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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teacher Gift That's Actually Useful

'As a former teacher, let me tell you how many "teacher" type gifts I was given. Mugs, ornaments, random knickknacks.

Oh, how cute.

And useless.

Yes, here is where I sound like an ungrateful brat. But, really, unless the teacher is a first-year newbie, they probably already have all of that stuff. I was gifted with all that stuff when I was a student teacher and it was cute then, but after that, notsomuch.

I thought it was really nice any time any of my students thought to give me a gift, though.

And some of my favorite gifts didn't cost anything, like the parents who arranged to take my lunch duty for a week as a gift for teacher appreciation week or the mom who wrote me a four page handwritten letter thanking me for all that I did for her daughter.


There were some really good gifts that cost some serious money, too. Woohoo on spa gift certificates for a whole day of pampering and a beach bag full of everything you could possibly need for a day at the beach.

So now that I'm a parent, I feel the pressure to come up with a good gift for my boys' teachers.

I don't have serious cash to throw around, so I have to figure out how to do something nice for not very much money.

Due to all the germ-madness this year, this is what I came up with:

A Germ-Busting Bucket!

Forgive the craptastic job on the tissue paper- I really need to fix that.

I had three teachers to buy for.
Inside each bucket is:

Lysol sanitizing wipes- $2.92 x 3

Big bottle of GermX instant hand sanitizer- $1.98 x 3

Bottle of Chewable Vitamin C- $2 x 3 (found that bargain at Wally World)

Travel-size kleenx-$.99 for a pack of three

5 bags of Yogi brand tea: Cold Season $4.42 for one box, that I split in 3

On the sparkly tag, I wrote "Miss (insert teacher's name here)'s Germ-Busting Bucket."

So, that's three teacher gifts of something that I think they will actually use, for just over $20 total.

Um, not counting the buckets($2.50 each at Wally World- they have a cute lid with a snowflake on it), tissue paper, and the sparkly tags, which bring my total closer to $30. But, by the time that I was shopping for those items, I had picked up the older two from preschool and had three kids shopping with me, so I went for whatever I saw that I thought was reasonable, instead of shopping around for a better deal.

Feel free to steal this idea for your kids' teachers!

I think this is the wordiest I've been on a Wordful Wednesday.

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Blogger Sara said...

How cute! I love that idea!

December 16, 2009 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Meg @ Higgins Happenings said...

That's such a wonderful Idea! I have been searching for something for my sons Prek teacher! This is much better than a "Teacher" ornament!! Thanks for the share!

December 16, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is such a genius idea.

I agree that you can only get so many "World's Best Teacher" mugs before the novelty wears off. If you had 20 kids in your class and taught for 3 years, and only 50% of them brought in mugs, you'd wind up with 30 of them... who needs 30 mugs?

Now, if someone will kindly remind me of this when it comes time for me to buy gifts for my kids' teachers...

December 16, 2009 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

I never thought to get inside info from a teacher!!! This is terrific!

December 16, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

I wish I had known you when I was doing teacher gifts! (Will you go back to the classroom someday, do you think?)

December 16, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

Very cool. I was going to do personalized bottles of hand sanitizer, but since I can't personalize them myself, I had to order them and it got pricey with shipping. Sooo, I went ahead and made treats for all the "before care", "daycare", etc. teachers and am getting Buddy's kindergarten teacher a gift certificate to a nice restaurant in town.

December 16, 2009 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

The thought behind it is always great, but a teacher can only have so many knick-knacks.

This is an awesome gift idea! I wish I didn't already have teacher gifts because I would definitely do this!

December 16, 2009 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Amy @ Marvelous Mommy said...

Great idea! Very cute!


December 16, 2009 at 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome gift for teachers!

December 16, 2009 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Sherean said...

My sister is a teacher, too, and I've heard the same "gripes" for years. One year her students made her a quilt; each "square" was a handprint from each student. That was sweet and I believe she still has that hanging up somewhere. I LOVE YOUR GERM BUCKET idea! It's cute, clever and useful. Would be a good gift for just about anyone! - Sherean (www.randomneuralfirings.net)

December 16, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Curious said...

I need one of those for my purse! What a cute idea!

December 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

I'm stealing your idea! I've been trying to come up with something for weeks. I didn't want to give my daughter's teacher a useless knick knack that will collect dust but I was stumped!


December 16, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger glitterbygrammie said...

That is a great idea. I just showed it to my daughter who is a teaching assistant in the special needs pre-school and she says the wipes are the best idea ever.

December 16, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Vodka Logic said...

I'm with blueviolet [as I usually am following her around the blogophere].

Now you tell me... my kids are done with the teacher gift giving

December 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Mandee said...

I actually posted the question "What do you buy for your kids' teachers?" on my personal facebook page this morning and was going to post about it as well. I'm so glad you posted this! I was thinking of baking this year, but really don't know how teachers like that either.

December 16, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

Great idea! and useful too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

December 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Corrie Howe said...

Great idea! I'd seen Christmas themed Hand sanitizers on another site which I liked.

December 16, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger becca said...

Love it. I'd be worried the teachers would think I don't think they're class is clean enough (because I tend to OVERTHINK everything!) but I love it. I always try to think of something creative... this is a winner.

December 16, 2009 at 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


wonderful idea...

December 16, 2009 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Suburban Scream said...

Shit. *Adding teacher gifts to my to-do list now*

Thanks for the awesome idea! And the reminder.

December 16, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Foursons said...

It is a great gift! I need to post what I finally decided on for our teachers.

December 16, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im not a teacher, but I would love that gift;)

December 16, 2009 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger carissajade said...

Germ bucket would be a great gift for ANYONE! I need one of those!

December 16, 2009 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That is a WONDERFUL idea, and I just may steal it! Thank you so much for sharing.

December 16, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I will have to remember this for next year.

December 16, 2009 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Anti-Supermom said...

So Henry's school just had me donate money - and that goes to some large gift that I didn't have to purchase, wrap or present. I thought it was fabulous!!

But, I will totally use this idea for Wu's preschool next year! Thanks in advance.

December 16, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Karin Katherine said...

I bet your gift is a hit with your children's teachers! Good job!

December 16, 2009 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

That is an awesome gift Shell! Aren't you thoughtful! :D

December 16, 2009 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Can I have your child in my class? I never get cool gifts like that!

December 16, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Chatterbox said...

simply superb ideas :)
Thanks a bunch for sharing these handy tips.

Good thinking with great value. Wow!!


December 16, 2009 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Kari said...

Saw your comment on Foursons (I think) and came by to check out your teacher gift! Good idea!!! Was reading through your blog - making me laugh. I'm totally going to steal your word 'Craptastic'. Love it! :o)

I do believe you have a new follower :o)

December 16, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger InspiredDreamer said...

Wow, that's awesome!!! I remember my mom agonizing over spending $40 to join the gift pool every year, or buying her own present, even though it meant trying to decide between a mug and a mug. I'll have to remember this idea for when I have kids... or maybe do something like an "after-work care package," with tylenol, an eye mask, and some nice foot lotion. :)

Have an Extraordinary Day you creative lady, you! :)

December 17, 2009 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Working Mommy said...

Great idea!! Thankfully my mom was quite crafty and gave each one of my teachers a quilt (I was private school so I only ever had one teacher). Those teachers KNEW they were getting a quilt once Christmas came and I was in their class...so they usually wouldn't retire or quit until AFTER that point. I'm not as crafty and dreading when it comes time for the babe to go to school!


December 17, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Amber Page Writes said...

That's a great idea! I'll have to steal that someday!

December 17, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Wonderful idea!! I'm about to be a teacher - and I'd take it. Gladly.

December 18, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Tracie said...

Great idea! Post that again next year and I'll do it.

December 23, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I taught for eleven years, and I have to say that's one of the BEST ideas I've ever seen! I will TOTALLY have to bookmark this for when my little one is in school!!! Thanks for letting me know about it in a comment on my blog-- I hope you don't mind if I also post it next year as part of a gift guide!

January 3, 2010 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Again with the archives, but what a fantastic idea.

My Aunt teaches 6th grade and she says the best present she ever got was a beer light, the kid saved up to by it for her and was so proud of this corona light up thing. She still has it...in a closet though.

August 13, 2010 at 5:23 AM  

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