Here are just a few ideas to add to a nice teacher gift bag or basket. Remember we want to put things in here that are consumable--the teacher will USE them versus dusting them or regifting them. What other ideas do you have?
#1 Thank you note: Handwritten by child, parent or both.
This note can be a plain piece of paper that your child folds in half and draws a picture on the front of. It can also be a homemade card you made or something from the local card store. Which one is cheapest? The plain piece of paper folded in half. Which one does the teacher want? The plain piece of paper folded in half with a drawing by your child and an appreciative note from you. Practically free!
#2 Teacher's favorite candy or lotion.
Notice, I did not say your favorite candy or the newest scented lotion you love to give out on this special occasion. It is so wonderful that you'd like to do that for the teacher, but instead take one extra minute and print this out. Hand it to your child's teacher or send it in their folder/backpack (whatever your communication system is with school) with a note that says, "Please fill this out and return it back to me. I'd love to know more about you!" Or "I'm working on a little surprise for you. Please return.) You'll enjoy knowing you spent your hard-earned money on what they like and they will too.
I say this with love, because I personally know people that are allergic to nuts, chocolate, milk and whatever they use to make card candies that are sugar-free. If I smell any type of lotion or hand soap that is scented with anything remotely floral, I will be sneezing nonstop for the rest of the day and will probably get a headache. I know you would feel awful if that happened.
#4 Hand sanitizer
There is never enough of this to go around...and look at this cute guy! The kids can't help but see this cute little guy sitting next to the tissue box!
PURELL® 9600-PL1 Pal
#5 A very small or very large gift card. If you are buying a gift card just from your family, do what you can afford. No teacher wants a family to spend outside of their limits. Now if you're pulling up to school every morning in your fully-paid-for Escalade, by all means spend what you'd like. Another great option is to get together with a few other parents in the classroom and each put a few dollars together to get a nice gift card.
I was at OfficeMax this weekend buying some extra Pentel pens and there was a rack near the checkout filled with every gift card you could possibly want. The Visa gift card I turned over--thinking that would be nice and versatile--said "$3.95 fee will be added at the checkout." Crazy!
All of these gift cards below have free shipping, no fee and no expiration date. I don't have to drive anywhere to get it and no ridiculous fee. Saved gas money + saved time= Happy parent and happy teacher!
Best Buy GC $5 Gift Card
Borders Gift Card $25
Kitchen Collection and Gadgets and More Gift Card