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Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas (with free printable card!)

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Teacher Appreciation Week comes around every year in May as the school year comes to a close, but there is no reason why you can’t treat your teachers to something special at any point in the year. In honor of teachers (daycare teachers included!), I am putting together a list of great Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas to make treating your kid’s teachers a little bit easier – and a cute free printable that your child can fill out for their teacher that is sure to be special!


My daughter isn’t in school yet, but she goes to daycare daily and we get to know her teachers pretty well. I know from my friends who are teachers, and from our wonderful daycare teachers (who have to wipe my daughters bottom regularly) that teachers put up with quite a bit!

My dad is also a middle school teacher and from his stories (and my first-hand knowledge as a middle schooler), I truly believe that there is a special place in heaven for those who choose to teach middle school. Teachers are saints.

And because they are saints, they deserve some pretty great gifts from parents to recognize their sainthood! Use the tips below to help you pick the best gifts for your kids teachers and be sure that it is actually something that they will enjoy (ex: don’t get them a coffee mug – even if it has candy in it).



What is Teacher Appreciation Week?

Teacher Appreciation Week happens during the first full week of May as everyone (aside from daycare teachers) are wrapping up the school year and getting ready for summer. Most schools celebrate the full week, while some schools only make a big deal out of Teacher Appreciation Day, which is the Tuesday of the first full week of May.

Lots of schools will cater lunches for their teachers and ask parents to help by bringing snacks and gifts to recognize teachers all week long.


Does appreciation week apply to daycare teachers too?

Yes! Teacher Appreciation Week does apply to daycare teachers too, and I would say it is even more impactful because your daycare teachers aren’t getting to go on summer break. Those sweet angels will be there all summer season, wiping your toddler’s noses and coming up with crafts for your kids.

I actually like to get gifts for our daycare teachers in the spring and summer or as our daughter switches classes as a way to thank her teachers for all that they do for our family. My daughter loves her daycare and learns so much, and none of that would be possible without her teachers.


Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

So what do you get the men and women who spend all day pouring into your kids? I surveyed quite a few teachers for their responses on gifts ideas that they loved and also didn’t love. And I was a little surprised with some of the results, so I wanted to be sure to share these with you so you can be sure to get your teachers a gift that they will love and appreciate.


Gift Cards

This was the top response from all the teachers surveyed. I had thought that maybe a gift card would seem a little less personal, but the teachers have spoken! Any amount will work ($5 and up).

Be sure to check on their likes and dislikes to make sure you get them a gift card to someplace that they may not use. Our daycare gives us a form that each teacher fills out with their favorite snacks and stores, which is extremely helpful.

I have a good friend who is a teacher and she always has a surplus of Starbucks gift cards that she said she almost can’t even go through before the next Teacher Appreciation Week rolls around. Lots of teachers did say that they love a Starbucks gift card, but Target and Visa gift cards were also a popular response!


Movie Passes

This falls under gift cards a little bit, but one of the common responses was for a “night out”. I put together a movie night pack for our teachers last year using small popcorn tubs that I found at the Target Dollar Spot (you can also find them on Amazon since the Dollar Spot isn’t always consistent), put a pack of popcorn in there and taped a $10 movie theater gift card to it.

Very easy to assemble and gave our teachers the gift of a night out!

Spa Set

Teachers love to be pampered too! Many teachers said that they would love a mani/pedi gift card. You can find a local nail spa and get a gift card for your teachers to get their nails done, or purchase a polish and nice hand lotion for them to get an at-home mani on you.


School Supplies

Many teachers said that they would just love school supplies. Teachers are constantly using their own money to stock their classrooms with school supplies, so this would be a great gift that would certainly go to use.

Getting them a pack of items that contains, Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, pens/pencils, and dry eraser markers would be a great school supply gift!

One of my favorite planner companies just released a special teacher planner and it looks like a perfect gift for a special teacher! The cute design alone hooks me, but it does seem to have everything you need for a perfectly planned school year!

Homemade Card

This was the most surprising of all the responses. SO MANY teachers said that they just love getting homemade cards from their students. They said that it was always so touching to read kind words from their students or the parents about the impact that they were making in kids’ lives.

It was so sweet to hear that the smallest of gestures could mean the most to our teachers.

After reading that, I made a couple fill in the blank cards that my daughter and I can fill out together to give to her teachers this week and I wanted to share them with you too! You can get these free downloads by filling out the form below.

Teacher Gifts to Avoid

There were also a few things that came up as gifts to avoid when giving your teacher appreciation gifts. And one of them is a gift idea that I see recommended all over Pinterest so I am sure many of us have made this gift-giving mistake!


Coffee Mug with Candy

This was the top response as a gift to avoid. Apparently, when teachers get their cherished Starbucks gift card from parents, it usually comes in a coffee mug. Which seems like it would be a cute way to deliver a present, right?

But after you get so many coffee mugs, you don’t know what to do with them all and it becomes one more thing you have to find space for or figure out how to get rid of it. So get them the gift card but skip the mug.

There were also several specific comments from teachers about getting lots of coffee mugs with candy in them. If you do get your teachers candy, be sure that it is a candy or snack that they like!


Restaurant Gift Cards (unless they list a specific place)

A few teachers mentioned not wanting restaurant gift cards. Likely this is due to the fact that they still end up paying when they go out to eat because the gift card doesn’t cover the entire meal or the entire meal for them and their spouse. There are also quite a few restaurants out there, so unless you know your teacher’s favorite spots, avoid this gift card item!


Homemade Treats

I was a little surprised that this was a response for gifts to avoid, but I have a feeling that teachers get so many baked goods during teacher appreciation week and through the end of the school year, that it can almost be too much!

I am sure you make delicious treats, but so do about 20 other moms in your kid’s class, and if they are all bringing something homemade during the same week, there is no way your teacher can consume all of those goodies before they go bad. And the teacher’s lounge will already be full of treats, so your gift will likely go to waste.


RECAP: Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week

There are a lot of ways to spoil your teachers and thank them for all of the hard work they put in each year for the good of your kids!

Most Requested Gifts

  1. Gift Cards (Starbucks, Target, Visa)
  2. Spa Treats
  3. School Supplies
  4. Homemade Cards

Gifts To Avoid:

  1. Coffee Mugs
  2. Restaurant Gift Cards
  3. Homemade Treats


Save this article to your favorite Pinterest board so you can use it for gift ideas next Teacher Appreciation Week! 

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