The best handmade gifts children can give to teachers

Child painting

The end of the school year is the perfect time to say a big thank you to teachers who have helped make a positive impact and a difference to children’s lives, but sometimes it can be difficult to think of an innovative present that a teacher doesn’t already have.

 A handmade gift is a unique and thoughtful way for children to show their appreciation for teaching staff who have helped them during the year. We have spoken to bloggers to ask them what their number one handmade gift idea is for their child’s teacher and why giving something with a personal touch is important.

Peppermint foot scrub

Peppermint foot scrub

Children love nothing more than creating lotions and potions so encouraging them to mix up their own batch of peppermint foot scrub is likely to be met with glee as Sarah from Craft Invaders explains: “Our number one handmade gift idea for teachers is our home-made peppermint foot scrub. We know teachers work extremely hard and are on their feet all day, so it's a lovely way to give them a little relaxing treat.

“I think it's essential that it’s the children that put the majority of the effort into making handmade gifts. They will enjoy the process, and it’s an opportunity for them to reflect on why they are saying thank you. Secondly, I don’t believe there's a need to spend lots of money; it’s the effort that’s appreciated, not the value. And finally, I want our teachers to feel fabulously appreciated.”

Make Sarah’s peppermint foot scrub:

You will need:

Two cups of Epsom Salts

One cup of oil (Almond, jojoba, avocado, olive, coconut or grapeseed oil all work well)

Ten drops of peppermint essential oil

One tablespoon of freshly chopped rosemary.


Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, how dry or oily you make your scrub is a matter of personal preference, however, Sarah suggests: “As this is going to be a peppermint foot scrub, I think it's nice to have it quite wet with oil to really encourage the user to massage it in thoroughly. Give everything a thorough mix and spoon it into pretty jars before decorating with a gift tag and ribbon.”

Hand-painted terracotta pot

“Thanks for helping me grow and bloom”

Children can have a fantastic eye for colours and patterns so letting them unleash their artistic streak is a great way to make a thank you gift as Caroline a teacher and blogger at Three Baby Kisses explains: “I have received some lovely presents over the years but it’s always the handmade ones that have stuck in my memory. Don’t get me wrong the chocolates and wine are always nice but there is something so special about when the child has taken the time to make a gift. 

“I got a hand-painted plant pot with a beautiful rose plant in. As a parent myself I thought this is a super simple idea to do. Basically, the one I received was a basic terracotta pot painted with the child’s creations on. They also glued on some of those little glass gems used in gardens/flower arranging for the centre of little flowers that were painted on the pot.”

Sweet-filled milk bottles

Traditional glass milk bottles not only look lovely but they can also be used over and over again by the recipient afterwards. Before having children blogger Becca Farrelly worked as a primary school teaching assistant and said receiving handmade gifts was so special: “My favourite handmade gift idea was to fill small milk bottles with sweets, tie a pretty ribbon around the top of them all and pop a little thank you card personalised for each teacher and teaching assistant inside. They always go down well.

“I love handmade gifts as you can personalise them for each recipient as well as adding your own special twist. They also show that a bit of thought has gone into them instead of just picking some chocolates off the shop shelf.”

Let the child choose the colour or sweet theme before letting them carefully decant the contents into the milk bottles. Sweet ideas to incorporate include traditional boiled sweets, fudge, liquorice, penny chews, sour sweets and bootlaces.

A simple sweet treat is also a gift idea Tanya from Seeme & Liz recommends: “Handmade gifts for teachers are great but whenever kids make something for their teachers, I try to make sure it will have some kind of use or it will make their teachers smile. This year we are going to make their teachers jars of ‘keep calm’ pills. It is very simple to make; all you need is a mason jar or a similar clear container with a lid. Then fill it with some sweets, we use Skittles, and then the kids will make tags to go on the container saying something like ‘take one or more chill pills as needed to bring calm to your day’. I love this idea because it is so simple and is sure to bring a smile to a teachers’ face, and who doesn't like sweets?”

Personalised mug

 It is no secret that teachers love hot drinks, so a quaint personalised mug from which to drink their tea or coffee from is a great gift idea. Samara at Gift Goonie told us “nothing screams bespoke more than a specially crafted gift”. Samara blogs about a variety of gift ideas to suit all budgets and explains: “I think making a handmade gift for a teacher is a brilliant idea. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. Children use their imagination and create a gift and teachers get a gift that makes them feel special. 

“One of my favourite handmade gift ideas is a personalised mug. There are lots of craft kits you can buy in various shops and children can use these kits to make a hand-painted personalised mug. This gift is also very practical, I’m sure there is always a need for cups in the staff room. Personally, I would also fill the mug with chocolates or some small scented candles, then wrap it in cellophane and add a pretty ribbon.”

Framed poems

Child writing

Children can be poetically gifted and some love nothing more than quietly sitting with a pen and paper to come up with a witty rhyme. Allowing them to showcase their poetic genius for their teachers is another way to say a big thank you at the end of the year as Naomi, a teacher and blogger from Gorgeously Fabulous told us: “Some of my absolute favourite gifts from the children that I have taught over the years have been personalised poems in hand-decorated photo frames. I love reading all the important memories that they share in their poetry and seeing all their hard work to make something special. 

“It’s so important to give handmade gifts as they are something that has come from the heart. The gift-giver has taken their time to create something really unique and as a recipient, I always feel touched that someone has taken their time to make something wonderful for me.”

From treats to trinkets, there are so many wonderful presents children can create and give to their teachers before the end of the summer term. Not only will the children love creating something fun, but the teacher will also truly appreciate a memorable keepsake.

If children want to make their own thank you gift for their teachers before the end of the summer term then being organised is key. Hiring household staff from an agency is a great way to enlist that extra pair of hands to help with not only this task but many others within the home and general family life.

Picture credit: Craft Invaders

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