DIY teacher gifts from the class? Reader Q+A

Help! We are trying to come up with an end of year DIY teacher gift from the whole classroom for our kindergarten teacher. Something every kid can participate in but won’t require too much work from the parents. I know Cool Mom Picks will have great ideas. Thank you so much! -Margaret B

We totally understand. As easy as it is to just donate some money towards a gift card, there are some teachers who are so special to us that we really want to do something that truly comes from the heart of each and every kid. For those VIT (Very Important Teachers), here are 7 DIY teacher gift ideas from the classroom, that will let teachers know that their hard work all year did not go unnoticed.

1. Turn a whole class’s creativity into a display-worthy piece of art with this Teacher Appreciation Art Project from The Long Thread. Cut out enough of the same shapes for the whole class on thick paper (like butterflies or hearts or stars) and let them color or paint them however they wish. Once assembled and mounted, the many different interpretations come together into something quite beautiful.

 

Teacher gift ideas: Custom class photo book from Blurb

2. A custom photo book from the class is always a perfect gift, and services like Shutterfly and Blurb and Snapfish make it so easy. A few ideas:

3.  Give each kid a page and include one photo of them, along with a quote, like their favorite memory of the school year. (This Blurb book from a preschool is beautifully done.)

4. Ask kids to each illustrate a picture of the teacher and scan them into the book.

5. Take a simple pic of each kid after school using a smartphone and the Photobooth app so each student gets four funny snapshots on each page.

6. Invite the kids to all write on a topic that’s special to the teacher. Here, see how a third grade class shared there take on topic, Love is… but imagine “Dance is…” for a dance teacher, or “Art is…” for an art teacher.

 

Teacher gift ideas: custom notebook

7. You can also make a custom notebook for the teacher, featuring a photo of the entire class on the cover page, or a piece of art made by all the children. The one above from Blurb, but also find affordable options at Minted.

 

Teacher appreciation art fingerprint gift \ Cool Mom PIcks

8. A play on the “family tree” idea, this custom printable for a teacher just needs the class’s fingerprints to finish it up. You can choose to label the fingerprints or not, and even change the colors of the little print, say if you want to distinguish between the AM class and the PM class.

 

art box
9. If you’ve got a little more time and a crafty parent to help out: Scan the kids’ artwork onto sticker paper and adhere to a plain end table, storage box, or even a wooden chair, as seen in this project from Elsa Mora.
Teacher gift ideas: personalized printable poster with quote

10. I also love the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote and imagery on this simple personalized printable which would fit right into a classroom for years afterward. It’s as easy as hitting “print” and finding a suitable frame–perfect if you are really short on time. For a really special touch, decoupage a frame with small bits of artwork from the kids. This tutorial at Lizzy J Designs should help.

 

Memory Jar DIY Gift for teachers from Steamy Kitchen | Cool Mom PIcks
11. I love this super easy idea: A Memory Jar filled with memories from each student. Use colorful squares of paper and place inside a pretty glass jar. On a rough day at school, the teacher can reach inside and be reminded of something wonderful.

Christina

Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford loves homeschooling, running, cool kids’ music, and coffee. Not in that order.

2 Comments

  • Reply December 16, 2012

    anna

    love these thoughtful ideas!

  • Reply June 1, 2013

    Sarah Baldwin

    As a former teacher, I would have so appreciated any one of these thoughtful gifts. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

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