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7 Great Gift Ideas Your Child's Teacher Will Love

written by: Heidi McIntyre • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 6/6/2012

Finding the right gift for your child's teacher does not have to be difficult. In fact, there are many creative and inexpensive ideas that go beyond the traditional apple or coffee cup. Teachers will especially love that these gifts come from the heart.

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    A Basket Full of Arts

    While a traditional fruit basket may not be too exciting, what teacher wouldn't like a gift basket full of classroom supplies? As a teacher myself, I can appreciate any extra supplies for my classroom. Teachers spend their own money buying and replacing classroom supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons, markers, chalk, paper -- the list goes on.

    Find a nice, inexpensive basket at your local dollar store and fill it with any of the supplies mentioned above. Let your child assist in selecting the items for the gift basket. If you want to make one grand basket from the entire class, ask each parent to bring a school supply for a giant end-of-the-year gift basket.

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    Dinner to Go

    Continuing on the gift basket theme, why not create a basket full of food supplies that will create a fast and delicious meal? Find an inexpensive basket, and let your child help you in selecting meal items that would suffice for an entire meal. For example, if you want to make an Italian meal basket, chose a gourmet pasta sauce, noodles, bread, and a bottle of wine. If you want to make a breakfast basket, buy pancake mix, maple syrup, fruit and juice. Discount food stores like Aldi's have unique gourmet items cheap. You can even include a gift card for a night out. Teachers are sure to enjoy this idea!

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    Stepping Stones For the Garden

    Stepping stones make both a great project and a great gift. Kids can make them at home, and the kits are readily available at stores like JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels. These do-it-yourself stepping stone kits will produce several stones, allowing room for trial and error, or for multiple gifts. Follow the directions on the kit box, and in a few hours you will have a pretty and unique gift. Allow your student to stick his hands into the cement, write a favorite memory, and/or decorate! These inexpensive gifts can capture the true creativity of any student. Moreover, teachers will have a lasting memory of that student etched in stone forever!

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    Canvas Tote With Iron-On Details

    Teachers love a cool and useful tote bag, especially one designed by a student! For this creative gift idea, search craft sores like AC Moore or JoAnn fabrics to find a plain canvas tote bag. AC Moore has iron on details and fabric glue to add to bags and T- shirts, and your student can customize her tote bag for her teacher. At home, iron on the details. Wait at least thirty minutes before moving the bag. Add a custom flare by writing a message with the fabric glue. Again, remember to wait at least thirty minutes before disturbing the tote. If you really want to personalize the bag, look for services that create iron on photos. Teachers love mementos that remind them of a particular school year. Don't forget to add the date!

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    A Scrapbook Full of Memories

    Some of the most thoughtful gifts are those that capture particular moments in time. When finding the right gift for your teacher, take into account that teachers are busy and do not have a lot of time to reflect on the school year until their summer vacations'. Therefore, a classroom scrapbook would be a great gift. All it takes is a class list and a little advance planning.

    Price out a scrapbook and a scrapbook voice recorder, and at the beginning of the school year, contact each child's parent or guardian and ask if they can pitch in to buy the chosen items. Take a picture of your child and his or her classmates on or close to the first day of school. Throughout the year, ask parents who have volunteered as classroom helpers or chaperones, to contribute pictures from classroom activities, field trips or any pictures that are relevant to their child's education. Also, ask all the parents to have their children contribute artwork to make the scrapbook colorful. Scrapbook voice recorders fit snugly into the pages of the scrapbook. Capture each child’s voice by recording a goodbye greeting for your teacher. He or she will thank you for the lasting memories.

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    Create a Weather Emergency Hat Box

    A teacher's job is not restricted to his or her classroom. Whether it's walking students to another building, or bus duty, a teacher is bound to spend a few minutes outdoors each day, and it always seems to rain when you've forgotten your umbrella! Therefore, a hat box filled with inexpensive, neutral colored hats, gloves, scarves and umbrellas may be just the right gift for a busy teacher. Let your child pick out just the right weather supplies. Even better, let your child creatively decorate the hat box. Having an extra umbrella handy is ideal for unexpected rainy days, and your teacher will appreciate your thoughtfulness when he or she has misplaced a glove or a hat.

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    Personal Hand Sanitizer Dispensers

    What teacher doesn't want his or her students to have clean hands, especially when cold and flu season strikes. This inexpensive and creative gift makes an excellent utilitarian gift that your child's teacher will appreciate. Visit any craft store to find clear plastic soap dispensers. While at the craft store, pick up some non-toxic paint. Note - do not buy washable paint as it will wash off the soap container when it becomes wet. Decorate as many soap dispensers as you plan to give with glitter, glue and paint. Fill each with hand sanitizer. Gifting several allows for your teacher to place them strategically around the classroom. Your teacher will appreciate your germ-conscious thoughtfulness, and so will the other parents!

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    Have some gift ideas to share? Leave your suggestions in the comment section at the bottom of this page!