By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com
The days are getting hot, the kids are getting antsy -- the school year is nearing its end. Many parents mark the occasion with tokens of appreciation for all those teachers and coaches that have made such an impact on their children's lives in the past year. If you're what we call a Cheapist, no doubt you're looking for affordable ways to say thank you. The web is full of ideas for low priced teacher gifts, and we've rounded up some of our favorites below.
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Pampering Set. This doesn't mean you have to buy a gift card to a spa -- although you can if you like (we're sure any teacher would enjoy it). Instead, the Baltimore Mommies blog suggests buying a nice bottle of hand lotion and presenting it creatively: Trace and cut out your child's handprints, stick them on either side of the bottle, and write on one of them, "[Teacher's name], you deserve a hand." This project gets children involved and can easily yield several inexpensive teacher gifts.
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Garden Pot. This idea from Disney's FamilyFun magazine starts with an inexpensive potted plant. Add gardening tools by poking them into the soil or attach envelopes of seeds to flower wire and stick those in. At Skip To My Lou, you can download a free printable card that says, "Thanks for helping [child's name] bloom." The beauty of this inexpensive teacher gift is you can make it as big or small as you like. Buy a small plant and add only a few seed envelopes or buy a big one and have multiple families contribute seed packets and handheld garden tools.
School Supplies. For a simple an exceedingly cheap teacher gift, the blog Nothing But Country shares this idea: Buy a pack of highlighters (you can find them at the dollar store) and attach a card that says, "Thanks for making my school year bright." The highlighters not only set up the cute play on words, they're also something any teacher can use in the classroom. Nothing But Country provides free printable cards.
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Group Gift. If you want to make a much bigger gesture, you can always pool resources with other parents'. Ask the family of each kid in the class or on the team to chip in and splurge on a big gift such as a spa trip. If you don't want to deal with cash, ask each family to provide a gift card that fits within a theme. For example, treat a teacher or coach to a night out with gift cards for dinner, a movie, and ice cream. You can also try using a group gifting site to collect payment.
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