15+ Foolproof Gifts for Teachers: Plus Dos and Don’ts Tips

Posted on | 11 Comments

Looking for gifts for teachers in your life? It can be tricky trying to find school teacher and preschool teacher gifts that they will love that are within your budget – especially when you are buying for multiple teachers! Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift, something for teacher appreciation week, or an end-of-the-school-year celebration gift, our readers came through with some thoughtful gifts and great ideas.

What gifts do teachers want?

Want to Buy Your Child’s Teacher an Awesome Gift and Skip the Reading? Choose one of these gifts!

This post contains Amazon Associate links.

Teacher & Preschool Teacher Gifts: The Do’s and Don’ts of Gift Giving

How do you show your gratitude to the person who spends half their day with your child? The person who is helping mold your child into a future doctor, engineer, leader of the free world, or the next generation of teachers. Sometimes it’s hard to know just what to get for someone who does so much for your children.

What do teachers really want for gifts? We asked local teachers to tell us about some of the gifts they’ve received from students that were their favorites. They also gave us some suggestions for things that would bring them joy for the holidays, such as an end-of-the-year teacher thank you gift or any other time you feel like doing something to make them smile.

Amazon Gift Cards are a Definite DO!

Give your child’s teacher an Amazon gift card, and they can pretty much buy anything their heart desires. It’s one gift card you know they will absolutely use, probably before the end of the day.

Caffeine is a Definite DO!

Just like most parents need that morning jolt of coffee in the morning, teachers do too! Imagine rolling out of bed, heading to work, and having to be a mom/nurse/counselor/mentor/tutor to twenty or more kids? Just thinking about it makes me need a shot of espresso!

I remember when one of my son’s former teachers posted on Facebook that due to a power outage at home, she hadn’t gotten any morning coffee. She was panicked!

I sent my son in with a brand-new bottle of coffee concentrate that she could keep on her desk for emergencies. If your teacher has a pod-style coffee maker in her class, the refills for those are a great gift to consider!

Even better would be a set of reusable pod cartridges and some fresh ground coffee from a local roaster to fill them with. Bridge City Coffee offers a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly coffee club that you could team up with other parents to provide if your teacher is a real coffeeholic!

Coffee gift cards were always my favorite.

Kidding Around Contributor and Teacher, Maria

Gift Cards, Bags of Coffee. Maybe even a gift card to a local place that you have checked out in your discoveries.


Do NOT Gift Coffee Mugs

While we’re on the subject of coffee and drinks, let’s talk about a few Don’ts when it comes to teachers and gift-giving. Unless you are certain that your child’s teacher is the exception to this rule – DO NOT gift a teacher a coffee mug, Tervis-style tumbler, or water bottle. They all have all the drinking vessels their kitchen cabinets can hold and thank you in advance for your restraint.

I understand you’re not sure your child’s teacher will know how you feel unless you buy that “#1 Teacher” mug. They will, I promise. Just buy something to go inside the mug they already have and they will love you for it.

Coffee Gifts For Teachers

Add these coffee gifts to your cart now, and make your teacher gift-giving easier this year!

Help your child’s teacher fix the perfect cup of coffee with this Coffee Syrups Gift Set.

Take your teacher on a trip around the world with this coffee sampler in a cute book package.

Not sure what flavor of coffee your child’s teacher loves the most? This Gourmet Ground Coffee Variety Pack is the perfect gift with 8 different flavors.

DO Gift Teachers Something Handmade by Your Child

It might surprise you that teachers love getting homemade gifts from their kids just like parents do. That special little ornament or card that a student made just for them, is something they will cherish for a long time.

If you aren’t crafty, the folks at Greenville’s Color Clay Cafe or Spartanburg’s Hearts of Clay can help your child find the perfect ornament or another memento to decorate and personalize. They are affordable, which is a great way to get something for all the teachers in your child’s life without breaking the bank.

The best gifts are those that students make or pick out themselves. It makes them proud to show their teacher something they have done for them. My advice to parents : let the kids pick.


A handmade card or personal note from the parent about how I have helped their child in some way


I once received a little hand print ornament from a student. Twenty years later, I still hang that in my classroom by my desk.


Kits to Make Homemade Teacher Gifts

Help your kids make terrific homemade cards for their teachers with this Alex DIY Homemade Card Kit.

Make beautiful ornaments for your teacher with this homemade ornament kit.

Holiday Ornaments Are a DO!

Ornaments are a perfect gift to give. They are compact and not terribly expensive. The value of these gifts is in the memories they will hold of your child’s time with that teacher. I’ve talked to veteran teachers who put up additional trees in their homes to display the ornaments they’ve received over the years.

Jamie M. gave me a tiny homemade elf my first year of teaching, and I still use it to decorate with every year. Christmas ornaments are great mementos too. They allow me to revisit a special person or time, every year at Christmas.


I love an ornament that’s personalized to remember the student. I still have one from one of my students who is now 21! I also love a handwritten note! Of course gift cards are fun and all teachers love bags of all kinds!

Amy D.

Some of my most memorable gifts were Christmas ornaments. Each year I get them out and think of that child.


Ornaments to Give Your Child’s Teacher

This pack of 8 Teacher Ornaments is a very economical way to give all your child’s teachers a little holiday cheer.

The Personalized Teacher Ornament is perfect for any teacher of any subject or any grade. Personalized gifts of any kind are always a good idea.

DO Bring Chocolate & Other Yummy Treats

Things to snack on during the day are almost always welcomed by teachers! If you love baking, why not make a batch of cookies or brownies with your child to give to their teacher? If you aren’t handy in the kitchen, or just don’t have the time, it’s ok. There are plenty of options to help you shower them with goodies or a sweet treat.

Some delicious hot cocoa bombs are affordable and chocolate! Two of my favorite things.

Even more, fun, if your family has a special food tradition, you might consider sharing that with your child’s teacher, along with the recipe as a keepsake.

You may want to forego the homemade goodies and grab something pre-packaged from a local bakery or chocolatier such as LaRue Fine Chocolates, Kilwins, or Swamp Rabbit Cafe. You can also find delicious chocolates at The Shoppes Off Trade in Greer, SC.

I had twin girls from Louisiana. They gave me hot sauce and Cajun foods, chips, cookies, ornaments and hot peppers. Even the card they gave me was Cajun!

Amy W.

A few years ago, a student brought me a jar of chocolate covered coffee beans. The child had beautifully decorated the jar and they filled it with my favorite chocolate snack! That was probably the most memorable gift I ever received. It was something the child had helped to make, something they knew I loved PLUS and extra kick of caffeine on mornings I needed it.


Chocolate and Sweet Gifts for Teachers

Here are a couple of delicious treats your child’s teacher will love!

These Chocolate Covered Cookies Gift Box would be a delicious treat for your child’s teacher.

Have a teacher who doesn’t like chocolate? Give the gift of something sweet with these Sea Salt Caramels.

A Definite DO To Consider: Pamper Your Teacher!

You know that classroom mom group text that you use to freak out over projects that your child forgot to tell you about and now it’s 8 pm and it’s due tomorrow? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Well, what if you used it for organizing an awesome group gift for your child’s teacher?

A $70 gift would be way too extravagant for the majority of our holiday gift-giving budgets. However, you can collaborate with several other families and split the cost of it.

Just imagine how happy and relaxed your child’s teacher would be after spending an hour at a place like Drift Float Spa! A spa treatment here will even get your child’s teacher ready to face another standardized testing week, it’s that awesome.

For a beloved or favorite teacher, this is the way to go and will absolutely be one of their favorite gifts! Plus, a gift of pampering will be great for preschool teacher through high school teachers, because we all know how draining being around tens to hundreds of kids all day can become.

Perhaps a gift card for a meal out at a nice restaurant downtown? (Tip: Email them and ask what their favorite restaurants are… get them a gift card to one of their favorites!). Or if they are history buffs, the Greenville History Tour Chef’s Table experience would cost very little if split among the class, but I assure you it would be an experience they’d not soon forget.

And honestly—a lot of teachers want gift cards to places like Amazon and Target.

Trust me; teachers don’t expect extravagant gifts like this. But that would make it all that much better to surprise them with a nice relaxing spa treatment or meal.

Pampering Gifts for Teachers

At-Home Spa Kit

Cozy, Fuzzy Socks

Soft Snowflake Blanket

DON’T Buy School Supplies or Office Supplies

Teachers are selfless creatures. A knee-jerk reaction for most teachers is to think, “What do I need for the classroom?” Please don’t use gifts as an opportunity to stock the classroom with stuff from the Amazon class wish list.

All those cute apple-themed stationery sets? Leave them at the store, along with the paperweights.

Thank a teacher with something, just for them. I’m not saying don’t try to help keep your kid’s classroom stocked with crayons, scissors, pencils, and everything else. Just try to help out with that outside of a gift-giving opportunity.

DO Proceed With Caution: Alcohol-Based Gifts

I’m not encouraging you to run out and buy your child’s teacher alcohol. However, when multiple teachers jokingly included it when we asked I figured I’d include it in the suggestions. This all depends on how well you know the teacher and if you think it would be appropriate or not.

As a teacher, one of my most memorable gifts was from a parent who gave me a bottle of sparkling wine and a box of chocolates with a funny note.

Most memorable, not purchased gift is hard, but definitley got a tequila shot set and about died


Once a parent got me a bottle of wine and a recipe book, I thought it was really thoughtful and I still use that recipe book ten years later!


Local Gifts are a DO! Greenville Local Restaurants and Businesses with E-Gift Cards

If your child is a virtual student or maybe you remembered to buy a teacher gift at the last possible moment, check out our List of Local Gift Cards That You Can E-mail Your Child’s Teacher. Bonus: you’ll get to support a local business!

You can also gift your teacher an experience! These Local Experience Gifts for Greenville, SC will give them the opportunity to venture out and explore the city.

A Gift You Know Teachers Will Love

If you’ve had time to get to know the teacher, you might have learned something about them to aid in gift-giving. Are they huge Clemson fans? Then grab a personalized gift with the team colors. Most teachers mentioned personalized items.

Smack a monogram on something, and you’ve got teacher gift-giving gold! Maybe a garden-size flag personalized with their name for their classroom? We gave my son’s teacher one year a full-size Clemson flag with her last name on it to hang in her classroom, and it was a huge hit.

Gift cards are always nice. But a soft fuzzy blanket was one of my favorite things. Christmas ornaments that remind you of the student in some way. Something personalized.


Anything personal that has to do with the student – pictures of us together, or maybe something specific for my desk.


Support the Classroom

Remember, the best gift you can give a teacher is your support. Even if you don’t have time to volunteer in the class, there are ways to support your child’s teacher in other ways. I once organized my child’s class holiday party and came in to see it through to the clean-up. I didn’t have money that year to buy the teacher a gift and apologize.

She told me that just waking up the last week of school knowing she wouldn’t have to worry about the class party, was the best gift I could have given her. If you are looking for a way to show your appreciation by helping out, we’ve also written about more ways to support your child’s teacher in the classroom.

I hope this helps you decide what to do to show your appreciation to this special person in your child’s life. It truly is a labor of love and something your child has made with love is never a bad idea.

What teacher gift-giving ideas have you had that were a huge hit? Let us know!

Do you have more suggestions of things that make great (or not-so-great) teachers’ gifts? Let us know in the comments!

parks with swings
About the Author
How does Kidding Around® bring readers high-quality and up-to-date content month after month and season after season? We have a dedicated team of writers and editors who regularly update our fabulous content to keep it current and relevant for our readers. This team combs lists of events, heads out into the community to experience new Upstate offerings, and communicates with local businesses. Many of our updated articles and event lists, like this one, reflect the contributions and hard work of multiple Kidding Around® team members.

Sign up for our email newsletter.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kelly F.
8 years ago

During the week of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, my son’s teacher casually mentioned that “Oh the places you’ll go” was one of her favorite books. I went on Etsy and purchased a print of a quote from the book. I’ve mod podged it onto canvas and added a matching bow to hang it from! It was her gift for Teacher of the Year!

8 years ago
Reply to  Kelly F.

What a great idea, Kelly!

8 years ago

Never underestimate the power of a heartfelt thank you. Write a thank you card to your child’s teacher and write a letter of commendation/appreciation about said teacher to the principal. You have no idea how much this means to a teacher!

8 years ago
Reply to  Haley D.

Yes!!! I have a binder specifically for these! The spine says “Reasons To Keep Teaching”…. you know, for those days we all have where we wonder why we keep on. lol

3 years ago
Reply to  Haley D.

I feel like this would be especially well received this year.

8 years ago

Please no homemade food. I taught jr. high and high school, so I didn’t usually get gifts. My dad taught jr. high for 35 years. Occasionally, he’d get some homemade food. He was always grateful, but he only ate it if he knew the parent and knew they had made it. Believe it or not, there are some teenagers who think it’s funny to bring a teacher ex lax cookies. Personally, I loved any gift I got even if it wasn’t “individualized”. I actually still have a pencil holder made from a tin can and construction paper that one of… Read more »

8 years ago
Reply to  Amber

I totally think that one WAS personalized, Amber! It was personalized because it was made especially for YOU by what that kid had to offer you. Anything a kid made is always awesome regardless of the materials!

Unless it’s a stuffed animal that smells like a catbox…. then it’s not necessarily awesome. lol 😉

8 years ago

I’d add, don’t forget the “other” teachers your children might have. Like a previous poster mentioned, most of the time it’s the home room teachers and sometimes related arts teachers but also remember the resource teachers, speech therapists, challenge teachers of your child received instruction from one of these kinds of teachers!

8 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

For sure!!! They spend HOURS in the fall and spring staying til 6 doing IEP meetings and making sure our kids get the accommodations they need!!!

Sheri B
7 years ago

I am not a teacher but have been a room parent for over 25 yrs and I can say a teachers job is far more appreciated than most parents think. These people take care of our children keep order amongst them enough to teach them each and every day. Being in the classroom a lot I realize just how much they truly do for our students. Many of them have little to no support from parents, children always short on supplies, and work extra time before and after school to ensure our students get the maximum of resources they can… Read more »

Ann R
6 years ago

I bought a popcorn box w/red and white stripes and filled it with Theatre size candy (her favorites) put a microwave popcorn bag and got her a gift certificate for the movies.