The end of the school year is rapidly approaching (yikes!), so the kids and I have been working on teacher gifts. After talking to some of my teacher friends, I know that A) they don’t do it for the gifts and B) the gifts they want at this time of year are probably closer to a bottle of wine than a bottle of hand sanitizer, but when you’re trying to come up with gifts for a dozen teachers and you have a limited budget, well…you do the best you can. Not to mention the fact that I would feel awkward sending my kid to school with a bottle of wine. There’s probably a rule about that somewhere in the handbook.
So in light of that, here are some examples of a few small gifts the kids and I have made to say thank you to the people who have given so much this past year.
Orange Vanilla Sugar Scrub
This is a nice mini spa treatment for your hands. It leaves them feeling soft, and it smells nice also. I use Young Living essential oils because they are my favorite, but any therapeutic grade oil will work.
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil (unrefined works best – use only 1 tablespoon if using fractionated)
4 drops orange essential oil
2 drops vanilla extract
Combine ingredients in a small bowl, mix thoroughly, and spoon into a glass jar with lid.
Teachers are literally on their feet all day, and sometimes have to miss lunch in order to give extra help to students or make phone calls to parents. We decided to make a snack bag for them, with a few different snacks they can grab between classes.
*None of the students in my kids’ classes have peanut allergies. If that is a concern for your child’s class, I would recommend substituting something else in place of nuts. Some options are mini marshmallows, popcorn, pretzels or chocolate chips.
Calming Room Spray/Pillow Mist
I use this at home daily, so the girls and I thought it would be a good addition to our teacher gift repertoire. This particular recipe is one that my oldest uses to spray on her pillow each night before bed. The scents we used are very relaxing, but you can use others if you want a more uplifting aroma.
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops stess away essential oil
1 tablespoon witch hazel
2 ounces distilled water
Combine all ingredients in a small glass spray bottle. I used a 2oz one, but you can adjust the amounts for larger or smaller bottles.
School Supply Basket
Teachers ALWAYS need school supplies. Put a nice collection in a basket (or bucket), add some tissue paper, and you’re done.
Bath Salts/Bath Soak
Similar to the room spray, you can use different oils to make this. The girls wanted to give their teachers something to relax with, which is why we went with lavender and stress away again. Plus, it smells nice.
1/3 cup Epsom salt
1/3 cup kosher salt
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops stress away essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with lid, shake well to mix.
There are so many other ideas out there – if you don’t believe me, check Pinterest! These are just a few we’ve done this year, mostly because I had many of the supplies on hand and the kids really like to take the time to make things themselves. If DIY projects aren’t for you, I imagine teachers probably appreciate a gift certificate to Starbucks just as much!
I cannot say enough complimentary things about all of my children’s teachers. They work so hard, and pour so much love, compassion, encouragement, time and effort into my kids. I’ve seen their faces light up when my baby walks into a room, and watched them bend down to speak quietly when extra instruction is needed. I’ve heard so many sentences that start with, “My teacher said – ” or “My teacher thinks – ” that I can only be grateful that these amazing people are making such an impact and giving so much of themselves to my most precious gifts.
One thing I do know, is that all the teachers I have met – acquaintances, friends and family members alike – don’t do what they do for the wrapped bath salts at the end of the year. They really have a heart for the kids in their classrooms. They WANT those children to succeed, to flourish and to grow. They spend time thinking about them outside of the job, and try their best to find strategies to help each child learn. These gifts don’t really convey how much I appreciate all they do, but they are a little something to say, “I noticed.”
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.