Everyone has differing opinions when it comes to giving thank you gifts at the end of a school year for their teachers/TA’s/keyworkers etc. Some think presents should be made by the children for a more ‘personal’ touch (or as a repayment for all the lovely junk models we get sent home throughout the year), some like to go out and buy something with the teacher in mind and others like to club together with other parents to buy one larger gift/voucher. Whatever your choice, it’s exactly that – your choice! BUT it’s not always easy so here are a couple of ideas for you;
Make Your Own
You already know that I love doing crafts and so do the children so we combined our efforts this year to make a little assortment of gifts. Beanie Boy is finishing his preschool days at Sunflower Seed this year and so to mark the occasion we made a Hama Bead bowl in the shape of a Sunflower (sort of). It’s super easy to make, although it can be a little time consuming if you are doing a set pattern. You just arrange the Hama Beads in an oven proof dish (we used a small Pyrex bowl) and then pop it in the oven at about 180C for 5-10 minutes (keep watching it for when it starts to melt and bond together). I have found that placing the bowl on a metal tray helps to get the heat to the bottom of the bowl quicker. Once the beads have started to melt and bond together carefully remove the bowl from the oven (with oven gloves of course) and leave to cool. I stood the bowl in a larger bowl of cold water and then once it’s cool to the touch carefully remove your creation and voila!
The bowl could be filled with sweets or chocolates and wrapped in cellophane, used as a jewellery dish on a nightstand or whatever else takes your fancy really.
Since Beanie Boy had so many lovely ladies at his preschool that he wanted to get gifts for we had to get creative with our gifting ideas so we made them some chocolates using chocolate moulds purchased from our local craft shop. The trick to a glossy finish on the chocolate is to lightly grease the moulds first. We found a lovely little gift box to present them in and then tied the box up with ribbon.
We made our own cards too, for Caroline we wanted something very personal so I scanned photographs from his preschool records and cropped them, popped them into a collage and made it into a beautiful card.
For his ‘ladies’ I pressed some rose petals a couple of weeks ago and left them until they had dried out completely. Then I sealed them with Sparkle Modge Podge and stuck them to a blank white card to look like wings. Used a black Sharpie to draw a body and tentacles and hey presto, it’s a pretty butterfly! This is by far one of my favourite and easiest so far, I love it!
Whilst we are on the subject of Sharpies, I haven’t actually done this one but I have always meant to give it a go. Did you know that you can used Sharpie pens to draw on mugs, cups, plates etc. Pop them in the oven on a low heat and it sets the pen permanently so your little one could create their own masterpiece for their teacher to enjoy their breaktime cuppa in or eat their lunch from.
Depending on how well you have got to know your child’s teacher over the past year, you have probably got an idea of what their taste is like from the way that they dress for school so you can be daring and attempt to buy accessories such as scarves, jewellery, ties or cufflinks.
If you’re not feel that daring then you can never go too far wrong with luxurious bodycare goodies. My favourites are Baylis & Harding because the packaging always looks top quality and they smell good enough to eat. Even better than that though, they don’t cost the earth. I always like a present which looks more than it actually costs. They do a great range for men and women and can be found in most supermarkets and stores such as Boots or even online.
Of course, there is the tried and tested chocolates or flowers but just imagine if everyone in the class did that, the teacher could end up with their own florist, severe hayfever or enough chocolate to see them through to Christmas so try to think outside the box a little.
As I mentioned at the beginning, another great idea is to all donate an amount of money and nominate one or two people to take charge. Then you could perhaps buy spa vouchers, shopping vouchers or something else amazing.