teacher-appreciation-gifts

Teacher Gifts: Prodigy’s Holiday Guide [Top 25 Survey Results]

Your child’s teacher deserves a great gift this holiday season. 

But when wedged between all your holiday errands and your busy schedule, planning teacher gifts can be overwhelming — and can become even worse when you’re trying to get something they’ll actually love.

So what kind of gifts do teachers want?

We surveyed close to 300 teachers about what they want most this year, asking the following questions:

  1. What gift would you like to receive this year from parents?
  2. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received from a student? 

We used the answers to come up with a list of 25 teacher gifts ideas to help you find the perfect present with ease!

With a range of possibilities and price ranges, this list will help you find what your child’s teacher needs. 

Check out the 25 best teacher gifts – in order of popularity – below!

1.  A useful gift card

end-of-year-teacher-gifts
Image source: Starbucks

Gift cards might feel a tad boring (or impersonal), but they’re our most popular teacher gift by far164 teachers mentioned them. That’s more than 60% of respondents! 

Grab a cute card sleeve or box to put your gift card in, and you’ll instantly have an adorable gift your child’s teacher will actually use. 

P.s. Most of our teachers wanted a gift card for somewhere they could get coffee (or as we like to call it, teacher fuel).

Price: 

Generally a minimum of $5. 

Try these: 

Coffee cards:

Other favorites:

“I love gift cards! They help out whenever I need a bit of coffee.”

2. A homemade card or drawing from your child

best-teacher-gifts
Image source: Theres Just One Mommy

Don’t forget, your kids are the ones teachers spend time with every day. 

Teachers love getting homemade, heartfelt cards reminding them their students care about all the hard work they do! 

Price: 

Your choice!

The minimum you’ll need is paper and some colored pencils, markers or crayons. 

Try these: 

“A homemade card is always the most thoughtful gift from a student!”

3. A DIY teacher gift

diy-teacher-gifts
Image source: Crafty Morning

There are tons of great holiday DIY projects to choose from. Teachers will appreciate the work you put into it, and you won’t be breaking the bank on an expensive store-bought present.

It’s also something your child can help you with and will add a personal touch from student to teacher.

Price: 

Your choice, depending on the project.

Try these: 

 “The best gift I’ve ever received was a sweatshirt decorated with snowflakes containing all the names of my students. I wore it all winter that year!”

4. A customized gift basket

gifts-for-teachers
Image source: A Helicopter Mom

Gift baskets are one of the best things about the holiday season and a great option for teacher gifts. 

Choose a theme you know they’ll love and put together a gift basket full of goodies or buy one premade from Wine Country or Edible Arrangements, for example. 

Price: 

Your choice, depending on the project.

Likely a $10 minimum, including the basket and items to fill it. 

Try these: 

“One of my students made a basket full of little things that I’ve mentioned I liked throughout the year. It was awesome and made me feel like what I said mattered to her. She even included a DVD copy of a show that in some anecdotal story I had said I liked when I was their age.”

5. A letter of appreciation

teacher-appreciation-gifts
Image source: wikiHow

Teachers don’t choose their careers for the gifts. That’s why so many of them said a thank you note or letter of appreciation was the best gift they could receive. 

Write a nice letter from yourself and your child to remind the teacher that their hard work does not go unnoticed. 

You could also add a gift card, money or a small trinket to make the perfect teacher gift! 

Price: 

Your choice!

You can use your own paper or buy a premade card.

Try these: 

Include: 

  • A warm greeting
  • Good experiences you’ve had with the teacher
  • Examples of the impact the teacher had on your child (for example, how they helped them with academic progress)
  • Positive words to describe the teacher
  • A nice “thank you”

I love when parents acknowledge my hard work and realize I am always trying my best for their child with a simple ‘thank you.’ “

Bonus: One thing that might be even better than a note (and the teacher surely won’t forget) is a song! One teacher said, “I had one year where a group of former students got together and rehearsed a song to sing full of memories of 5th grade. They came back to sing to me. What a gift!”

6. A classroom supply kit

gifts-for-teachers
Image source: Positively Splendid

Teachers usually buy class supplies out of pocket. Many of them said they could always use more. 

You can choose one or two supplies to gift, or create an entire supply kit — perhaps joining together with other parents. 

There are plenty of ways to customize the supplies, too. For example, one of our teachers got a bitmoji stamp from his class and absolutely loved the personalization!

Price: 

For one supply, a minimum of $1-2. For a kit, likely a minimum of $10

Try these:

Include:

  • Dry erase markers
  • Tissues
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Post-it notes
  • Planner
  • Stickers
  • Cricut accessories

“My favorite gift was a big basket with school supplies for my classroom, it had sharpies, push pins, staples, clips, sharpener, white out, magnets.”

7. Coffee pods or beans

teacher-christmas-gifts
Image source: Happy Go Lucky

Like we said above, coffee is teacher fuel. If your child’s teacher loves coffee (or tea), you can be sure they could always use more. 

Buy some coffee pods or beans for the classroom coffee maker so they don’t run out this year!

Price: 

Approximately $7+

Try these:

“I love anything that has to do with coffee! Caffeine!”

8. Coffee maker

teacher-gifts-for-christmas
Image source: Keurig

Our previous gift will only work if the teacher actually has something to make the coffee with in their classroom. 

If not, this is the perfect chance to give them the very useful gift of a coffee maker!

Price: 

Approximately $10+, depending on brand and model.

Try these:

“Last year, the best gift I received was a personal Keurig for my classroom.”

9. Money!

teacher-gifts-ideas

Money is an especially good gift for teachers, because they can use it to buy classroom supplies that will help them do their job more effectively. 

Rather than buying supplies yourself, putting some cash in a nice card is super easy and quick for you and it gives teachers the freedom to get what they want, where they want. It’s a win-win! 

Price: 

Your choice!

Try these:

“I’d love to get money for my classroom (to buy the things I buy already all the time!!)”

10. Chocolate or candy

personalized-teacher-gifts
Image source: Dinner, then Dessert

Who doesn’t love indulging during the holidays? 

Chocolate and candy are a perfect go-to gift and they’re not hard to find during the holiday season. Find out the teachers favorite, grab a holiday variety box, or make your own! 

Price: 

Approximately $2+

Try these:

“Chocolates! I love chocolates during this time of year.”

11. Baked goods

best-teacher-gifts
Image source: I Heart Nap Time

Another sweet treat you can’t go wrong with? Baked goods (especially homemade ones) will always be welcome. 

The best part? You can make or buy a batch for your teacher gifts and keep a couple leftovers for yourself — we won’t tell! 

Price: 

Approximately $10-20

Try these:

“My best gift was a handwritten note and a plate of homemade cookies.”

12. A meal kit or premade meal

diy-teacher-gifts
Image source: Better Homes & Gardens

If sweet treats aren’t your thing, a delicious meal is a good alternative to give your child’s teacher this Christmas! 

Buy them a meal kit box or make your own basket, giving them all the ingredients they need to celebrate the holidays with a nice meal. 

Tip: To make this teacher gift even better, throw in a little homemade book with a few of your favorite recipes.

Price: 

Approximately $10+

Try these:

“One parent made a whole meal for me and had it already frozen, so all I had to do was heat it up!”

13. Winter accessories

gifts-for-teachers

A great choice if you live in a place with particularly harsh winters.

Whether it’s a hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, warm winter accessories are a fantastic go-to. 

Price: 

Approximately $5+

Try these:

“My favorite gift was a winter hat. The family didn’t have a lot of money, but they still got me the gift and I still have the hat, 15 years later.” 

14. A blanket

best-teacher-gifts

Blankets are another warm winter favorite; perfect for teachers to cozy up with during their well-deserved time off. 

Plus, there’s no shortage of materials, colors and patterns to choose from — and there’s certainly no such thing as too many warm blankets this time of year!

Price: 

Approximately $15+

Try these:

“The best gift is a super soft and fluffy blanket.”

15. Keep your child learning over the break

end-of-year-teacher-gifts

More than anything, teachers want their students to succeed. One of the best gifts you can give them is to make sure your child has everything they need to achieve this goal.

Give your child’s teacher a card that includes a promise you’ll help your child keep learning over the break, so they can return to school ready to learn more!

Price: 

Free!

Try these:

    • Read a book together (ex. one chapter every evening)
    • Do some fun math puzzles together
    • Motivate more math practice Prodigy! (p.s. Winterfest is happening in-game all December) 

“I just want parents to have my students work on their online assignments over Christmas break.”

16. A Prodigy Premium Membership for your child

If your child plays Prodigy, a Premium Membership is the perfect way to keep them learning more at home over the holidays.

Teachers know all the extra in-game rewards and prizes that come with Premium Memberships will boost student engagement and motivate kids to play the game more. This means more math questions answered and more important math skills mastered! 

Not only will it make teachers happy, but it will also provide an optimal source of screen time during those relaxing days off. Premium members learn more math while having fun with their Premium Membership benefits!

Price: 

Monthly ($8.95/month), 6-month ($7.95/month) and yearly ($4.99/month) memberships available — or save 25% when you buy 2+ Memberships of the same type in one purchase.

“I would like for parents to buy Prodigy Premium Memberships for their children!”

Learn more about Premium Memberships!

17. A personalized mug

personalized-teacher-gifts
Image source: Etsy

Teachers need something to hold their favorite coffees and teas, and a personalized mug that shows you care about their interests will make your child’s teacher feel all warm and fuzzy with every sip. 

Price: 

Approximately $5+

Try these:

My best gift would be the first gift I ever received which was a #1 teacher mug and cookie.” 

18. A bottle of wine

diy-teacher-gifts
Image source: i should be mopping the floor

Help teachers enjoy their time off with a nice bottle of wine, or whatever alcohol they’d prefer! 

There are plenty of ways to dress up an ordinary wine bottle and create a festive and fun gift.

Price: 

Approximately $6+

Try these:

I had a parent give me a bottle of wine with a custom label. Her son’s face was on it with a caption that read, ‘roses are red, violets are blue, here’s to you getting me through’ and a card that said, ‘we know he’s the reason you drink… us too!’ Made me chuckle because he was honestly the best kid ever, no issues whatsoever.”

19. Books for the classroom

gifts-for-teachers

Just like classroom supplies, teachers often use their own money for student books. 

Donate second-hand books for free or visit your local bookstore and pick some up. It’s great for teachers and it’ll make sure your child has more to read when they go back to school in the new year! 

Price: 

Your choice!

Try these:

A donation to the classroom library is great. We are always in need of books for the students. Whether it’s second hand books or a gift card to purchase them, that would be lovely.”

20. A candle

personalized-teacher-gifts
Image source: Homesick Candles

Christmas candles are a super cute teacher gift, and you can choose from a variety of scents and styles. Plus they look cozy and smell great — what could be better?

Price: 

Approximately $10+

Try these:

“A candle! You can never have too many candles!”

21. Soaps

teacher-gifts-ideas
Image source: Lush

Soaps and other scented items are a nice way to show your appreciation and encourage teachers to unwind during their time off. 

They’re also very abundant right now, so you’ll have lots of options to choose from!

Price: 

Approximately $3+

Try these:

“I’d like to get soaps. There are so many amazing types of soaps out there and I just love the different designs and smells!”

22. A charitable donation

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It’s the giving season, so why not gift your child’s teacher a donation in their name? 

From local businesses to charities, there are tons of organizations to give to. 

Choose something you know will be close to the teacher’s heart and you’ll definitely put a smile on their face!

Price: 

Your choice! 

Any amount contributes to the cause. 

Try these:

“I love owls. One year a student made a donation to an owl rehabilitation center in my name. I thought that was very sweet.”

23. Volunteering your time

teacher-appreciation-gifts

In lieu of donations, you could also volunteer your time — either to a local project the teacher supports or to their classroom! 

Price: 

Free! 

Try these:

  • Help organize papers or supplies after school or on the weekend
  • Create a classroom mural or decoration
  • Offer your time as a guest speaker or help recruit other potential guests

“A parent offered to come in every Friday to sort papers for the week. That was so nice.”

24. Flowers or plants

end-of-the-year-teacher-gifts
Image source: Poppytalk

Help teachers brighten up their homes this winter with a pretty bouquet or potted plant.  

You can easily create your own or buy one from almost anywhere. And teachers will love the thoughtful gesture. 

Price: 

Potted plants (like succulents) and small bouquets usually start at around $10

Try these:

“Flowers from their garden is one of my favorite things to get.”

25. 12 days of Christmas teacher gifts

teacher-gifts-for-christmas
Image source: Keeping My Kiddo Busy

Tap into your creative side with some ultra-festive “12 days of Christmas” teacher gifts. 

Send your child to school with one small gift for their teacher each day for 12 days (or one school week, if you’d like). This way, you can make them smile every morning as they approach the holidays! 

Price: 

Your choice — depending on your gifts. 

Try these:

“One student is currently doing a ‘12 days of Christmas’ for me. So far I’ve gotten coffee and a gingerbread house kit. I have to admit that I’m excited to see what he brings each day. It’s so thoughtful!”

There you have it! Use our 25 teacher gifts ideas to inspire your holiday planning and find the perfect gift for your child’s teacher. 

Don’t forget: real teachers asked for everything on this list, so you can be confident they’ll truly enjoy and appreciate whatever gift you choose. 

Happy shopping, parents!


Want to support your child’s learning over the winter break? 

Prodigy is a curriculum-aligned, fantasy-inspired math platform that boosts children’s math skills and helps them love learning. The best part? It’s free!

Create or log in to your free parent account to get started.

Laney Kennedy

Laney is a Content Writer at Prodigy. She's passionate about education, literature, and looking at pictures of corgis on the internet!

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