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Inexpensive Teacher Gifts

Yellow Tea Bus: Cost-Conscience End of Year Teacher Gift

We all know the drill — the bell rings on the last day of school and students line their teachers' desks with boxes of candy, coffee gift cards and glass apples. But when economic times are tough and families need to stick to budgets, a creative thank-you is a nice concept that will evoke the year's memories.

Inspired by Maum's school bus tea bags, we asked our favorite lil ones to help make a yellow bus filled with tea bags adorned with each member of the class's picture. It costs just dollars to create and will invite the teacher to kick back and relax with a soothing cup once the last kiddo has cleared out his desk.

To see how to create the moving tea box,


Supplies for Project:

  • Small box of tea bags
  • Scissors
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Glue
  • Crayons
  • Photos of child's classmates
  • Cardboard box


  1. Cut little "people" out of the cardboard, ensuring their "arms" are the length of the width of the box and that their "bodies" are narrower.
  2. Closely cut out the faces of your child's classmates and attach them to the "head" of the cardboard bodies with some glue.
  3. Cover the box in yellow construction paper and decorate it to look like a school bus — get as fancy as you wish even calling the bus line "Ms. Bruin's First Grade Class."
  4. Cut slits in the top of the box.
  5. Drop the "bodies" into the slits, ensuring that the "arms" stay on top of the bus, which the bodies drop down.
  6. Attach tea bags to the bodies.
  7. Close the box.


Cut out "people"

Add tot's faces

Cover box in yellow paper

Attach tea bags to "people"

Enjoy the ride to school!
baebysun baebysun 8 years
wow, it's getting kinda heated. it's really an ignorant comment to say teaching is the easiest job in the world. you are not ignorant, i'm sure, but the comment is ignorant. i'm not a teacher, but i know a good teacher works long 10+ hours a day and they are expected to do so much for our kids. the comment really deserves an apology. anyway, i would agree, mugs would be a good idea if you only got like one mug every 5 years, but what is a teacher supposed to do if she has 28 kids and 28 mugs a year? she has no choice but to no longer treasure the mug. if money is tight, collect a buck from each kid and give the teacher a gift card. teachers have lives. they are people, too. i'm a social worker working in a school, so we have lives,too.. no mugs, stuffed animals, ornaments, seasonal candles or figurines for social workers, please.
Moms Moms 8 years
momma tikita — maybe you could use your child's class picture? Or you could have your child draw them.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
Such a cute idea except I dont have pics of the other kids in her classroom and Im not even sure how to ask for them. A lot of parents dont like that! I might just do it with my daughters pic and in the back a little note from her thanking her teacher!
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