10+ Unique teacher gift ideas 2021

Everyone wants to come up with unique teacher gift ideas so every year I make an updated post on what your kids’ teachers actually want this year!

10+ unique teacher gift ideas! gifts your kids' teachers will be sure to love. photo of 3 books stacked up with red and white flowers in a white vase on top, along with an apple, pen and leather notebook.

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As a former teacher and a parent, I’ve been on both sides of the gift giving teams around the holidays. I want to preface this with: gifts for teachers are appreciated and never expected. If you have your heart set on something that isn’t on this list, don’t let me stop you! If these things don’t fit into your budget, that’s okay. Whatever you present to your kids’ teacher will absolutely be appreciated. These are ideas for parents who are looking for new, unique teacher gift ideas.

It’s important to know your child’s teacher well if you’re going to do something personal for them. If you don’t know if your child’s teacher as a dog or not, don’t get her a dog bandana, for instance.

What are some teacher gifts to avoid?

  • Smelly things: Every year, teachers are usually presented with lotions, body washes, candles, hand sanitizers, etc. These can be difficult to receive because some people have aversions to scents. The only exception to this “rule” would be if you know for a fact they enjoy a certain scent.
  • Mugs/water bottles: You’d be shocked to learn how many of these teachers receive every year!
  • Alcohol/coffee: I’m sure I’ll get some hate here but not everyone drinks alcohol/coffee and worse, some may be in recovery. Additionally, most schools do not allow alcohol on school grounds.
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Unique teacher gift ideas for 2021

Pipermoon adult swaddle blanket:

This is my personal favorite. I have one of these and have gifted it to our sitters. It is stretchy, comfortable and wraps you up in a hug! 2 of my 4 kids have one, too. Use code MELANIE for a discount!

photo of a gray and white striped blanket in a gray couch
photo courtesy of pipermoon

Cement planters

Resting Plant Face is a small business based in Dallas, TX (and happens to be a good friend of mine) and she hand pours cement planters. She also can do custom orders. These planters are hand poured and hand painted. (She has a freaking adorable Halloween collection that you should check out). You can buy small succulents at Home Depot to put in there.

photos courtesy of Resting Plant Face

Meal planner notebook or recipe book

These meal planner notebooks are a great gift idea for anyone! Meal planning is a great way to save money and avoid going out to eat more than planned. The recipe books also holds 50 recipes so the receiver can keep track of their favorites.

recipe book, meal planner notebook and kitchen cheat sheet cards

Gift cards

If you know for a fact that your kids’ teacher likes a certain restaurant, grab a gift card for them. Movie theatre, Amazon, Target, car wash, massage, etc. A few caveats on this one – remember not everyone drinks alcohol or coffee so avoid those 2 unless you know they enjoy it. Also make sure you get them a gift card they will use on themselves, not their classroom.

A handwritten letter

Personally I feel if you have the time, this is a great thing to add into any gift. Receiving a heart felt letter written by you or your child will go a long way for a teacher! Upside – it’s free!

Baking mix

I had a parent (who is a good friend now) give me a homemade baking mix and it was just the dry ingredients and then I just had to add the wet ingredients to make cookies. I also got a cool glass container out of it!

Coffee sleeve

If you know your kids’ teacher drinks coffee in the morning, grab a sleeve off of Etsy – this is a great shop for that! They will have it forever and use it every day. She also has cute zipper pouches that would be great for a gift.

blue coffee sleeve with pink flowers around a clear coffee cup with a blue and white straw being held by a hand with gray nail polish.
photo courtesy of stitched chic

Group gift

If you have the time, get together with other parents of the class and gather some money and get a larger gift card or larger gift – personalized wreath, personalized blanket, etc.

Kind words

Send an email to your child’s teacher and/or superintendent talking about how and why you appreciate them.


Make a donation in their name to an organization that is important to the teacher.

Christmas ornament

Get them a cute, small Christmas ornament with your child’s name/signature on it. They can bring it out every year in the classroom or at home. Or if she has a dog, get her something with her dog’s picture or drawing on it.

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How much should I spend on unique teacher gifts?

You spend whatever you’re comfortable with. If that’s $5, spend it. If that’s $50, spend it!

Tips on choosing a unique teacher gift

Make sure you definitely know their likes and dislikes if you’re going to do something personal. This includes what they drink (coffee/alcohol), what they like to eat, their favorite scents, colors, etc.

Ask them in the beginning of the year about their favorite things. You can grab this teacher questionnaire from my Etsy shop!

If you decide to gift some of these, head over to Instagram and tag me! I love seeing teacher gift ideas!

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