Christmas Gifts for Teachers They Actually Want

Christmas gifts for teachers – figuring out what to get your child’s teacher can seem stressful. Are you feeling pressure to give your child’s teacher a Pinterest worthy craft that you don’t have time to make? Please, please don’t. They don’t even want it. Trust me! Sure, they’ll appreciate the fact that you thought to give them a gift but they DON’T want another cute mug filled with candy with a clever pun written on a note tied to it. Isn’t that a huge relief??


I’ll tell you what teachers really want!


But first, I have to say: Please NO MUGS! For some reason teachers get gifted a million mugs – our kitchen cabinets are full! Teachers are sentimental, love your child, and appreciate any gift but mugs honestly end up in the next yard sale and the candy/treat inside typically goes in the trash.


Other things most teachers don’t want: lotion, hand soaps, candles, fuzzy socks, candy/treats, anything cute but useless from Pinterest


So what do you get your child’s teacher?? Here is a list of teacher gifts we actually want!

Just FYI some of these are Amazon affiliate links which means at no extra cost to you, I get a commission for purchases made through the links.


1. My #1 recommendation: Flair pens

This is easily my top recommendation. It is such a great gift! I feel like EVERY teacher I’ve ever talked to is obsessed with these specific type of Flair pens. You probably don’t follow teachers on social media but I do and if you ever spend any time browsing, you’ll see teachers are obsessed with these pens! They constantly post pictures of them on Instagram when they buy them and receive many ‘likes’ and heart eye smileys in the comments from other teachers. They’re pure gold in the teaching world – you’ll definitely put a smile on their face if you buy them these.


2. Hand written card from you

You’d probably be surprised how much this means to your child’s teacher. Take a moment to include a card that says how much you appreciate them and what they do for their child… they’ll probably cry ugly tears when they read it after the kids have left for the day.


3. Expo markers (or other school supplies)

It may seem like a lame gift but it’s not – teachers ALWAYS need more expo markers so they’re much appreciated, especially a big pack of the fun colors like this! Definitely get Expo brand if you buy dry erase markers. Teachers get giddy about school supplies – if they supplied a list at the beginning of the year, definitely look at that to see the items/brands they prefer and see if there’s anything on there that you can restock that might run out like glue sticks. Usually a lot of our supplies are drained by Christmas. A lot of teachers buy pencils, crayons, copy paper, etc. out of their own pockets so they will appreciate these practical gifts much more than a jar filled with candy canes.


If your school doesn’t send home a list, other school supplies teachers love (and the brand matters!) are:
Elmer Glue Sticks
Astrobrights color paper
Crayola construction paper
Scotch scissors for them (they cut a lot of things out by hand so having high quality scissors that are easy on your hands is so nice)
Mr. Sketch markers
Ticonderoga pencils (these pre-sharpened ones are great!)


Want to really knock it out of the park? This is an AMAZING gift.
Get them a personal laminator and laminating sheets!

This is the one many teachers are obsessed with and it even comes with the sheets it uses! It’s possible they already have one (they’re all the rage in the teaching world) but they won’t mind a 2nd and they’ll definitely appreciate the sheets if so! If they don’t already have one, you will just make their year with this gift. These are very, very loved by teachers! We laminate new activities constantly so it’ll get used A LOT throughout the year to enhance learning for your child. I’m getting excited about it just thinking of a parent getting this for their child’s teacher!


4. Anything made by your child

Your child’s teacher spends all day with them – they love them – so anything they write to show them appreciation is cherished. Don’t worry about making some fancy handprint craft or something. It can literally be a scribbled drawing of them and their teacher on a piece of scratch paper that says “I Love You Ms. ___, you are the best teacher!” and it’ll be 1000x more treasured than anything you printed/made that you saw online. Teachers LOVE sweet notes and drawings from their kids. Encourage your child to write a heartfelt note thanking their teacher and why – it’s especially adorable with the littlest of kiddos if they use their own invented spelling – we can read anything, don’t worry. 🙂



They are not impersonal. If you feel guilty giving a gift card – oh my gosh, don’t! That’s the absolute BEST gift. It’s not any less thoughtful and much more appreciated. You don’t have to include anything with them except maybe a card.. BUT make sure it’s one the teacher will actually use.


A great gift is a gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers.
The teacher will think you’re quite hip. Your child’s teacher probably buys a lot of their curriculum off of the site (with their own money) and if they’re one of the rare teachers that doesn’t… well then you just opened up a whole new world to them! It’s a place where teachers create classroom materials and sell them to other teachers and millions of teachers use it to find free and paid materials for their classroom when what the school provides just doesn’t cut it or they just want fun activities designed by other teachers for their students.


Another fantastic gift card is directly to Amazon!

You can get anything on Amazon! Many teachers buy books and other things for their classroom on Amazon, as well as things for themselves, so it’s a perfect gift! They have really cute options for holiday packaging that come with the cards too – I love this Santa one!


Another great gift card option is Target!
Teachers LOVE Target. Again, if you follow any teacher hashtag for even a second, you’ll see post after post of teachers posting what they got from Target and sometimes hundreds of comments of teachers gawking.


A gift card to treat your child’s teacher to a nice dinner is an awesome gift if it’s in your budget. If you do a restaurant gift card, though, make sure they actually like that restaurant. A lot of teachers have stacks of $5 here and $5 there to food places they don’t eat at. Your child might know what they often get for lunch but if you have no idea, a Darden restaurants gift card is nice because they can use it at any Darden restaurant like Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Yard House, etc. They have both $25 and $50 options – I recommend the $25 option, that’s a wonderful gift!


For some reason teachers get a lot of gift cards for coffee. Maybe people realize how much caffeine is required to wrangle 25 little ones all day? 🙂 A lot of teachers will absolutely love this BUT not all teachers drink coffee so just make sure first! Ask your child if they ever bring Starbucks to class or drink coffee at work.

If they do drink coffee, a Starbucks gift card is awesome!

Again, don’t include a coffee thermos or mug with it – just don’t. A gift card is enough. 🙂 This is a set of 4 $10 Starbucks gift cards for all your kids’ teachers and maybe even 1 for you! They have all types of denominations and I love that you can order so many different gift cards from so many places directly from Amazon – it just makes holiday shopping so much easier.




Like I said, please don’t feel pressured to make something cute from Pinterest. Who has time for that? & they don’t even want it… I know I’m repeating myself but seriously, isn’t that such a relief?! 🙂 A pack of color flair pens or a small gift card stuffed inside a handwritten card will literally make you the coolest parent around. I hope this list has been helpful for you! Just remember, your kids’ teacher(s) LOVE your kid(s) – gifts are appreciated but not expected so don’t let it stress you out. Anything you give them will be absolutely appreciated, even if it’s just a scribbled love note inside a Christmas card from their student… I just wanted to share with you some things teachers would love to receive! Merry Christmas!


Want to pin this for later? Feel free to use this!

Christmas gifts for teachers that they actually want! Great list of what to get your child's teacher for the holidays!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Ms Lawford
    November 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Totally agree

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