The Top 25 Gifts Teachers Really Want from StudentsAll Posts
Written by Laney Kennedy
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Your child's teacher deserves a great gift for the holiday season — especially after quickly adapting to new educational environments in the last couple of years.
But when wedged between a busy schedule and ensuring your gift will be delivered on time, planning teacher gifts can feel overwhelming. On top of this, getting something they’ll actually enjoy might seem nearly impossible!
That's why we created a list of 25 teacher gift ideas from teachers to help you find the perfect present with ease, including plenty of safe and/or virtual options!
What gifts do teachers want from their students?
Gift cards, chocolates, coffee — there are tons of possibilities to choose from. But what's the best gift to give a teacher from a student? Better yet, what do they not want?
We surveyed around 300 teachers about what they want most for the holidays, asking the following questions:
- What gift would you like to receive from students and their parents?
- What’s the best gift you’ve ever received from a student?
With a range of possibilities and price ranges, this list will help you find what your child’s teacher needs. Even if you're a last-minute shopper!
Check out the 25 best teacher gifts — in order of popularity — below!
P.S. don't forget to stay safe! When gifting, make sure to follow proper health guidelines and opt for contact-free delivery if you need to.
1. An online gift card
Gift cards might feel a tad boring or impersonal, but teachers can't get enough of them!
This pick was our most popular teacher gift by far — 164 teachers mentioned them. That’s more than 60% of respondents!
Many companies offer online gift cards in all sorts of fun designs. With a few clicks, 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:
Or other favorites:
2. A homemade card or drawing from your child
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!
If your child is learning virtually, scan or take a picture and email it or use an online art program to create a digital version.
Price: Your choice! The minimum you’ll need is a mobile device or paper and some colored pencils, markers or crayons.
3. Help your child learn over the holidays
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 to help your child learn over the break so they'll be ready to learn more in the new year, whether they're in class or at home.
I just want parents to have my students work on their online assignments over Christmas break.
4. A DIY teacher gift
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.
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!
Price: Your choice, depending on the project.
- Snow globe
- Homemade wreath
- Personalized lunch bag
- Christmas ornaments, like these scrabble tile ornaments
5. A customized gift basket
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 (safely) put together a gift basket full of goodies. Or, buy one pre-made from places like Wine Country or Edible Arrangements. Many businesses offer their own delivery services as well!
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.
Price: Your choice, depending on the project. Likely a $10 minimum.
6. A letter of appreciation
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. This is a great digital option, as the letters can be typed out and sent online. Use a program like Canva to make it look extra nice!
I love when parents acknowledge my hard work and realize I am always trying my best for their child with a simple 'thank you.'
Price: Your choice! You can use your own paper, buy a pre-made card or send one virtually.
- 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” message at the end.
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!”
7. A classroom supply kit
Teachers usually buy class supplies out of pocket, and many of them said they could always use more. Choose one or two supplies to send to them, or create and deliver an entire supply kit.
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!
My favorite gift was a big basket with school supplies for my classroom, it had sharpies, push pins, staples, clips, sharpener, white out, magnets.
Price: For one supply, a minimum of $1-2. For a kit, likely a minimum of $10.
- Dry erase markers
- Mechanical pencils
- Post-it notes
- Cricut accessories
8. Coffee pods or beans
Like we said, coffee is teacher fuel.
So if your child’s teacher loves coffee (or tea), you can be sure they could always use more. Buy some coffee pods or beans to make sure they don't run out in their classroom or at home!
Price: Approximately $7+
9. Coffee maker
Our previous gift will only work if the teacher actually has something to make the coffee with.
If they're missing a machine at home or at school, this is the perfect chance to give them the very useful gift of a coffee maker!
Last year, the best gift I received was a personal Keurig for my classroom.
Price: Approximately $10+, depending on brand and model.
- Keurig K-Mini single serve coffee maker
- Black & Decker single serve coffee maker
- Hamilton Beach 5-cup personal coffee maker
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, sending some money with a nice card is much easier and quicker for you. Plus, it gives teachers the freedom to get what they want, where they want.
I’d love to get money for my classroom (to buy the things I buy already all the time!!)
Price: Your choice!
11. Chocolate or candy
Who doesn’t love indulging during the holidays?
Chocolate and candy are a perfect go-to gift and they’re definitely not hard to find during the holiday season. Find out the teachers favorite or grab a holiday variety box!
Price: Approximately $2+
- Homemade peppermint bark
- Purdys Chocolatier happy holidays bar
- Lindor ornament tin ball (with assorted chocolates)
- Toblerone with Christmas scene (order a personalized version!)
12. Baked goods
Another sweet treat you can’t go wrong with! Make your own or order some from a local bakery (supporting a small business while perfecting your teacher gift? Win-win!).
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!
My best gift was a handwritten note and a plate of homemade cookies!
Price: Approximately $10-20
13. A meal kit or pre-made meal
If sweet treats aren’t your thing, a delicious meal is a good alternative to give your child’s teacher.
Order 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 recipe book!
One parent made a whole meal for me and had it already frozen, so all I had to do was heat it up!
Price: Approximately $10+
- HelloFresh box
- Pancake gift basket
- Quick and easy dinner kit
- Dinner in a jar -- Barilla penne pizza casserole
14. Winter accessories
Whether it’s a hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, warm winter accessories are a fantastic go-to — especially if you live somewhere with particularly harsh winters.
Reusable masks are also a great option this year, to help teachers stay safe and stylish.
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.
Price: Approximately $5+
15. A blanket
Blankets are another warm winter favorite; perfect for teachers to cozy up with at home 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+
- Eddie Bauer Cabin Fleece Throw
- Kohl’s “The Big One” Fleece Blanket
- Biddeford Microplush Digital Heated Throw
16. A Prodigy Premium Membership for your child
Many teachers expressed that they just want their students to combat winter learning loss and come back from the holidays ready to learn more.
Teachers know all the extra in-game rewards and prizes that come with Premium Memberships can boost student engagement and help motivate kids to practice more math.
Not only will it make teachers happy, but it can also provide an optimal source of screen time while your child spends more time relaxing at home. Plus, you'll get extra parent tools to see how they're doing and support them even more.
I would love for parents to buy Prodigy Premium Memberships for their children!
Price: Varies, depending on the plan. Find out the best ways to save money on your Premium Membership!
17. A personalized mug
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.
My best gift would be the first gift I ever received which was a #1 teacher mug and cookie.
Price: Approximately $5+
18. A bottle of wine
Help teachers enjoy their time off with a nice bottle of wine, or whatever drink they’d prefer!
Plus, there are plenty of ways to dress up an ordinary wine bottle and create a festive and fun gift.
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.
Price: Approximately $6+
19. Books for the classroom
Just like classroom supplies, teachers often use their own money for student books.
Order some from your local bookstore or buy and send digital versions teachers can share with their class. It’s great for teachers and it’ll make sure your child has more to read in the new year!
A donation to the classroom library is great. We are always in need of books for the students. Whether it's secondhand books or a gift card to purchase them, that would be lovely.
Price: Your choice!
20. A candle
Holiday 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?
Soaps and other scented items are a nice way to show your appreciation and encourage teachers to unwind during their time off.
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!
Price: Approximately $3+
22. A charitable donation
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!
I love owls. One year a student made a donation to an owl rehabilitation center in my name. I thought that was very sweet.
Price: Your choice! Any amount contributes to the cause.
- Library donations
- A DonorsChoose project
- A local charity or food bank
23. Volunteering your time
In lieu of donations, you could also volunteer your time, either to a local project the teacher supports or to their classroom (safely, of course).
One parent offered to come in every Friday to sort papers for the week. That was so nice.
- Create a classroom mural or decoration
- Help organize files or supplies after school or on the weekend
- Offer your time as a guest speaker or help recruit other potential guests
24. Flowers or plants
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
- Poinsettia pot
- Money tree plant
- Homemade bouquet (like this DIY holiday bouquet garland or this wild and foraged Christmas bouquet)
25. 12 days of Christmas teacher gifts
Tap into your creative side with some ultra-festive “12 days of Christmas” teacher gifts. Send one small gift, either online or in-person, 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!
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!
Price: Your choice, depending on your gifts.
There you have it! Use our 25 teacher gift 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 the curriculum-aligned online math platform that makes learning fun, even at home.
Use Prodigy to promote self-guided math practice, help your child stay on track and inspire them to love learning. Then use your parent account to track their progress, support their learning goals and motivate them to learn more.