Holiday Teacher Gifts with a School Supply Spin!

By: Joanne Sallay

It’s the season for giving, and the search is on for gifts to express appreciation for the important work teachers do. You may be stumped trying to think of something other than the traditional mug.

If you are looking to be creative yet practical, consider school supplies that can be used for the second half of the school year. Educators often spend money out of pocket to enhance learning for the students they adore. To make this idea a true teachable moment, include your kids in the process. It can be a lot of fun for them to select the items they want to use – and they have expert knowledge on what is needed.

What is on the supply wish list for teachers? I polled my colleagues as well as some Staples Retail Store Associates (they know what teachers buy!) to get the lowdown. Here are 5 suggestions to include in a school supply gift basket this holiday season:

Arts & Crafts
Construction paper, markers, and paint are necessities for everyday projects. Tissue paper, thick pencils, crayons, and glue are also core items for younger grades. These resources are used daily for lessons and activities.

Teacher Essentials
Pads of paper, pens, and pencils are items that always seem to disappear. Why not pick up some replacements? Stationary is also key for all the nice notes teachers like to write and send home. Don’t forget quality equipment like staplers and heavy-duty hole punches for the teacher toolbox.

Little Luxuries
When pooling resources for a group gift, you may consider some more costly supplies that are out of budget. STEM toys and games, electronics, specialty paints, and art supplies are treats for kids and teachers alike.

Personalized Items
If you are looking to do something more tailored, or if your child’s teacher has everything already, consider personalized items including notepads, adult labels, and stamps with custom impressions like “Good Job! – Ms. Smith.”

Gift Cards
You can’t go wrong with this teacher favourite, and it can be included in a gift basket or be a standalone present. This is easy to coordinate for a joint gift, and allows the teacher to buy the correct items for their needs. After all, you may not know the type of pencils they prefer!

Now that you have picked out all your classroom supplies, it’s time to have fun with the presentation by wrapping them up. You can make a gift basket by using a caddy, tote, or desk organizer as the base. Alternatively, if you are looking to create something special, try assembling your gift in the shape of a snowflake or tree to capture the spirit of the winter season.

Most importantly, don’t forget to include a card with personalized note; these are treasured keepsakes!

Joanne Sallay is the President at Teachers on Call, an award-winning home tutoring service providing one-on-one instruction in all subjects and grades. She is a regular education and parenting contributor to major print and online publications, and a mom of two adorable kids who love to try out the books and toys she reviews.

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