher I’ve ever known spends hours and hours browsing through the book order or the children’s department at the local bookstore. Make your child’s teacher’s holiday a little better and her money go further by donating to the literary cause.

A genuine offer to help with classroom or lesson prep work.

Just an hour or two can make a huge difference. Offer to do a round of photocopying or to type the student’s stories on the computer. Put up a bulletin board or two. All teachers have a bunch of little things they’re more than happy to give up to a willing volunteer!

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