It’s Teacher Appreciation Week next week at my kids’ school and the end of the year is coming up fast,so I thought it might be helpful to put together some ideas on gifts or unique ways to say “Thank You” for all that our teachers do. While some teachers in my past posts have said that it gets overwhelming to receive handmade gifts over the years from so many students, I still think there are some nice ways to make something special for a teacher that is thoughtful but they can really use it, as well.
I like getting the kids involved in either choosing or making the gift for their teachers. Here are some of the easiest, most inexpensive, and yet most impactful gifts that I discovered that looked fun to make with my kids.
Plant & Printable
Amy at LivingLocurto.com came up with a very simple and impactful teacher’s gift with a cute gift tag that you can download for free. Head over to her site to see how easy it is.
Scented Gift Basket
The Eighteen25 blog is offering another free printable gift tag to go with their idea to create a Strawberry Soap Gift Basket.
Teacher’s Ade Gift
Lisa Storms created a fun gift idea using those see-through plastic ice tea cups and attaching a flag note to the straw. You can throw in some Crystal Light or Ice Tea Packets as well as a note from your child inside. Very simple and very impactful!
For more ideas, see 10 Perfect Teacher’s Gift Ideas which includes a variety of purchased and homemade gift ideas. Here’s another round-up of some really creative homemade teacher’s gift ideas that I put together last year.
Do you give your kids’ teachers gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week or at the end of the year? What ideas do you have for gifts?
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School is almost out so the question on every Mom’s mind is “What do we get for the kids’ teachers?” Every year I try to be creative and come up with something unique but most years I end up giving them what they say they really need. I am fortunate enough to have 6 teachers living in my neighborhood so I asked them what they like to get at the end of the year from their students. Here were the top answers, hands down.
1. Book Gift Cards – many teachers have to buy their own books for the classroom so gift cards help to cover that expense for them.
2. Coffee Gift Cards – We’re in a room with 28 loud children every day, need we say more?
3. Target Gift Cards – Hey, many teachers are Moms, too. (This applies for movie ticket certificates, restaurant certificates, and anything that you would appreciate as a gift.)
4. Anything Homemade by the student, especially if they had a nice bond throughout the school year. Notes, photos collages, or a written story were appreciated.
Want some more ideas? Here are some additional gift ideas I’ve come up with and found on various Mom sites.
5. The Mother Huddle blog had some ideas that were nice and most importantly easy to do. I really liked the Joyful Hands soap idea.
6. The Skip to My Lou blog had some great simple ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week that would also work as nice year end gifts. I like the Gift Certificate for a Massage idea.
7. If you have an artist at home, frame one of their masterpieces. My daughter’s teacher is retiring at the end of year so she is going to draw a picture of the teacher’s classroom so she’ll remember it.
8. How about a plant? They last longer than flowers and can be used to lighten up the classroom next year.
9. A box of pretty Thank You Notes. The teachers may want to send a thank you to all of the students for their year end gifts so why not make it easier for them to do so. If you don’t want to make your own, Sincerely Yours by Tracy has some beautiful, unique Thank You Notes and Teacher Cards.
10. A movie night package. Grab a recently released DVD, popcorn and some candy so your teacher can have a fun night at home with her or his family.
Care to add to the list? We’d love to hear more ideas!
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April Showers Bring Funny Baby Showers
Do you have a love/ hate relationship with Baby Showers? Sure, it’s wonderful to celebrate a new life coming into the world and a major life change for one of your friends or family members, but they can also be mind-numbingly boring. In my easily-bored opinion, there needs to be more entertainment and laughter at these events. Eating finger sandwiches and watching M2B (Mom-to-Be) open yet another onesie gift is not cool for anyone. The best way to show your love and support is to show the guest of honor a good time. She’s feeling large, overwhelmed, scared, and puffy. (It’s not the itching and the scratching, but the chafing that gets you cranky.)
So, how do you throw a Baby Shower that will have everyone in smiles? We have some fun ideas on how to make it a memorable occasion for Mom-to-Be and all of the attendees.
They have some very funny games at www.BabyShowerStuff.com.
In addition, they listed some of these games to play on their site:
Baby Limbo: Strap a pillow around your waist and see who can bend the farthest (not recommended for mom to be)
Bottles Up: Especially if you are throwing a couples shower, fill some baby bottles up with beer, and see whcih guy can “suck” the fastest. Women can certainly play too or use tropical fruit juice.
My Water Broke: Hand out an ice cube to each couple and let them use their imagination to see how fast they can get their water to “break.”
At my baby shower, we played Name The Baby Food. The hostess bought a bunch of baby food jars and took the labels off. Everyone had to guess what was in them. Let me tell you how hard it is to guess whether the green mush is peas or green beans. Loser has to eat the food. (Some of it is not bad!)
If you like conversation games, Box Girls’ Mini Baby Shower Box of Questions Game is a good game. The questions will have you laughing and doubting your friend’s parenting abilities.
Design Your Own Baby: Have the guests split into teams and give each 3 baby magazines, scissors, glue and paper. Have them cut out pieces of different baby qualities and put together a picture of what they think the Mother-To-Be’s baby will look like. Have the Mother-To-Be pick which baby would possibly look like hers the best! Give prizes to the winning team! One of the top baby shower games! Of course, you can make this “collage” very funny depending on which pictures you use and how you “put” the baby together on paper.
Pin the Sperm on the Egg Game is pretty darn funny.
If you are going to sit and watch the M2B open gifts, get her something funny to lighten the mood. Everyone loves funny baby gifts!
Note: This has nothing to do with funny but I liked them. If you are in a crafty mood, these baby shower favors from DesignerGirl007, are wonderful.
Have any tips on how to make a Baby Shower more fun? Tell us. We’d love to hear some new ideas.
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Part Two – Gift IdeasWhen it comes to a great Father’s Day gift, keep it simple and from the heart. Sure, you can get him ties, chocolate, golf balls, or we found the coolest Stormtrooper Cuff Links, but these really don’t mean anything special. No matter how macho the guy, every Dad has some sentimental bones in his body. Help your kids put together a Daddy-and-Me scrapbook of their favorite memories or create personalized picture frames. (You can find plain cardboard frames and craft supplies at any craft store). Tell Dad to go out golfing or to the hardware store and while he’s gone for hours, work on the scrapbook with the kids.
Inspired Generations has a really cool product along these lines. Their ABC’s of Life Wooden PhotoBlocks are a cute gift that Dad can put on his desk at work or in the home office. These PhotoBlocks have words on each side so the kids can leave messages for Dad while showcasing photos of the kids. If you are really ambitious, create a slide show on the computer and set it to Dad’s favorite tunes. My daugher and I are creating a show in ProShow Gold that features photos of Daddy and Daughter. We are using Dad’s favorite Ralph’s World song – Bedtime Girl - about a Daddy saying goodnight to his little girl.
A friend told me that her kids made a book of coupons that Dad could redeem for chores, favors, and hugs. It was a huge hit because it allowed her husband to get “gifts” from the kids long after Father’s Day. (Psst: Remind your kids that they need to honor the chore coupons. My kids seem to have a problem with the redemption part.)
For new and expecting Dads, think practical. How about a diaper bag that doesn’t compromise his masculinity. (Dads do have an image to uphold, after all.) The Fleurville DJ Diaper Bag is a manly, yet functional diaper bag designed specifically for Dads. It’s available in ballistic black or khaki camo. How’s that for testosterone marketing?
On the cheekier side, check out “The GoodFather” line of t-shirts, or “The GoodFather” gift CD-Rom by Dr. Moz that features humorous, gangster-inspired interactive lessons that will have new Dad smiling (and learning) in no time. The CD-Rom is funny. Dad can plug it into the computer on those nights when he has the midnight feeding. Feed baby and learn at the same time, what more could a modern multi-tasking Dad ask for these days?
What are you and your kids getting Dad this year? Tell us what gift your Dad appreciated most?
Make Father’s Day a Piece of (Chocolate) Cake – Planning Activities
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Two years ago, my husband had to travel on Valentine’s Day. Since we usually don’t celebrate on the actual day, I wasn’t too upset that my Valentine was in another city. We usually wait until the weekend rolls around and then go out or do something special. For some reason though, my daughter was very upset that Daddy wasn’t home on Valentine’s Day. To cheer her up (and get her to stop moping), I bought her one red rose and gave it to her when I picked her up from daycare. I told her it was from Daddy and that he was sorry he couldn’t be with his little valentine that day. Shazam! She was lit from within! She was beyond elated. She was happy to infinity and beyond. Before we went home, she showed every teacher, every student and every toy that looked like it had ears that her Daddy had given her a rose.
Of course Daddy gets all the credit for this little act of love, but I got to see the reaction.
Don’t underestimate the power of surprising your children with a little token of love. It doesn’t take much to help them walk on air. Best of all, you get to walk up there with them.
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