August 7, 2014

Back to School Teacher Gifts Under $5

Summer officially goes until beyond Labor Day, but many schools around the country (or at least around the south) are back in session. Knox County (where I live) students will head back into the classroom on Monday and that's where they'll stay for the next ten months or so until summer rolls around again.

During each school year, teachers are hard at work shaping those young minds. Since I grew up with a mom who also happened to be a teacher, I got to see firsthand the impact my mom had on her students.

Even now that some of her previous students are all grown up, many still say she was their favorite teacher. We've all had a teacher (or several if we were lucky) who made a difference for the better. And he or she probably didn't receive the thanks they deserved....or the pay. While a bigger paycheck for your child's teacher might not a reality, there are plenty of other ways to show your appreciation for their dedication.

There's no reason to wait until Christmas or even the last day of school to give teachers a small token of thanks. And it doesn't have to break the bank. Here is a whole round-up of back to school teacher gifts under $5 that are sure to please even the strictest of folks.

Go Germ Free - 

Teachers' days are spent with students who pass germs around like wildfire. Hand washing is a must, but why not make it less of a chore?

A bar of soap wrapped in pretty craft paper and tied with twine makes a great back to school teacher gift. Another simple idea is to buy a decorative soap dispenser and pre-load it with great smelling liquid soap. Your teacher (and his/her immune system) will thank you! 

Tasty Treats & Delicious Drinks - 

You've heard the way to the heart is through the stomach, but a shiny red apple just won't cut it for today's teacher. Their schedules are packed to the brim so they usually appreciate a snack they can eat on the run. These individual servings of popcorn are a healthier alternative and come in a variety of unique flavors. Plus popcorn is a whole grain, right? 

Another simple and affordable teacher gift option is to fill a pretty jar with something you know the teacher will like. Whether it's a variety of gourmet herbal teas, classic candy options or even some sort of homemade treat, the contents will be appreciated and the jar can be used again. 

Sweet Stationery - 

Teachers have to write a lot of notes...the ones you want to receive about your child's latest amazing accomplishment as well as the less than brag-worthy behavior. With school budgets already stretched thin, teachers usually end up paying for these types of things out of their own pockets or going without. 

There are so many great stationery options available, for a steal! 

Super School Supplies - 

Another category of items that make great back to school teacher gifts are school supplies. Again, much of these types of things are often paid for out of teacher's own pockets. So every little bit can go a long way to help a teacher out and make him/her feel appreciated!

This only scratches the surface of great back to school teacher gifts you can buy on a budget. It takes a little creativity, but even for $5 or less you can find some fun things. 

Other affordable back to school teacher gift ideas:
  • Gift cards to a favorite restaurant or coffee shop
  • Treat basket filled with snacks
  • Extra rolls of paper towels or boxes of Kleenex
  • Lip balm and hand lotion
  • Manicure sets
  • Gift certificate for a massage (perhaps several parents can pitch in on the cost of this)
  • Bouquet of flowers from your garden or local grocery store florist
What other teacher gifts can you think of? If you're a teacher, what types of gifts would you most like to receive?