Here are some that we have put together as a class over the last few years - (I know preschool is easier than grade school)
Its been easy - we just ask about $10 from each family to contribute towards this "themed" gift. Some families only give $10, some give more, whatever they can and want to contribute. We pool the money and get each teacher a themed bag. We usually tailor it to the teacher's interests. It's great and it looks like so much more than just a gift card from each family.
-Large pool bag filled with flip flops, buckets, gift cards to book stores, plastic drink glasses, visors, sun screen, beach towel, etc.
-Large tote bag filled with gardening items - shears, small shovel, gloves, gift card to Home Depot, packets of seeds, etc.
-Large tote bag filled with cooking items - measuring cups & spoons, apron, gift card to Williams Sonoma, hand towels, cook book, etc.
-Large tote bag filled with children's books (for the just out of school teacher starting their library) - having some of the books autographed by the authors is great!
-Large tote bag filled with pet items - leash, balls, squeaky toys, rain boots for the owner, gift cards to pet supply stores, etc.
-Tote filled with camping items - mosquito spray and netting, flashlight, batteries, hiking guide books, pillow, water bottle, etc.
It is great if you can get the kids to decorate or personalize the bag - hand prints on the bag or write their names.
Other items that have been "hits" with teachers:
- note cards
- thank you notes
- children's books signed by the author
- various gift cards to Amazon, Great Harvest Bread store, St. Elmo's, Dairy Godmother, AMC Movie theater, etc.
Some of the things that teachers have said they don't like or appreciate (have too much of) - anything with an apple or teacher on it.
What are some of the gifts you've given?