It is teacher appreciation week. No, I'm only joking. They actually have a Teacher Appreciation Week in the US, but here in the UK most teachers say they prefer to get a card or something home made, if you feel obliged to give an end of year gift at all.
Trawling through the internet for ideas along those lines, that were also really easy to do, I came across a lot of great stuff on US sites. Like the one above. What a great idea, a twist on the fruit basket idea right? Perfect. But if you visit the site, The Cul-De-Sac, you'll find that tied to each apple is an Apple gift card! APP-solutely - geddit?
Possibly a great idea if you'd doing the class collection thing. But if, like me, you manage to have this end of the school year thing sneak up on you every year (surely they should give us more warning) and have to put together some sort of thank you for the kids' teachers with only two days to go, then these ideas are for you!
Here's how to avoid the trap of spending lots on a bottle of wine or box of chocolates (although to be fair, that's by far the easiest option), and looking like you've put in a lot of effort.
The Pencil Vase
The Pencil Vase is an idea I found all over the internet. Simple, but effective. And also useful. There are two variations. The vase above, from the Snippets Craft Boutique blog uses a glass vase, with the pencils adhered to the vase with a hot glue gun. Other's stick the pencils on to a tin can. It can then work as a vase, or as a stationary holder.
The alternative is to do the same thing - pencils around the vase. But then hold the pencils in place using a rubber band at the top and bottom, and cover that with a ribbon. It then works as a classroom supply too.
Which brings me to the next biggest 'idea' for teacher gifts. Classroom supplies. Looking at forums where teachers are asked what they'd most like to get, many ask for classroom supplies, especially Pritt sticks. While the 'cake' idea above from Three Pugs and a Baby is a little bit over the top, and expensive given they've used papier mache boxes bought from a craft store, it is an easy idea to adapt.
Supplies could go in a bucket, instead of the apples above, or in a basket as a sort of hamper. I've done this before, and taken the hamper into my local florists to get it wrapped in florists cellophone (which they charge a little bit for, not much).
Or you could use different sized boxes of tissues for the tiers, and wrap the stationary around that.
I love this idea. Simple, and potentially very cheap. I've got a tin of blackboard paint at home, and many people do. You could either buy a cheap frame from a shop like Ikea or Wilkinson. Or use a second hand frame from a charity shop.
Take out the glass, paint it with chalkboard paint, and you might also want to paint the frame with something too if it is a bit tatty. Then have the kids write a message to the teacher on the board.
What I liked about this idea is that it is adaptable, and can be used to present the teacher with anything from home made fudge to a coffee shop gift voucher. There's plenty of presentation ideas at the Lisa Storms blog. She suggests including a hand drawn picture by the child, and/or a note as well.
Do you give end of year presents to teachers, and if so what do you give them?