Teachers Share 10 Gifts They Love

Stumped on what to give your child's teacher as a present for either Teacher Appreciation Week or the end of the year? To help solve this gift-giving dilemma, we went straight to potential recipients of the gift: our teacher mom bloggers. Here we've rounded up 10 of their suggestions that go beyond the apple. (To read all the full responses, click here.)

1. Personal Thank-You Notes

"A nice note always makes me smile. I have gotten some of the best notes...ones that help you remember just why you became a teacher in the first place." — Hilary Lewis of Rockin' Teacher Materials

"I can honestly say that as a first grade teacher, ten years and counting, my favorite holiday gift is a thank you card. There is nothing better than a parent taking the time to sit and write a card or letter expressing how much they appreciate my efforts. I keep them in a 'smile file' and pull them out on those rough teacher days!" — My Mommy Reads

2. Gift Cards

"Gift cards and certificates for classroom supplies are also highly appreciated. Teachers often spend at craft stores for all levels of interactive hands-on learning. Office supply stores also supply needed classroom supplies such as pencils, colored pencils, markers, paper, folders, laminating products, etc." — Lisa Michalek of The Lesson Guide

"If you insist on purchasing us something, I would suggest gift cards. We tend to spend lots of money on our classroom, so if we can use a gift card to do that, it would be great. Some suggestions for a specific place? Coffee shops, Walmart, Target, or Staples are all places that teachers tend to become regulars!" — Krissy Miner of Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business

3. Handmade Ornaments

"My favorite gift I have ever gotten was an ornament that one of my students painted for me. I put it on my tree every year and it makes me smile." Kreative in Kinder

"I love getting student-made ornaments (include the child's name and year). It is so fun to look back each year and remember the little lives you been a part of." — Deedee Wills of Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten

4. Book or Bookstore Gift Certificates

"One of my favorite things to get from a student is a book. I always have the child write their name and date on the inside so I can always remember them." — Tickled Pink

"Teachers can NEVER have enough books. A gift card to Amazon is awesome. I like to write inside of the book, 'This book was purchased by_____' and I put the name of the student who made it possible." — Deedee Wills of Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten

5. Family Dinner For a Busy Night

"Gift certificates for family meals (especially on those days where we have parent-teacher conferences, late supervision for extra events, etc.) can be a lifesaver!" — Darla Hutson and Tracy Hitchins of The Preschool Toolbox Blog

6. Class Gift

"One parent collects money from all the students and then buys one large American Express Gift Card from the class. If you have a Flip video recorder, go to your child's lunch and create a video Christmas card to give to the teacher. Have each child say [happy holidays] and why they are thankful for their teacher." — Colleen Gallagher of Teaching Heart Mom

7. Colored Sharpies

"SHARPIES are always nice!!!! There is NOT a teacher in this world that would NOT love a bouquet of COLORFUL sharpies!!!" — Farley of Oh' Boy 4th Grade

8. A Free Lunch

"If you want to do something personal, I've seen parents send a menu of lunch choices for the teacher which they use to bring the teacher a special lunch." — Melissa of Plug-n-Plan

"Offer to bring me lunch in January—that is a crazy month!" — My Mommy Reads

9. Favorites Survey

"I was really jealous one year, because the teacher across the hall had a mom that sent her a Favorites Survey... AND THEN all year my teacher friend got all kinds of personal goodies off of her Favorites Survey!!!!" — Farley of Oh' Boy 4th Grade

10. Any Gift of Time

"Any gift of TIME can be a wonderful and unique present. Extra curriculum ideas, classroom music CD's, etc. all help reduce the amount of time spent 'out of the classroom' looking for new ideas and resources to use with our students." — Darla Hutson and Tracy Hitchins of The Preschool Toolbox Blog