I was in a panic yesterday. After buying a single gift for the Bear’s primary 1st grade teacher over the weekend it suddenly dawned on me that we had nothing for the teacher’s assistant. It was 5:30pm. And school is over in 3 days. And I hadn’t a clue about what to get her.
I rushed to Cool Mom Picks for ideas and found some. Then I tweeted them and was quickly pointed to additional posts they’d written about crafty-cool teacher gifts. A couple of clicks later, I had the idea. The girls and I were off to Target in a flash to create a Teacher’s Survival Kit (hat tip also to Modern Parents Messy Kids and Lisa Storms craft blog for the straw flags!).
These teachers, especially the primary one, are extremely special to the Bear. They’ve been with her for two consecutive years – K and 1 – and for a young lady who craves stability this 2-year rotation was paramount to her comfortable transition from home to school then from Kindergarten to First Grade, as well as her success over the past 24 months. I expect much emotion come Friday. So I wanted to do something nice and really had only three main goals:
- No gift cards (too impersonal)
- Be as thoughtful as possible (the Bear racked her brain for images from the teacher’s desk, lunches and comments made over the past two years)
- Keep it all under $100
Mission Accomplished. In Target I found adorable lined baskets ($7), re-usable BPA-free straw cups ($12), and a too-cute box of odd-sized, eco-friendly designer sticky notes ($7). The baskets were then filled in with sundry items such as my favorite variety of Luna Bar, Chocolate Peppermint Stick (yeah, they’re made for women. so what, I love ‘em too!), a cute pen, bottles of Snapple and SmartWater (faves, as per the Bear), a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts flavored coffee, and single serving bags of trail mix. All total, each basket and it’s contains cost approximately $42.
Now, we did have that single gift for the primary teacher, which when added in puts me over budget. It was a $30 Playmobil Sphinx which might seem strange since it’s for an adult and not a child. Maybe it’ll fall flat but this teacher has been to Egypt and chose to teach about the country, it’s customs, landscapes, and such towards the end of this school year. The Bear got so excited. She hasn’t stopped drawing and reading about Mummies, Pharaohs and Pyramids since (me getting her the Magic Tree House companion research volume on these exact subjects didn’t hurt!). The Bear thought it’d be both funny and helpful to buy her the Sphinx from Playmobil’s Egypt collection, hoping she builds it and uses/displays it in her classroom in a couple of years when she’s teaching a fresh batch of 1st graders about King Tut, Howard Carter and the rest of Egypt.
In the end, our Teacher Survival Kits are better than a gift certificate to a nice restaurant that they may never use and, more importantly, it shows at least a modicum of thought by the Bear and I. Hurray for us! Now excuse me while I stock up on tissues for Friday’s weep-fest.
Do you buy your kid’s teachers gifts? What have you come up this year?