Home » Teacher gift ideas – what they really want, and what they don’t!

Teacher gift ideas – what they really want, and what they don’t!

It’s that time of the year when us parents are frantically trying to come up with some good teacher gift ideas. We all do it – leave it to the last minute then don’t know what to buy. But what do teachers REALLY want?

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I can remember having no clue what I should do about gifts for teachers when my eldest was just finishing pre-school, and to be honest it was kind of the same when he finished Foundation. And now a lot of us buy presents for them for Christmas too!

Is it one big present? But what about the other class teacher that he’s had lots of involvement with? And should I give gifts to all the teaching assistants separately too? Help!

I know, I know, the teachers out there would say they don’t expect it, but I’m not about to be the only parent who doesn’t make at least a little bit of effort. 

And this past 18 months with Covid and the dreaded homeschooling, the teachers have been FANTASTIC, haven’t they? So they deserve something half decent, right?

What teacher gift do I buy?

But what exactly are we supposed to give the teachers as an end of year or Christmas gift? 

Seems handmade gifts go down well. But clearly they don’t know me at all if they think that’s a good idea. Nobody would want anything handmade that I’ve been involved in. Believe me.

I’d say wine or chocolates. But then you realise that there are a LOT of kids, and that’s a LOT of wine and chocolate. (Thinking about it, I definitely chose the wrong career…)

*Best Teacher’ mug it is then! Oh wait… Apparently that’s like the SHITTEST thing you can buy a teacher. Can’t possibly think why… 

Wrapped gift boxes
Image by blickpixel on Pixabay

So I’ve asked some fellow bloggers, some of whom are also teachers, what to buy – and more importantly, what NOT to buy. But even this lot seem to disagree. 

What to buy (and not to buy) your child’s teacher

Personalised gifts

Personalised gifts such as *notebooks, pens, stampers, or *keyrings. Or things like handmade jewellery, *thermos coffee cup with lid, a plant in a pot, a *funky USB stick, a nice letter or your child’s favourite book, a *nice bottle of wine, or a picture of the teacher drawn by your child. Things to avoid: chocolate, mugs, body lotion or hand cream, and diaries. www.fuelledbylatte.com

A thermos travel mug makes a great gift for teachers

We always like giving personalised items such as *towels with my kids’ teachers’ names on it. There was one Christmas that we gave their teachers’ personalised gift tags with a cartoon representing them and their names on it too. www.myparentingjourney.com


We often do a voucher for a local coffee shop so they can treat themselves one lunch time. It gives them the choice of what they want to spend it on too. www.twinderelmo.co.uk 

It would be nice for the class to chip in some money each for a voucher that way we don’t get 30 bottles of wine or chocolate etc. www.anklebitersadventures.co.uk

A spa voucher is one of the best presents for mums

What about a cinema voucher, or vouchers for a local restaurant, coffee shop or even a hair or beauty treatment gift voucher? All really great teacher gift ideas. Although the male teachers might not appreciate the beauty salon voucher quite so much, but you never know!

We buy some *nice plastic bags and ribbon and make home-made fudge. Just a few pieces each. My son has always had lovely notes back thanking him and how they’ve shared them with their family. We always pop the ingredients we used on a label on the bag just in case anyone in their family has an allergy to something we’ve used. www.ourbucketlistlives.co.uk

Men like *ties and *socks! My other half is a teacher of Year One and I asked him. www.arosetintedworld.co.uk 

I’m not a teacher but when my daughter left nursery we bought them a *butterfly habitat where they can grown your own butterflies and they still use it now my son is going there. www.mummaandhermonsters.com

As an ex teacher, John Lewis, M&S or *Amazon vouchers were hugely appreciated by all the staff. Also a plant like *lavender or herbs. And *gin! What not to get: chocolates, sweets, biscuits, cakes, smellies, mugs, candles, or socks! The staff room is always full of treats from someone’s birthday so hence no cake, chocolate or sweets. www.flyingwithababy.com

A lavender plant in a purple pot

Personalised notes

A lovely note of appreciation always goes down well and my favourite gifts were always *mini hampers. I’ve done this for my girls’ preschool key workers this year in *personalised pencil cases. They include bits like *lip balms, *hand creams, *face masks, *face cleansing cloths, a *candle and *Kinder chocolates. Without sounding ungrateful, anything with best teacher on it should be avoided. Steer clear from the best teacher mugs, nobody wants one of them and they just clutter up their house. www.mummy2twindividuals.com 

Personalised pencil case makes one of the best teacher presents

I love wine and would be happy with *30 bottles but to prove I’m not a total alcoholic, I also think a personalised gift is special. Like a *lunch bag with your name on, or *drinks bottle but obviously you only need one! Last year I bought the girls’ nursery teachers a *portable phone charger and that went down really well. I hated smellies and chocolate, and whilst I liked flowers I was usually jetting off somewhere ASAP so couldn’t appreciate them. www.popitha.com

Sometimes the preschool/send home a letter of what things they need so *putting a hamper together of these things in preparation for the new intake may be an idea. www.thequeenofcollage.blogspot.com

Dinosaur thank you card for a teacher

More teacher gift ideas to choose from

If your kids’ teacher happens to be leaving to have a baby at the end of term, why not buy them a *Cuddledry towel gift set. (Use code TWINSTANTRUMS for 10% off too!)

How about something off the wall and funky? Have a look at Manly Man Co for some BRILLIANT beef jerky gift ideas. My husband would love them! If only he was a teacher…

I’m thinking of choosing one of these fabulous Temple Spa stocking filler gift sets for our teachers.

Temple spa gift set makes is one of the best teacher gift ideas

A *purse, *wallet or handbag might go down a treat. Or a bespoke gift box from The Little Happiness Company? They even do a special Thank You For Helping Me Grow box which is a great teacher gift idea.

Alcohol is always one of the best teacher gift ideas

And if all else fails booze is always a winner, surely? (Whatever they PRETEND to say!) Have a look at these personalised alcohol gifts for some good ideas.

*Wine please – as a fiancee, daughter and now sister of teachers, I like it very much when they get wine! www.mumfullofdreams.com

What are you planning to buy your child’s teacher?

PIN image for teacher gift ideas

If you’re in the shopping mood and looking for some present inspiration, then why not hang around. We have gift guides for four year old boysfour year old girlssix year old girls and six year old boys. There’s even a Gift Guide For Mums!

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? Why not hang around and read a few more whilst you’re here. If you want to read some more of my usual kind of parenting stuff, head over to my Mum Life section. You’ll find all things parenting with a tongue-in-cheek twist. And if you want some family holiday inspiration or days out, head to my Travel Section.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

If you like what you see, how about you check me out on Pinterest,  Instagram and Twitter too.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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Jenny | Midwife and Life 02/07/2019 - 10:49 am

Great ideas! I end up not getting anything because I think everything is naff, so it’s good to hear ideas from actual teachers.

Sophie Holmes 02/07/2019 - 8:28 pm

I’m a secondary school teacher and we get bugger all. So I appreciate absolutely anything if I do get bought something. This year I’ve had a small box of maltesers, flowers and Thank you cards. It’s the Thank you cards that are really special. We get my boys teachers Costa gift voucher or we chip in a fiver and they get something big from the whole class!

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 02/07/2019 - 9:30 pm

I’m thinking a Costa voucher! And already bought the thank you cards so I’m kind of half on it 🙂

PJ 01/02/2020 - 7:38 am

I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to achieve my goals.
I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your website.Keep the stories
coming. I loved it!

Jennie | GinGin and Roo 16/07/2021 - 9:53 am

There’s some fab ideas here. It’s an absolute minefield isn’t it! All the parents for GinGin’s year group chip in a fiver so we can get vouchers for all the teachers / TAs. They usually end up getting a decent amount each, and nothing that says Best Teacher LOL!

Belinda B 10/08/2021 - 9:50 pm

I love some of these – and if all else fails, GIN!

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 11/08/2021 - 8:30 pm

I reckon that’s a good motto to live by for everything, to be fair 🙂


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