Holiday Gift Guide for Teachers

Are you on the hunt for the perfect gift for your child’s teacher?  Why not make this an educational activity and involve your little learner in the process. You don’t have to break the bank either to show your gratitude.  Teachers appreciate effort, so it’s all about finding a meaningful gift as a small way to say thank you.

I am fortunate to work with some amazing teachers who I polled to get the inside scoop. Here are 7 ideas to consider this holiday season.

DIY gifts from the heart – A teacher will be the first person to say that it’s the thought that counts. They appreciate artwork and mementos from their students. Have your little one prepare a handmade present or card with a thoughtful note. If your little one has culinary flair, try baking holiday treats or giving a hand-written family recipe. Warning, these personalized gifts are known to evoke tears!

Local crafts and treats – Check out your neighbourhood fair to find creative ideas. Canada’s 150th birthday is around the corner and community markets present great teachable moments. Students (and their parents) can meet artisans and entrepreneurs behind the products, while supporting local businesses at the same time. I recently went to Toronto’s One of a Kind Show where it was inspirational to see hundreds of booths representing Canada from coast to coast.

The Toronto Christmas Market in the historic Distillery District is still in full swing until December 22nd. You will want to get bundled up for this outdoor market. One booth not to miss is La Vela Bella featuring handmade candles created in antique teacups, tins and mason jars that can be personalized with messages. Spoiler alert: this is the gift of choice for my son’s incredible daycare teachers.

Candles - la vela bella

Gift cards – You can’t go wrong with gift cards, as they come in all denominations and sizes. They can go towards a teacher’s coffee run, or parents can pool resources and give a larger denomination together. If you are not quite sure where to dedicate your dollars, Indigo and Staples are always safe spots, as teachers love supplies and books!

Ultimate reading accessories – Book accessories are a lot of fun to pick out. I love the Read the North line at Indigo that includes t-shirts and sweaters, and an adorable tote for books or lunches. Perhaps the ultimate affordable luxury and accessory for bookworms is a pair of reading socks.

2016_HOL_OL_ 882709369769_1


Adult colouring books – For the teacher who loves to colour, you can include an adult colouring book. They're a growing trend, as many enthusiasts claim colouring helps them relax and unwind. After all, children are not the only ones who need fun activities over the winter break!


Personalized school items - Teachers strive to keep their students organized, so why not get your child’s teacher a customized agenda, teacher planner, or journal. At Staples you can personalize all of these printed items at attractive price points. When in doubt, you can always get a custom bookmark or a nice mug with a name, class photo or anecdote.


Make a donation - For the teacher who has everything, donate to a cause that is significant to him or her. Looking for inspiration? Unicef Survival Gifts have many educational options that directly help teachers and students across the globe. Some of my favourite options include Train a Teacher and School-in-a-Box, if the entire class wants to fundraise a larger gift in their teacher’s name.

The contents of an open school-in-a-box are displayed, including several materials that bear the UNICEF logo. [# 1 IN SEQUENCE OF NINETEEN] In 2005 in Denmark, schools-in-a-box are stored and assembled at UNICEF Supply Division Headquarters in Copenhagen, the capital. Each box includes supplies for 1 teacher and 80 students. The teacher's components consist of: guidelines for using the school-in-a-box; pens; chalkboard duster; triangles; clocks to teach children how to tell time; markers; flipcharts; scissors; a tape-measure; paint (to convert the inside lid of the box to a blackboard slate); alphabet and multiplication posters; a ruler; a compass; a register book; and English/French decals. Student materials are: crayons; erasers; exercise books; pencils and sharpeners; rulers; slates; children's scissors; and carrier bags. All components are supplied ready-packed in a light-weight metal, lockable, stackable storage box weighing approximately 52 kg.

What would you add to the list?



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Author: Joanne Sallay

Joanne Sallay is the President at Teachers on Call, a personalized home tutoring service with over 30 years of experience, providing one-on-one instruction in all subjects and grades. In addition to regularly blogging about educational news, strategies and books, Joanne is a busy mom of two.

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