Ultimate Teacher Gifts & Appreciation Guide

I asked my teacher friends what they would most love to receive as gifts from their students. Well, prepare yourself for a massive curated post of the best gift ideas for every budget and DIY preference.

What gifts do teachers at all levels actually want? Any thoughtful gesture, practical item (including classroom supplies), and personalized item reflecting your teacher’s personality and interests will make the grade.

Believe it or not, my favorite gifts are handwritten letters and personal drawings. “Stuff” gets used, lost, or broken. Letters and drawings go right into my memories binder, which I love looking through on rough days. ♥️


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11+ Memorable Gift Ideas Any Teacher

  • Gift cards top the list! Think about what your teacher would use: a car wash? Movie pass? Starbucks (perennial fav)? A massage?
  • Some sort of practical notebook appropriate for your teacher:
  • Wine!
  • Gift cards to wine stores
  • Other gift cards related to your teacher’s interests
  • A basic toolbox kit, for male and female teachers
  • DIY stationery set
  • Reading socks, with or without funny sayings on the bottom
  • Tea or coffee bags, in a quality thermos
  • Cookie mix for later
  • Tickets to a play or something else you know your teacher likes
  • What’s your teacher’s hobby? Get them something related to that. Even if it’s just a notebook with a golf image on the cover
  • A heart-felt, handwritten card beats out gift cards and wine!
handmade gifts are the best.

Best Gifts for Pre-School and Elementary School Teachers

  1. Holiday tree ornaments, homemade or fancy
  2. Donate games for recess
  3. Super practical: disinfectant wipes
  4. Age-appropriate books for the classroom
  5. Volunteer your time. My grandma used to teach kids (who had fallen behind or were struggling or new to the country) to read
  6. Some teachers actually do like candles, but use your discretion
  7. Spa treatment or massage!
  8. A printable template thank-you note filled out by the student
  9. Chocolates are boring standbys, but some teachers appreciate the re-gifting opportunity. Consider a Hot Chocolate Kit in a fine mug.
  10. Homemade yet practical gifts — a mason jar filled with fresh soup, a thermos with a package of their favourite coffee beans, for example
  11. A bag of pencils, pencil crayons, glue sticks, crafty materials for the kids — even craft ideas are helpful
How about a utilitarian disinfectant gift basket made from Dollar store finds? Perfect for the cold and flu season. From Mamacheaps.com. Download the cute gift tags here

My mom taught elementary school for 35 years. Every Valentine’s Day we would get more chocolate than we could eat, which was nice, but she also got a ton of coffee mugs. She also got so many apple/chalkboard Christmas ornaments that we could have filled two 7.5 foot trees. The best gift she got was a money tree from the whole class with $1 and $5 bills tied on.

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Wanted: Teacher Gifts Under $10 That Don’t Make Me Look Cheap

Prove to your Economics teacher that you understand the long-term compounding value of money, with a discerning gift purchase.

  • GIFT CERTIFICATES: to their favourite local coffee shop or the usual *Bux or Timmy’s
  • Audiobook gift card
  • Stylish reusable grocery bags. Because, why not?
  • An adult colouring book. Especially for your Art Teacher
  • A blank, lined journal with a note from you
  • Essential oils and epsom salts
  • Cool socks. Everybody wears socks.
  • Gift Basket with a gift card related to your teacher’s interests or a theme discussed in class
  • Anything kid-made (by the student, not by a child in a third-world…)
  • Food delivery! “For teacher appreciation week, my second grade student and his mom had a large pepperoni pizza from Domino’s delivered during my lunch time. Pizza is my favorite food of all time. Best gift ever!!” – astewa3
  • Surprisingly, perhaps — supplies or books for the classroom
  • Something that your teacher will utilize — could be a new set of awesome pens, a bag of bird feed and a homemade birdhouse; whatever floats their boat
  • A heartfelt note from you

11 Gifts for Art Teachers

Searching for the best holiday gift or a birthday surprise? Something on this list will please your Art Teacher.

  • A quality tote bag for hauling art supplies around campus.
  • A well-thought gift basket of art tools, specific to your teacher’s field
  • Something fun to add to their collection
  • A photo book of class memories (if your class or school doesn’t have a yearbook, or to supplement it
  • A handwritten letter or card
  • Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, 19th Century Color Guide
  • A gift card to their fav supply store
  • Museum pass
  • Theater tickets
  • A book outside their field, with a note explaining why you want them to read it
  • A meaningful textile or something homemade utilizing what you’ve learned in class

Note: If you are in college/university, it is best to give your teacher or professor the gift AFTER receiving your final grade, so as not to misconstrue the gift’s purpose.

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One-liner Thank You Notes
One-liner Thank You Notes


I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

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