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4 Almost FREE Ways to Say Thank You on National Teacher Day

Use these cute and inexpensive ideas with your kids to make a great thank you gift for their teachers for National Teacher Day!

With National Teacher Day around the corner, many parents and students are trying to come up with fun and meaningful ways to say thank you to their teachers. Although we certainly appreciate all the hard work and time teachers invest into our children's lives, most parents simply can't afford an elaborate gift to express their gratitude. Be encouraged while you read these inspiring ideas for fantastic gifts that will show your appreciation, without breaking the bank!

Ask any teacher and they'll tell you that an encouraging note from a parent or student is the best confirmation of all their hard work. Hand write a letter that highlights something your child has learned in class and your gratefulness for their influence on that skill or behavior. Have your kids draw or write something that they like about their teacher and include it in your letter. This is a great gift because the teacher can keep this and pull it out for encouragement on a day when things haven't gone so well and it takes up virtually no space!

Another thing teachers really appreciate is time. As your gift, ask your child's teacher if there's an event or particularly busy day that you can come and volunteer to help with. Having an extra set of hands and eyes around the class is especially helpful during those hectic moments. It also takes a load of stress off your teachers to know that someone else can help clean up after snack or file those papers.

Nearly FREE!
While most teachers don't have a lot of room for framed artwork, they can certainly keep a picture card of your family! Most drugstores can print up a note card with a picture on it in seconds, and you can personalize it for next to nothing! Another great idea are baked goods! Whether it's cookies, brownies, or even biscotti, a yummy treat is sure to please their taste buds! Even if your teacher doesn't care for the flavor of your baked item, someone around them is sure to make sure those goodies won't go to waste!

If you have a few dollars you can spend, consider buying them stationary or gift cards to their favorite coffee house, bookstore, or ice cream shop. You can also get more creative by making a fruit basket with the produce that's in season from the grocery store. Maybe you'd like to create a movie night box, complete with a bag of popcorn, cans of soda, and theater candy!

Group Gifts
If you have the time and permission from the school, you can organize a group gift by sending letters out to the families in your class. Can everyone chip in $3 to $5 for a spa certificate? Maybe your teacher would prefer a gift card to the local book store or electronics store. Another way to do this is ask your teacher for a "Classroom Supplies Wish List". They can write down things that would really help in the classroom, from pencils and crayons to a painting easel or fish tank. Get that list circulating and see if some of the parents can team up to make some of those wishes come true!

What Not To Get
While teachers really appreciate the knickknacks and figurines, most don't have room for them and have to guiltily donate or throw them away. Unless it's their first or second year of teaching, they don't need anymore mugs and apples telling them they're the best teacher in the world. Another category of items to try to stay away from is candles or perfumed products. It's almost impossible to buy something that will fit their personal tastes, unless you have insider information about the brand and smells they love.

For most families, teachers spend almost as much time with their students as their parents do. Make the most of this opportunity to thank them for their hard work. They probably won't be expecting a gift, but will certainly treasure the time you took to make them feel special. Whatever you decide to do, get your kids involved so they can learn the importance of showing gratitude and enjoy the memories you'll create together!


a April 30th, 2011 9:30 am ET
all good ideas! will do thanks!

Candace April 30th, 2011 9:51 am ET
Excellent advice. Especially about the knickknacks. :-) Most teachers I work with don't need or want more 'stuff'.

NICE April 30th, 2011 10:49 am ET
All good ideas. It's so sad that a teacher spends most of your child's day with them and they get less than you would tip your waitress or waiter.
As a teacher, I can honestly say we really do appreciate a gift card (even a couple of dollars is betters than the knick nacks) I would much rather $5 to the dollar store than another bag, mug, figurine, or pen from there. :) It really is nice just to show your appreciation for the time spent raising and teaching children.

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