in years past, i've done little gift baskets, personalized items, cookies, and gift cards, just to name a few.
this year, i decided to go a different route and make a "survival kit" for the teacher. i tried to think of all the little things that i used or needed, or even just wished i'd had during those first few weeks of school. i'm all about practical gifts - i know it's the thought that counts - but come on, no one wants to have a collection of stuff they can't use! i picking up things here and there over the summer and just stashing them away until the time was right. that typically works in everyone's favor…. i don't feel like i'm spending much since it's "spread out" and i'm also able to search for great deals because i'm not rushed. and the recipient usually lucks out too, because i tend to forget half the things i've picked up over the course of three months and the collection ends up much larger than i anticipated. win: win! ;-)
i thought i'd share our survival kits in case anyone else is interested. most items came from target (thank you, dollar spot!) or just our local drug stores, grocery stores, etc. nothing too elaborate.
i've tried to link to most things and i've also attached a FREE copy of a coordinating poem as well as the favorite things checklist that i sent in for the teacher to fill out - because again, i want to give gifts that she can actually USE!
so without further delay, here's the back to school teacher survival kit:
the things i included were items that i would have loved when i was teaching or things that i remember going "oh, man! i WISH i had thought of that!"
•mini hand sanitizers - because germs. and germs. and germs. and seriously - is it really yours if it's not monogrammed? i think we all know the answer to that.
•candy - every teacher needs her own supply of candy. a supply that she's 100% positive little hands have never touched.
•tylenol - no explanation needed ;-)
•air freshener - i'm telling you what, there is no smell so strong as that of a classroom full of hot, sweaty, children after an hour long PE class. and precious as they might be, those little ones often let out not so precious smells. air freshener can be a life saver….for everyone.
•personalized notepads - these are some of my favorite teacher gifts. i can make them in any colors, fonts, mascots, etc. if you're interested in ordering one you can email me or message me on my etsy page! i'd love to create one for you (or your favorite teacher!)
•snacks for the teacher - believe me, the beginning of school is crazy. especially those first few days. i remember teaching kindergarten and not having a break at all the first week of school. we had to go with our class to lunch, to PE, the playground, even wait in the bus line to make sure they all got on the correct bus. snacks were necessary since my lunch was often overlooked.
•dry erase markers are amazing. and also sneaky. those things have a way of drying out and disappearing overnight. fresh markers and a (magnetic!) container to hold them are a prized possession in my book. ;)
•magnets, paperclips, and other little "office" odds and ends - always useful, but just more fun when they're cute.
•band-aids - sure, there's a clinic and a school nurse, but for those little bitty (sometimes invisible) "boo-boo's" it's just easier to have your own supply than to waste class time sending a little one down to the clinic. which can sometimes take muuuuuuuch longer than you ever imagined. ;)
•lotion and chapstick - because with the amount of hand washing that goes on, you're bound to need some lotion. and chapstick helps with those windy playground days!
i put everything in one of the plastic tubs (pictured in my collage) from target. i think it was either $2 or $3??? not expensive at all. i always try to get ones that either coordinate with the teacher's classroom or with the school colors so that she can hopefully continue to use it for storage or something useful later in the year. and my handy dandy silhouette helps make everything a bit more fun with names and polka dots! to download the FREE poem to coordinate with the basket, click HERE. (please remember this is for personal use only and to give credit where credit is due).
i included this list of favorite things for the teacher to fill out and return home with libbi. like i said, i love knowing that i'm giving our teachers things that can use and things that they actually enjoy! it may seem a bit over the top, but i have no problem showing my appreciation for the people who take care of my baby day in and day out. no matter what you choose to do, a gift, a note, a card - it's always nice to know that you're noticed and that someone is thankful for you!
let me know if you have any questions or any trouble with the links! i'm happy to help :)
and don't forget email me if you'd like to order a personalized notepad!