Show the Love Inexpensively
April 26, 2011 7:17 PM   Subscribe

A week of gifts that don't break the bank?

My creative yet inexpensive gift filter is failing me. Baby Leezie's daycare is asking parents to bring gifts for each day of the week in a different color to show appreciation for the teachers. BL has three teachers so at one gift each for five days = 15 gifts. Ouch!

What can I do for each of them that is meaningful but won't break the bank?
posted by Leezie to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Cupcakes. Trendy store-bought ones.

Or candy. Something consumable seems appropriate.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:20 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Different Bath & Body Works scented travel-size lotions and hand sanitizers and soaps (this is making the sexist assumption that they're women).

By the way, is this normal? You're already paying for daycare, then you're also directed by the daycare to bring gifts to the daycare employees for a week? That's nervy.
posted by amro at 7:23 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On one of the days you could write a heartfelt Thank You letter on paper of the correct color (in a matching colored envelope.)

Carnations are pretty inexpensive and come in lots of colors, you could get a small vase for each at a thrift store for about $1.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:30 PM on April 26, 2011

Best answer: Could you assemble parts of a themed gift as the week went? Like a movie gift that had a nuke popcorn, candy bar, 20oz soda, bag of chips, and a $5 walmart card or something?
posted by msbutah at 7:32 PM on April 26, 2011

Maybe assembling a first aid kit? A metal box, bandaids, neosporin, an ice pack, and an ace bandage.
posted by msbutah at 7:33 PM on April 26, 2011

Or a take your lunch to work kit with a soft lunch bag, resusable spoon/fork deal, pack of tissues, portable salt/pepper, and an ice pack? All from the dollar store?
posted by msbutah at 7:35 PM on April 26, 2011

Best answer: As a daycare worker these have been some of my favorite:

boxes of teas or tea bags
flower seeds
cute post-it notes (in shapes or fun colors)

I especially like getting fun office supply type stuff I can use in my classroom. A parent once gave me fun printed binder clips and some paperclips in the shapes of animals. It made me happy reaching for one in my cabinets AND kept my co-workers from pilfering my supplies because they were so identifiable. (This may just be my own weird love of office supply/suspicious guarding of said office supplies.)
posted by Saminal at 7:35 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Age appropriate books would be a good gift. Many pre-school teachers use their own books or bring in library books to read to the kids.
posted by COD at 7:40 PM on April 26, 2011

Response by poster: Awesome ideas, everyone. Thanks so much!
posted by Leezie at 8:09 PM on April 26, 2011

Best answer: My mom has been a teacher for many years, so I'd like to give a few words of advice regarding teacher gifts:

-Consumable, as jabberjaw mentions above, is key. However, I caution against perishable items like cupcakes or cookies. Whenever there's an occasion for teacher gifts, at least a quarter of the class gives something perishable, but it's tough for a person (even with eager help from a family!) to get through more than one of the items before they all go stale.

-Non-edible consumables are fantastic. School supplies (like sharpies and post-its as mentioned above) will be very much appreciated. Soaps, lotions, and sometimes even candles are also good.

-Gift cards to places to buy classroom supplies (Office Max, etc) are also great, since school budgets are tight and a lot of classroom items are paid for from the teacher's own pocket.

-Flowers are good, but decorative items in general should be avoided, especially if they are teacher-themed. My mom could fill a room with throw pillows that have "2 teach is 2 touch a life 4 ever" stitched into them.

There are a lot of great ideas here. My personal suggestion, if it's color themed, would be to buy a pack of multi-colored post-it notes, a multi-colored pack of pens, a pack of multi-colored sharpies, and a variety of stickers that the preschoolers would like (stars, dinosaurs, animals, etc) until you have enough to make 15 sets. Break them up by color, tie neatly with a ribbon. Write up a bunch of short little thank-you notes (you could even make a dumb little pun for each color if you were really motivated) and have Baby Leezie draw some pictures, and attach a note and/or picture to each little gift bundle.

Don't worry about them all being the same. I assure you that the teachers will be grateful for something practical (and aware of how much the daily gift thing is a pain in the ass for the parents). Keeping the gifts small and extremely simple makes things easier for you and the teachers.
posted by phunniemee at 8:51 PM on April 26, 2011

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