Looking for the perfect last-minute present for your kids’ favorite instructors? Here, 5 clever ideas that will melt their heart without breaking the bank.
By Laura Quaglio
“The most thoughtful gifts that I have received from my students are handwritten letters and/or pictures that they have given to me,” says Latasha Casey, Founder of P.O.M. Squad (Positive Outcome Mentoring and Dance, Incorporated), a youth development program empowering girls through the art of dance. Tasha’s programs increase confidence, build social skills, and provide memorable experiences through dance classes, mentoring, and performance opportunities. “Knowing that they took the time out to think about me reassures me that I am making an impact on their lives. It always warms my heart to receive these types of gifts from the girls I work with!”
Here, a few other great ideas for gifts that your kids’ instructors will truly treasure.
1. Liven Store-Bought Gifts with Handmade Labels
Maybe you’ve seen these custom wine labels: “Our child might be the reason you drink, so enjoy this bottle on us!” There’s no shame in copying this cute idea — mimicry is the most sincere form of flattery. You can make a similar label using a computer, or let your child create a hand-made drawing to paste onto the bottle — with or without this funny commentary. Not comfortable giving the teacher an alcoholic beverage? Use the same idea with a bag of fancy ground coffee or a travel mug: Our child might be the reason you need caffeine…
2. Offer a “Moving” Display of Appreciation
Instructors love when students show off the skills they’ve been taught in class! Have your child create a dance for their hip-hop instructor or come up with a kata for their martial arts teacher. Cheerleaders can create a personalized cheer, complete with pompoms. If creating something that complex is too challenging for your child, have them take a few minutes before their next class to show off what they know — and thank the instructor for showing them how to slam-dunk, sprint, kick, catch, or whatever else they are now able to do.
3. Cook Up a Clever Present
Everyone loves cookies and candies at the holidays. You can make your instructor’s cookie tray even more special by creating goodies that are customized just for them. A math tutor might love cupcakes topped with icing equations. Gingerbread people can be posed doing martial arts kicks, or you can find ballerina or football player cookie cutters. You can even make little flags using toothpicks, tape, and paper cutouts of favorite activity-appropriate pictures. Tuck a tiny flag into the top of each cookie, cupcake, or candy before delivering them to the coach or teacher.
4. Give the Gift of Your Time
There’s no time like the present, and there’s no present like your time! Many programs can benefit from an extra pair of hands. It costs you nothing to help out (other than an hour or two), and has plenty of payoffs. You can show your appreciation to your child’s instructors. You can get a personal peek at what your kid’s up to. And you just might find a hobby or interest that you enjoy. Perhaps you’ll decide to become a scout leader or computer coding instructor yourself.
5. Help Them Fill Their Camps and Classes
One of the best things you can do for the programs your child loves: Promote them to your friends. You’ll be offering your favorite instructors some added job security, and your child benefits, too: If more kids join the program, there will likely be more resources and offerings for everyone, including your kiddo. You can also promote ActivityHero providers right online, reaching hundreds of parents. Here, discover tips to help you — quickly — write a stellar provider review!
For additional clever gift offerings, check out Teacher Gift Ideas from Over 50 Real Teachers from Love from the Oven!