Budget-friendly gift ideas for teachers

Teachers spend their days preparing the next generation of doctors, engineers, artists and others for careers and lives in the real world. Their lessons and care often go unappreciated. If you’re looking for a simple gesture to thank your child’s teachers for all they do, check out these gift ideas:

[See: 10 Ways to Save More in 2019.]

Classroom Supplies

While it’s nice to give something especially for your teachers, helping stock their classrooms with supplies is an excellent way to show you care. Many teachers spend hundreds of dollars to outfit their classrooms with supplies your kids will surely use.

Sharpened pencils
$12.49 for 150 on Amazon.com

Regardless of the grade level they teach, most teachers will be greeted each morning with a student asking for a pencil. This box of sharpened pencils will come in handy.

Ballpoint pens
$5.00 for 60 on Amazon.com

If your child’s teacher encourages using a pen, donating a box to her classroom can be a kind gesture. This gift can help your instructor lend out pens to those who need one without worrying about whether she’ll see her favorite pen again.

$23.49 for 18 boxes on Amazon.com

No one likes getting sick. But in places like schools, there’s always some kind of virus floating around. Help keep your classroom stocked with essentials by providing a few boxes of tissues. You might be shocked to learn how much teachers often spend on items like these, so your child doesn’t have to use his sleeve.


Many teachers have started using #ClearTheList on different social media platforms in an effort to collect supplies for classrooms. The teacher creates an Amazon wishlist of items for the classroom. Anyone with the teacher’s link can select the item they wish to purchase, and it will be sent directly to the teacher. Find out if your child’s educator has a wish list and use it to buy a gift he or she wants.

[See: 50 Ways to Improve Your Finances in 2019.]

Desk Essentials

(Getty Images/iStockphoto/virojt)

If you’d rather help outfit the teacher’s desk, consider gifting some desk essentials. These can range from simple basics like a few packs of gum or hand sanitizer to more elaborate gifts such as a stationery set or tote bag. Think about the items you like to keep at your workspace, then consider what you might add to that if you worked in a room with 20 kids. The possibilities are endless.

Tote bag
$29.99 on Amazon.com

So much of the teaching job takes place outside of school. That means teachers are often lugging papers, homework and books back and forth from home to school. Give their shoulders a break with a sturdy and organized tote bag.

Stainless steel tumbler set
$16.99 on Amazon.com

Since teaching is such an active job, you might want to make sure your child’s educators can bring their caffeine with them. A tumbler can keep drinks hot or cold for days. That’s useful if you don’t know the teacher’s preference. A tumbler is great for when the teacher just poured a cup of coffee when a fire drill starts.

Personalized pencil case
$14.00 on Etsy.com

You can upgrade just about any gift you decide to get your child’s teacher by personalizing it. A personalized pencil case makes a lovely gift for any teacher.

[Read: Best Budget Apps.]

Self-Care Gifts

Teaching can be a stressful job. The stress stems from the chaos that comes naturally when working with adolescents, the pressure to meet test scores, provide emotional support and deal with any other crises as they come up. Help your child’s instructor unwind with a gift aimed to promote self-care.

Spa gift set
$29.99 on Amazon.com

This gift set can help your teacher have a spa day in the comfort of his or her own home. Help your educator unwind with therapeutic scents and gentle ingredients.

Adult coloring book
$6.15 on Amazon.com

Coloring can be a relaxing exercise for children and adults alike. The calming patterns are designed to promote meditation and focus while boosting creativity, which is a nice gift for any teacher.

Gift cards

If you’re not exactly sure how your educator unwinds, consider picking up a gift card for him. Keep in mind that self-care isn’t just spa treatments and yoga. Try to find out the teacher’s interests and get a gift card that will help him do something he loves. If he’s a foodie, perhaps it’s a gift card for a nice restaurant. If he enjoys movies, pick up the tab for his next movie night.

Your Time

While you may not consider your time something you can give out freely, volunteering at your child’s school or even in the classroom is an excellent way to show your kid (and his teachers) that you care and want to pitch in. Whether you chaperon a field trip or whip up some desserts for the bake sale, giving your time will certainly show your thankfulness.

More from U.S. News

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Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Teachers originally appeared on usnews.com

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