10 Back to School Gifts for Teachers that Will Suit Your Pocketbook (And Aren’t Tacky)

It’s that time of year again. The kids are headed back to school, and soon the house will be quieter and cleaner (well, maybe.) I had lunch with one of my friends a few days ago, and she confided that even though she had been saying all summer that she was just counting the days, she was also a little sad. Her husband had to travel a lot for work during June and July, so it had just been she and her two boys going to the pool and library and Starbucks. It had been noisy and chaotic, but they had fun, too.

Now the boys are off to second and fourth grades, so she’ll be getting her latte without the cake pops. She said that the school’s parent group had ‘suggested’ that the students bring a small gift for their teacher for back to school night. Now, in our opinion, this is a bit over the top, but we brainstormed a few ideas and came up with some things that are cute, inexpensive, and will be fun for the kids to give their new teachers. I thought I would share them with you.

L’Occitane’s Hand Cream in almond scent is one of my absolute favorites.  It smells delicious without being too heavy or cloying, and the small size slips right into a bag. Attach it to a card handmade by your child, or to a note with your phone number in case teacher ever “needs a hand.”


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Busy teachers are always looking for ways to make their work go more quickly.  Take a look at the personalized stamps on Zazzle, such as this EXCEPTIONAL stamp that teacher can use when grading.


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Succulents are all the rage right now, and I can see why. They are adorably small, and add a bit of color and life to a workspace. The modern hexagon-shaped planters in this set are perfectly petite. You can buy the plants at your local hardware store, and give one to each teacher. For an added touch, make tags that say “Thanks for Helping Me Grow,” tape to craft sticks, and stick into the soil.


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If you haven’t tried a Zojirushi vacuum mug, then you need to get one for yourself when you buy this for teacher. I gave one to my father for his birthday two years ago, and he will not use anything else. I have two, and they keep my drink hot (or cold) for hours. I swear.


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Pioneer Woman makes a super cute flat whisk with a turquoise handle. Teachers are not likely to already have one in their kitchen tool sets. Make a tag that says “Whisking You a GREAT Year” and have your children sign their names.

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I keep thinking that the bath bomb craze will be over soon, but it’s not. These from Whole Foods are more affordable than most and come in a few scents and colors. I love the coconut milk. Pick up several and put in clear bag with a tag that reads “You’re the Bomb!”


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You can never go wrong with a nice bottle of olive oil. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use it. The card can say “With Olive Our Appreciation.”


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Upgrade the typical magic markers with this affordable but high quality watercolor brush pen set. Teachers can use themselves, or share with budding artists in the class.


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Everyone headed back to school needs a book bag, and the teacher is no exception. Try this customized canvas tote from Zazzle.
Teachers Apple Book Bag

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I am always losing, misplacing or breaking earbuds. Give your teacher these comfortable sport buds to keep at school to use after the kids head home for the day. The tag can say “We HEAR You are a Great Teacher!”


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I’d love to hear other ideas! Please leave a comment.

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