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My daughter’s last day of Preschool, 2012. Hard to believe she graduates Kindergarten next week!

No more teachers, no more looks, no more teachers’ dirty looks! Yup, it’s that time of year again, the end of the school year! I, unlike many parents, am excited! I am looking forward to spending a long, exciting summer, with my darling daughter who is 6. I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mommy and plan all sorts of exciting activities.

Now, the end of the year, always gets tricky. Some parents splurge and buy extravagant gifts for their child’s teachers and some don’t do a thing. So, I decided to give you all a few ideas. As a former teacher, who taught for seven years and has numerous friends and family members who teach/or have taught – I have put together a few ideas and a bit of information for you.

Typically, the average family will spend about $10.00 – $20.00 per teacher. I always like being the one who collects money and gets the teachers a class gift instead of individual gifts. In the past I have done different things and everyone normally likes it. They like the idea that they do not have to worry about it, and it is a class gift instead of individual.

I asked many teachers what their ideal presents would be. Here were some suggestions

–        Gift Cards

–        Edible Arrangements

–        Fancy Box of Candy

–        Frames/Pictures

–        Personal Crafts (maybe from a craft show)

–        Child Art

–        Written Cards/Messages

–        School Supplies (Unique stuff for the classroom)

For the past two years, I have painted clay flower pots, with water proof paint. You can see the pictures below. The teachers and parents LOVE them! It is easy, inexpensive, and very thoughtful. I actually just found the 6 in clay pots for $1.11 & the small saucers for $.74 at K-Mart. My daughter has 2 teachers, so this was fantastic! The water proof paint and pens can be found anywhere and used over and over again! I find plants for about $5.00 to place inside. I personalize the bottom with the year, grade etc and write on there, “Thank You For Helping Us Grow!”

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My daughter only has 9 kids in her class, but the parents are fabulous and generous. We were lucky enough to have another parent create each teacher a special book from Shutterfly (They have awesome deals AND you can use multiple coupon codes)  with all of our personal pictures compiled together. Then, we intend on using the extra money for gift cards. Visa Gifts cards are always nice, considering the teacher can do whatever they want!

Some people choose not to do anything, a simple thank you or hug is really all teachers need! The year can be long, the families and kids can be challenging, but in all honesty we love it all. If we didn’t  we would not continue to teach!  If you have any additional ideas, PLEASE post them!

One last thing, don’t forget to take plenty of pictures during these last days of school. I know it sounds silly, but my daughter loves looking back at them & the videos too. I have been compiling my daughter’s Kinder scrapbook too!!  I have made her a part of it, and it is hilarious. Even as I am typing this up, I become a tad emotional, but I am happy I have kept the memories. So, keep the memories alive and have a GREAT summer!

Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Jill is a former teacher who is now a stay at home mommy, by choice, of her active 7 yr old daughter, Kelsey Anne, in Livonia, Michigan. On the side, she works as a Social Media & Marketing Coordinator for a Michigan based Protocol Company with 25 years experience, specializing in creating, managing, and producing gala events for dignitaries, celebrities and non-profit organizations throughout the country. She also volunteers at her daughter's school, has recently started substitute teaching, enjoys entering contests and sweeps, & spending time with her family. You can follow her on Twitter @jillkathan.
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[…] If you can hold a paintbrush, you can buy inexpensive pots from a craft store like Michaels and paint some simple flowers with waterproof paint, or write a teacher poem with a waterproof pen directly on the pot. If you have a little more artistic skill, you could paint something more elaborate on the pot, again with waterproof paint. I’ve done this in the past and teachers love it! I learned some basic flower painting techniques from a Donna Dewberry book, bought a few inexpensive clay pots (or tins) and two or three colors of paint and painted each of the pots. I then went to a discount flower shop and purchased beautiful geraniums and placed them in the pots. They were perfect! Here is another clay pot painting idea from Detroit Mommies Magazine. […]