Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas (No Crafting Ability Required)

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, with Tuesday, May 6th being National Teacher Day. Some schools choose to celebrate their teachers closer to the end of the year, but either way, it’s time to think about teacher appreciation gifts.

While I sometimes try my hand at crafts, it’s not my strong suit and most likely not something that I should give to anyone as a gift. And as a former teacher, I know some of the teacher gifts that I most appreciated.

teacher appreciation gift ideas

Beach bag: Our town is close to the beach, so it’s a pretty safe bet that beach gear is a hit around here. This is what I put together for last year’s teachers(admittedly, I went a bit overboard because my boys had outstanding teachers. This could be pared down a bit if you’d like but you can see the full list of what I put into this beach bag in last year’s Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea post)

teacher appreciation gift ideas

A Cup of Thanks: One year, I bought the boys’ teachers Tervis Cups(make sure you look for Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons- they let you use multiples and the store near us even accepts expired ones, so try that!) and filled them with a mix of individual drink packets. If you want to do something extra, you could add a gift card to the cup as well(I didn’t because we had so many teachers to buy for). You can see more detail on that Teacher Appreciation Gifts post.
teacher appreciation gift ideas

Movie Night: Put together a bowl or bag of movie treats: popcorn, candy, etc. Add in a gift card to the movie theater or to Redbox. I found cute popcorn-themed containers and bowls in the dollar section of Target and in Michael’s.

teacher appreciation gift ideas

Movie Night (Specials teacher edition): Our kids not only have their regular classroom teachers and assistants, but they have their music, PE, art, etc. teachers. My budget won’t allow for huge gifts for all of those, but I want to give them some token of thanks. On Redbox.com, in their gift area, you can choose to “send Redbox Promo Codes Online.” Choose which bundle fits (I’m going with the 10 for $12). Now send them to yourself because you can split these up by giving out the codes individually.  Buy either popcorn or candy and attach a tag with the promo code for the free movie on it. Easy to make one like this one below in PicMonkey or you can use mine and write the code on it and have your child sign it. Skip to My Lou has a big list of simple gifts like this(only with clever sayings, unlike mine!) that would be perfect for the Specials teachers.

teacher appreciation gift ideas

Gift Cards: to a restaurant, a spa, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, a Visa gift card, etc. to let them pick their own gift or buy what they need for their classroom. Here are some adorable and funny printables to go with your gift card.

Bring Lunch: Pick a day and let the teacher know ahead of time that you will be bringing them lunch. Either specify a place or give a choice of two and then ask what they’d like. If your school is like ours where the teacher has lunch duty and eats with the kids, bonus points if you bring the lunch AND take their lunch duty. A parent did this for me years ago and it’s one of the most memorable gifts I received.

Thank You Card: Don’t underestimate the power of thanking the teacher. Another of my most memorable gifts was one where the mom gushed about how much her daughter had grown in my classroom.

For more Teacher Appreciation Gift ideas, be sure to follow my Pinterest Boards, where I have hundreds more ideas!

What are your favorite Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas?


  1. Cynedra says

    Last year, I bought some flower pots at Lowe’s, wrote (with a paint pen) all the students’ names on the outside of it and put a homegrown aloe plant in it.  The teacher’s love it and it cost very little (which is all I have).   One of my son’s teachers from last year is still gushing about it.  I saved that for the end of the year and sent letters to them for Teacher Appreciation week.  

  2. says

    Great ideas. We usually do a gift at the end of the year so I love the beach bag for that but I might do the red box and a card for teacher appreciation day, seriously the splitting up of the Red Box codes is genius. 
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    • Shell says

      We’re doing a lunch for the elementary and breakfast for the preschool. Lots of cooking and baking to do this week! 

  3. says

    Great ideas!  Our teacher appreciation week is actually this week.  The school handed out ideas for every day, just small little themes for each day..but well yea I have been a slacker and so am just going to bring something big on Friday..now to decide what. 
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  4. Dina says

    These are all such great ideas. I love the thought of bringing her lunch and taking her lunch duty.

  5. says

    You do have cute ideas. It’s about to be teacher week here and the parents are asked to donate one food item each morning for a big lunch the teachers get to enjoy. It lasts all week long. I like it. :)

  6. says

    I’m glad you mentioned this. My daughter “graduates” from preschool at the end of May and I need to find something for her teacher. 

    • Shell says

      Gift cards are such a great idea! I did the cups one year when I was working with a smaller budget and had so many to give to. 

  7. says

    I am totally not a crafty mom, so thank you for all of these great suggestions. And the reminder that it’s Teacher Appreciation Week next week. I usually don’t know this stuff until it’s almost over!