End of term is fast approaching and being an ex teacher myself, I do like to put a bit of effort into the presents I give to the teachers and teaching assistants ( please don't forgot the TAs , they work sooooo hard!). This term my eldest son is leaving primary school to go to secondary and he has been with a fantastic teacher for the past few years so I want to make a special effort with her. I do enjoy shopping around for interesting and unusual gifts that don't cost over £5 - otherwise with 3 children it costs an awful lot each term! I try not to go down the quick box of Roses chocolates route. I think my record one year as a teacher was 16 boxes of chocolates! I didn't eat them all I hasten to add - I shared
some of them.
Gifts I have given so far have included seasonal chutney in a kilner jar at Christmas ( this was a bargain at £3.50), luminous metal book markers, Cath kidston mugs , recyclable shopping bags in the shape of a strawberry, pretty bath salts in a toilet bag ( £2.00 from Boots), pencil cases with named pencils in - the list goes on.
I found this mug this year that my son loves and I am going to fill it with a box of Miles ( made in the Westcountry) tea for one of the male teachers.
A Cath Kidston Mug is always a good one as well - a lovely mug for a fiver - filled with bath salts, a selection of tea or traditional sweets and pretty tissue paper. I have also put a collection of some of the unwanted samples from my beauty box in one - makes a lovely gift and a good use of those products too. I have often got a multi pack of more expensive Cath Kidston soaps and creams and split, mixed and re wrapped them in pretty tissue paper to make them go that bit further.....
I managed to get a 4 pack of owl themed mugs from Tesco today as well for around £5. I spilt these and then added a small present to each one . Not expensive at all, although mugs can also be a overused present given to teachers so make it a pretty one that could be used in the staff room ! It worked out at £1.25 for each mug and then £2.00 for each additional present, so £3.25 per present.
A pretty notepad and some pens or pencils are a nice little gift too - this one was from Wilkinsons - the pencils were 75p and the notepad I think less than £2.00. It really doesn't need to be expensive.
Home made pencil pots by the younger kids , shows they have made some effort and contributed. Or a picture drawn or painted by your child and framed in a simple Ikea frame doesn't cost a lot at all.
I have been inspired this year to have a hunt around the charity shops and see what bargains I can come up with there as well. I am always on the look out for vintage glass jars for my kitchen and thought I could buy some bubble bath, relabel and decant it into some pretty bottles. Or filling some glass jars with pretty bath salts or old fashioned sweets or marshmallows looks lovely too. These ones ( see below) are from Next - the larger is £12 the smaller £6. They are actually sweet containers from my kitchen that I have had for about a year, but an example of the sort of idea I am talking about!
I picked this glass jar up for £2.50 today - just need to fill it ...I'm thinking pretty bath salts for this one?
I found a lovely necklace on line with the word "inspire" that I would love to get for my son's teacher, but I'm too late now and it wouldn't come in time. Lisa Leonards Designs USA
There is so much out there and it only takes a bit of thought and effort and really not much money - even buying a bunch of roses and giving one to each teacher with a ribbon on it shows your appreciation for the effort they put in with your children. I often pick things up when I see them on offer during the year - these packs of shower gels/creams cost me less than £2.00 each, but are ideal little thank you presents.
To wrap the presents I will often get a 5 sheet pack of pretty tissue paper and some raffia ribbon as it works out cheaper, but the cheapest of all is to buy some traditional brown paper on a roll and then get the children to decorate it with drawings or stickers. If you want to be really clever you could pre cut the paper and do some paint designs on beforehand or some splash art and leave to dry before wrapping. Labelling the gifts with luggage labels to match is also a nice touch.
If you really don't want to, or can't spend anything at the moment how about getting the children to write a few lines in a thank you card or letter - as a teacher myself I know you build such close relationships with the children you teach it often brings tears to your eyes when they say a few words of thanks back!
One of the biggest reasons I do this if I am honest is not only to say thank you to all of the staff at the school , but to also reinforce to my children the importance of saying Thank You.
Do you give thank you gifts - what ideas have you had - always looking for fresh inspiration!!?