An endless list of great teacher gifts.

The best teacher gifts make your teacher’s work day easier and your child’s learning experience richer. School budgets do not provide for a classroom’s every need, making some projects or activities difficult or impossible for teachers to do with your kids. Here are some classroom gift ideas that will show your appreciation for the work of a teacher, making their work day a little easier, and that will benefit all the kids. Teacher Present IdeasCredit: Flickr: Editor B

If you don’t know which of these or other items your teacher and classroom needs most, ask. When you ask, give the teacher your budget. Say you are going to spend X amount of dollars for the classroom and want a list of what you can get. If you just ask what is needed without a budget, your teacher may hold back not wanting to impose.

Workshop Sets

Many teachers have workshop time or activities for down time to keep kids who get done with their work more quickly busy. These are also used for rainy day activities. These may be puzzles, educational individual games, or even handmade activities. Often teachers do not have enough for all the kids or enough to rotate them throughout the year. Kids eventually get bored with the same workshop activities if they are left out all year and not changed. To get the right activity for your teacher gift, you will need to know what is used and needed by your teacher. Specialty classroom supplies stores, such as Discount School Supply, will have ‘Manipulative’ and ‘Curriculum Support’ categories with these types of activities. 

Office/Desk Supplies


Hole punch

Electric pencil sharpener – With daily use, a new one is often needed every year.

Clip boards

Sticky notes

White board dry erase markers – Name brand does make a difference here. The higher quality brands do last longer and clean off the board more easily.

Small individual white boards

Paper cutter

Playground Supplies


Hula hoops

Jump ropes

Art Supplies

This is almost an endless list. Go to any arts and craft store and stock up on the clearance and sale items.


Glue sticksBest Teacher GiftsCredit: Flickr: Carissa GoodNCrazy

Cotton balls


Pipe cleaners

Tissue paper

Construction paper

Elmer’s glue

Tempera paint

Water colors

Poster board

Card stock

Daily Use Kids Supplies

These are classroom supplies that kids need at their desk and use frequently. Although kids are typically required to bring their own supplies, some parents have limited budgets and kids do use these quickly.


Colored pencils - Crayola Twistables that you don’t have to sharpen are a luxury item.


Kid’s scissors – It doesn’t take long before these scissors stop cutting and need replacing, but school budgets don’t include new scissors very often. Don’t forget the lefties!




Cleaning and Sanitary Supplies

Yes, schools don’t supply all the sanitary and cleaning supplies that a classroom needs for the entire year.  To help keep the classroom and kids clean give:

Paper towels


Hand soap

Cleaning wipes such as Green Works wipes to wipe down tables and surfaces

Baby wipes to clean kids’ hands

White board cleaner


Teachers that come early or stay late tutoring kids often provide snacks during these times. Buy snacks that are peanut-free and can be stored for long periods. Some ideas for snacks:



Gift Cards

When in doubt a teacher will always appreciate and put to good use a gift card. Good stores for a teacher gift card include:

Discount School Supply



Office Depot, Staples, or other office supply store

Pet store – If there’s a class pet, your teacher pays for all the care of that pet herself.

Home garden store – Plants, dirt, and ladybugs from the garden store make great science and environmental projects.

Do you have any more ideas for the best teacher gifts for the elementary school classroom? Add them in the comments! Teachers – what is that must have item you never have enough of that parents can help with?