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Sweet and Simple Gifts Your Child’s Daycare Teacher Will Love

From gift cards to puzzles and everything in between, these teacher appreciation gifts let them know just how much you and your little one adore them.
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profile picture of Danielle Halibey
Updated April 16, 2023
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Image: Michaels
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Your child’s teacher is a huge part of your life. They spend hours, weeks and months with our children—providing smiles, laughs, wisdom, joy and confidence. For daycare and preschool teachers, the days are especially long and tiring. And apart from the impromptu hugs and squeezes the kiddos might give them as they leave for the day, it’s hard to see just how big of an impression they’re making when the language and emotional expression skills of their students are still developing and maturing.

That’s why parents have to jump in and relay the gratitude, love and appreciation they feel every day—easier said than done, right? Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8th through May 12th) and the end of the school year is drawing near, so use this celebratory time to hype up one of the biggest superheroes in your kiddo’s life with thoughtful teacher appreciation gifts. There’s no doubt that they deserve something special!

Where to Buy Teacher Appreciation Gifts

So where can you grab teacher appreciation week gifts that say “thank you for being a part of my story”—literally and figuratively? Below, take a peek at six of the best retailers to shop for teacher appreciation gift ideas that go way beyond a scented candle or an apple-shaped bar of soap (believe us when we say they already have enough of them to last a lifetime).

  • Amazon: Truth be told, Amazon has a ton of great teacher appreciation gifts, from adorable desk trinkets to note-worthy picture frames and floor mats. The best part? If you’re running short on time, you can look for items that’ll arrive the next day.
  • Bookshop: In a daycare or preschool classroom, storytime is king. That’s why splashing some cash on a few new glossy picture books for your teacher’s library is a gift that keeps on giving. You can also see if your tiny’s teacher is registered or already has a wishlist on Bookshop, and then buy up a few titles there.
  • Cratejoy: Again, with little ones like infants, toddlers and preschoolers, you’ll have your work cut out trying to get “intel” about what their teacher likes. If you’re always complimenting their choice in nail polish colors or you’ve received some treats they sent home each holiday, then you can certainly arrange for a bath and beauty or cooking and baking box from Cratejoy. Otherwise, a Teacher Care Crate will do just fine!
  • Etsy: If you’re on the hunt for something they probably don’t already have, then Etsy is a fantastic place to start. Not only are the personalizable gifts sweet, they’re also impressively thought-out. What’s more, tons of the shop owners are parents themselves—meaning they’ve already been through this teacher-appreciation rodeo, so they know what works!
  • Michaels: Sometimes, the best teacher appreciation week gift ideas are ones that go right back to the classroom. We like Michaels, especially for preschool and daycare teacher gifts, because the whole store is dedicated to crafts. Whether you’re shopping for materials your own child can DIY a gift with or looking to score some cute new supplies for their teacher’s classroom, you can find all of it here.
  • Minted: As a marketplace for premium design goods and paper products, the folks and independent artists at Minted obviously have a way with words. To that end, you can shop for personalized stationery, fashionable greeting cards that say thanks in creative ways and wall art they can hang in their classroom to remember the wonderful year they had.

How Much to Spend On Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Here’s the thing about teacher appreciation gift ideas: You don’t have to subscribe to any particular price point. “Gifts should always align with one’s personal budget,” advises Courtney Opalko, a certified etiquette coach, founder and owner of Courtney-Opalko Etiquette and mom of two. “A general suggestion is $20 to $30, although a larger budget might go up to $50.” Don’t dismiss the keepsake-quality of a handcrafted creation, either. Opalko shares that “a ‘handwritten’ note (or drawing) from the student is a lovely way to add a sentimental and personalized touch to a gift… Teachers will appreciate hearing that they make a difference in your child’s life far more than adding another mug to their collection.”

You’ll also want to be sure to check with your child’s daycare or school about any existing gifting cadences. In some places, teachers are only allowed to accept gifts up to a certain threshold (say, $100 at most) or there may be a designated “room parent” who will liaise with other parents in the classroom to collect money (an optional contribution, of course) for a group gift or collective gift card.

Yes, gift cards are always a hit. Teachers are grateful for these items and definitely don’t view them as “last-minute” purchases. “Gift cards allow teachers to use the money in a way that best benefits the classroom, which in turn, also benefits your child,” says Opalko. If you’re wondering whether a gift card is sufficient on its own, know that it is—especially when paired with a particularly precious card and your child’s signature, scribbled or not.

Easy Teacher Appreciation Gifts to Buy Now

Of course, sometimes you want to get something a little more personal and meaningful for your child’s teacher. Ready to find teacher appreciation gifts guaranteed to make your mini’s mentors melt? Scroll on for 20 easy teacher appreciation gift ideas—from plants for their windowsill to tote bags touting their favorite title (i.e. “Best Teacher Ever”), these gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week show that you totally understood the assignment.

Corduroy planter

Windows Silly - Tullip
Image: Bunnies by the Bay

Not sure what kind of flowers your little one’s teacher loves? That’s okay! You’ll still have them blooming with joy when your child presents them with this adorable gift that’s so much better than a bouquet, since it’ll last much longer. The 16” tulip sits in a white corduroy planter and sports colored petals and silky green velvet leaves.

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Chocolate bar library

Mini Exotic Chocolate Bar Library
Image: Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Some of the best teacher appreciation gifts are edible, so this dark and milk chocolate bar library totally stacks up! Filled with an assortment of snackable indulgences—featuring flavors of Sri Lanken coconut, banana and dark chocolate, Hickory smoked almonds, Fleur de Sel gray sea salt and deep milk chocolate—this purple ribbon-wrapped box is sure to please.

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Custom tumbler

Custom Tiny Human Tamer Tumbler
Image: StitchedANDLaseredCo | Etsy
Buying Options
Etsy|Starting at $24

You couldn’t find a more on-point superlative to describe a daycare or preschool teacher than “Tiny Human Tamer.” We’re already thinking about the teacher appreciation card to go with this custom tumbler: “From one tiny human tamer to another, thank you for doing the most with this illustrious title. My child loves you!”

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Metal bookmark

Okay, yes, every daycare or preschool teacher would happily add a new picture book to their little bibliophile library. But sometimes switching from baby books to adult fiction or nonfiction is a welcome change. Pick up a read that’s trending on the New York Times Best Sellers list, and pair it with a snazzy metal bookmark—this one, with the words “Hooked On Phonics” punched out, is right on brand!

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Teacher affirmation cards

Teacher Affirmation Cards
Image: EmsFabulousArt | Etsy
Buying Options
Etsy|$15.26

Teachers are just like us: They have days when all hell breaks loose in the classroom; they have days when half the kids are actively coughing and sneezing in the midst of a finger-painting session and they have days that are just pure joy. Giving a thoughtful gift like these affirmation cards shows that you see them, you’re in their corner and you’re putting out all the best vibes to ensure every day is a great day.

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Affirming wooden table sign

Four Piece Teacher Appreciation Table Decoration Centerpieces
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$11.99

Teachers love to decorate their classrooms, so you’ll always win with a gift that lends an A+ quality to their aesthetic. We love this four-piece desk set featuring primary-colored wooden table signs of every kind. Our favorite one? “Teach. Love. Inspire.”

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Teacher care package

Teacher Care Crate
Image: Cratejoy

Not every gift has to be given directly to your kiddo’s teacher. In fact, we kind of love the idea of a subscription box that’ll arrive at your teacher’s doorstep (or to the school, for privacy purposes!). This Cratejoy box is chock full of teacher-friendly finds, which include a stylish wearable item, a bath and beauty product, a stationery item, an inspirational art print, a treat and tons more. This would be a fantastic group gifting option to take a daycare or preschool teacher through the summer.

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Preschool activity book

Like we said earlier, teachers—regardless of what level they’re teaching at—often shell out tons of their own money for year-round supplies for their classrooms. That’s why a bundle of some age-appropriate activity books, coloring supplies, paints, magnets, circle time pillows and more would be a phenomenal gift.

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Teacher appreciate t-shirt

Love Daycare Provider Childcare Teacher Appreciation T-Shirt
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$18.99

What daycare teacher wouldn’t giggle over this undeniably accurate T-shirt? They love on your kids and spoil them—and then get to give them back. The hashtag #Daycarelife is relatable, too.

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Minimalist bracelet

Boho Rainbow Preschool Teacher
Image: LayeredandSimple | Etsy
Buying Options
Etsy|$3.19

We’re not sure what we love more about this trendy appreciation gift for teachers: The minimalist bracelet (the smooth cord construction is durable and nothing is dangling, which is huge since babies and toddlers like to pull and yank things) or the wording on the card. The card states, “Close your eyes and make a wish, then tie this bracelet on your wrist. When the bracelet breaks in two, the wish you made will soon come true.” We’re here for all of it!

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Colorful notebook

color notebooks
Image: Minted
Buying Options
Minted|$18

There’s not a teacher out there who wouldn’t appreciate a thoughtfully designed notebook. This one comes with 80 lined, blank or gridded pages and a streamlined cover with seven rainbow colored pencils and a field that can be customized with your child’s teacher’s name. Whether they’re jotting down some fun ideas for craft time or putting a grocery list together for when they leave school and hit up Trader Joe’s, this notebook will be the perfect place to jot them down.

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Apple photo art

Apple for the Teacher
Image: Minted

If you’ve volunteered to take on “room parent” duties for the year, then you might have a healthy budget squirreled away (gathered from at least a few parents!) for your year-end gift. Ask all of the parents for pics of their peanuts (for cohesion, a class pic will work perfectly), and add them to this sweet apple-configured frame. Then customize with their teacher’s name and their grade level. That leaf detail is such a delicious touch!

Buy Now

Custom puzzle

252 Piece Custom Puzzle
Image: Minted
Buying Options
Minted|$42

Looking for another cute idea, if you’re going in on teacher appreciation gifts with a few parents? This puzzle, using your little ones’ class picture as its muse, is a great option. It includes a playful border that features a rainbow, flowers, stars and a smiley face (how appropriate for preschoolers!). All of Minted’s custom puzzles arrive in a patterned muslin drawstring pouch that's packaged inside a beautiful hinged box with gold foil accents. It’s definitely something to keep their teacher busy during the first few weeks of summer break.

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Printed t-shirt

Messy Buns Library Runs Coffee Mugs And Little Hugs Teacherlife T-shirt
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$18.99

Everything we know about daycare and preschool teachers points to one thing: They love what they do. Celebrate this fact with a shirt that calls them out in the best way possible. “Messy buns. Library runs. Coffee mugs. & Little Hugs.” The smiles are imminent, just you wait and see!

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Coloring book subscription

Adult Coloring Monthly
Image: Cratejoy

There’s only so many times a person can color pictures of Peppa Pig, Elmo, Bluey or Mickey Mouse before they need to call it quits. So to help them shed the kiddie coloring pages from their system, set them up with a monthly delivery of adult-worthy coloring books. These crates are a lot less costly, so you can feel okay about going with a multi-month subscription. With 15 new coloring sheets in an artist's pad mailed to them, and 15 additional digital downloads, each box is bursting with a kaleidoscopic call for creativity.

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Electronic cutting machine

Does your little one’s teacher have a thing for DIY projects? Did you get envious of all the adorable signage, stickers and decorative decals hanging in your honey’s classroom during your parent-teacher conference? Well, take that tidbit right back to the parents at your preschool and, if you’re all in agreement, splurge on a brand new Cricut Explore 3 for the classroom as a fitting teacher appreciation gift. Something tells us you’ll be getting a very special (Cricut-made) thank you in a few weeks!

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Keepsake journal

Teacher Journal
Image: AllThingsIAm | Etsy
Buying Options
Etsy|$22.49

Kids say the darndest things, don’t they? And your toddler’s teacher could probably fill up a whole book with their musings. So to thank them for being a captive audience, gift them a journal emblazoned with the words “cute things my students say… so I’ll never forget.” And in your card, ask them to take a picture of anything particularly adorable that your tiny talks up and text it to you (or send through your parent-teacher app). We know they’ll be up for the challenge!

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Box of cookies

Teacher Gift Box of Biscuits Nursery
Image: DearEmilyDesigns | Etsy

Could you treat your preschooler’s teacher to anything sweeter than these perfectly playful sugar cookies? In every box, you have the option to personalize two cookies with any name(s)—so you can highlight the teacher’s name or the school’s name. They’re going to eat these all up!

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Teacher tote

Preschool teacher Tote
Image: RejoiceInCreation | Etsy

A solid canvas tote works for anyone, but for a teacher, it’s the gold standard in convenient carryalls. This one features flexible crayons in the shape of their first initial—a nod to their preschool teacher calling—in a way that’s contemporary and, dare we say, fashionable! Just make sure you get the spelling of their name right before placing your order.

Buy Now

Gift card holder

Thanks A Latte - Gift Card Holder
Image: colorandetch | Etsy
Buying Options
Etsy|$9.95

If you’ll be going with a gift card to a local coffee shop, you couldn’t pick a cuter card holder. The 4’’ x 5.7’’ card holder is laser engraved with the words “Thanks a latte for all you do.” You can also add in a gift card to Target, Amazon, Sephora, Learning Express or Bookshop.org, if you don’t know that coffee is their jam.

Buy Now

About the expert:
Courtney Opalko is a certified etiquette coach with a mission to spread kindness and civility through important life skills. Her unique programs are fun, interactive and inclusive in nature, rooted in values of confidence, awareness, empathy and respect. As an etiquette expert, she offers modern advice designed to elevate the everyday.

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