What are the best gifts for teachers?
Will you be forking out £25 or more on a thank you gift for your child's teacher? A new survey of Mumsnetters has found that one in 10 will spend that much – while almost the same number won't buy anything at all. Wherever your budget sits on the scale, we've combed Mumsnet for parents' – and teachers' – best gift ideas.
A survey of over 1000 parents on Mumsnet shows that parents spend an average of £10.60 on end-of-year presents for primary school teachers. The most popular gifts are chocolates (bought by 23%), with vouchers, alcohol, homemade gifts and flowers next in line.
The majority of parents (65%) say they give presents because they like to show appreciation, and nearly eight out of ten say that their child enjoys giving their teacher a gift. But when it comes to guessing what drives other parents to buy, a cynical 45% believe that some enjoy the one-upmanship of buying the best present.
Not sure how to show your appreciation? Check out these recommendations to knock one item off your end-of-term to-do list.
Best chocolate gifts
A lovely, well-wrapped box of chocs is simple but sweet. Great if you want to give something that the whole staff room can share – get extra brownie points if you remember to bring it in before the last day, for a tea break treat in the final weeks of term.
- “I am a nursery worker and me and my lot love, love, love chocolates being brought in by parents. We don't want anything else, just chocs please!”
- “If there are a few staff members to shop for then I buy nice chocs or biscuits but give them a week or two before the end of term so that they can be scoffed in the staff room.”
Best edible gifts
For a thoughtful gift that doesn't break the bank, help your children to create something in the kitchen. Here are some simple recipes to get you started:
Or, for an even quicker and easier option, you could just get them to decorate ready-made cookies or fairy cakes (we won't tell!). Add a personal touch with icing messages.
- “I generally make a batch of chocolate fudge that I can portion out in homemade boxes.”
- “We have five children at the same school at the moment, so we make a massive chocolate cake for the staff room, which the kids ice and write messages on in wobbly writing.”
Best alcoholic gifts
Whether it's gin, wine, or another favourite tipple, a bottle is a nice way to mark the end of school, as well as being something which the recipient can save if they're overwhelmed with other gifts bearing a use by date. Just be reasonably sure that your child's teacher isn't teetotal, or you run the risk of missing the mark completely.
- “My parents are teachers, and from my experience of them (and lots of other teachers), alcohol always goes down well!”
- “I've never known a teacher to be disappointed with wine.”
- “For my son's teacher I'm considering gin. If I'd had that class all year, I'd be on an gin drip. She deserves a bloody medal.”
If you're feeling creative, have a crack at making your own dishwasher vodka – extra marks for being homemade, especially if your child decorates the label.Shop gin gifts now
A bunch of flowers always feels personal, or go the extra mile by buying a plant which will last even longer. You're sure to find a bouquet to suit your budget, whether you pick one up last-minute from your local florist, or (for the 'organised' breed of gift-givers) order in advance for delivery.
- “Flowers are a lovely gift. I usually buy a few bunches and make up some smaller posies with those. Last year I got little tin buckets in Tesco to put them in. I give them to the teachers, helpers, and swim coaches.”
- “Pot up a tomato plant or strawberry plant in a plain earthenware pot and get your child to personalise it with ceramic paint.”
Best homemade gifts
If you have the time, something homemade ticks all the boxes: it gets the kids involved, saves money, and produces something unique. There's plenty you can do even if you don't feel particularly skilled in the crafting department. From decorating a picture frame to customising a mug or even a simple drawing done by your child, teachers are sure to appreciate the effort.
- “Decorate a candle by putting artificial flowers in a little ring around the base, and perhaps a ribbon tied around the candle or sequins stuck on. You can also buy some really nice, cheap candle and holder or bowl sets these days.”
- “My daughter is planning to make a jar of retro sweets from when her teacher was young – flying saucers, strawberry bon-bons and gobstoppers – in a jar from Lakeland with a hand-drawn label.”
If you don’t have time to make something yourself, why not do the next best thing and use an online retailer like Not On The High Street, to customise gifts for you.Buy a paint-your-own mug kit
Vouchers and other gift ideas
If you're not quite sure what your child's teacher likes, then something flexible like vouchers is a pretty safe option. See also, useful stuff like hand cream and posh coffee.
- “The parents in my daughter's class have all clubbed together and we're going to buy vouchers. That way the teacher gets something decent and we don't all have to think of what to buy.”
- “A parent sent us a box of different tea bags/coffee/hot chocolate/cordial to share in the staff room. It was really thoughtful and lasted ages. And probably cost less than 10 separate gifts.”
- “For my son's teacher I have nicked an idea I saw on Pinterest. A beach towel wrapped up with a magazine, bag of sweets and a cocktail in a can, all tied up with a ribbon and a tag wishing her happy holidays.”
Best personalised gifts
When in doubt, something simple yet personal makes a heartwarming gift – and it doesn't have to cost you a penny. You could ask your child to write a thank you letter, or to write down any funny or nice memories of their teacher.
- “We got a photo of each child and a note they had written about their teacher. We put them all in an album and presented it to her. Made her cry – but in a good way.”
- “My daughter's pre-school class have all drawn a picture of their teacher, which one of the lovely mothers is making into a calendar.”
- “My husband is a teacher and it's the cards and notes that he treasures, he keeps them all in a file. When life's hard, he gets out his file and reminds himself that he really does make a difference to kids' lives and, yes, he wells up every time.”