12 Cute Teacher Gifts Perfect for National Higher Education Day

by Lindsey Hunter Lopez
Jun 6, 2017 at 4:00 a.m. ET

It's a proven fact: Teachers go through a heck of a lot to educate our kids. They totally deserve to be showered with gifts on National Higher Education Day — whether they're actually teachers of higher education, or just getting today's youth ready for it.

As a former teacher myself, I've rounded up some cute and affordable suggestions sure to please your favorite educator. And to make it easier, each idea features a link to a printable gift tag. Aspiring Pinterest moms, rejoice!

Originally published May 2016. Updated June 2017.

1 /12: Starbucks cup

1/12 :Starbucks cup

The ever-popular Starbucks gift card gets a personalized touch with a reusable cup or travel mug. Teachers generally need caffeine, and there's always a 'Bucks nearby!

You can also customize it. Use a paint pen and add the teacher's name on the cup or buy a personalized cup online. For a fun wrap job, take a clear iced coffee cup (the kind with a lid and a straw) and stuff it with iridescent cellophane. Then place a gift card or other treat in the middle. For bonus points, add glitter or confetti! Find a free "Thanks a Latte" printable tag from Just Add Confetti.

2 /12: Personalized pencils

2/12 :Personalized pencils

Pencils with funny phrases or the teacher's name are sure to be a hit; this is a really practical gift. Get a lot of personalized pencils for a little money from Oriental Trading (I got some for my own classroom one year), or order some motivational pencils from Etsy like these.

3 /12: Bath spa treats

3/12 :Bath spa treats

Bath fizzies are popular relaxation tools, and a box of these aromatherapy bombs would start summer off right. (A "You’re the bomb" tag is the obvious printable pun here.) Scented candles, hand sanitizer and lotion are also nice options.

4 /12: Potted succulent

4/12 :Potted succulent

This is a Pinterest-worthy gift that's pretty simple to make — and it's affordable. Grab a small potted succulent (they're available everywhere from the grocery store to Home Depot to your local craft fair or swap meet) and pop it into a cute planter or pot. If you're crafty, you can decorate it and maybe have your child add some flair. If painting pots isn't your thing, places like Trader Joe's have adorable plants ready to go. Now comes the kicker: attach a tag that says "Thanks for helping me grow" — awww! Spoiler alert: I plan to do these for my daughter’s preschool teachers. Potted succulents are having a moment, plus they're easy to care for.

5 /12: Nail polish duo

5/12 :Nail polish duo

If the teacher in question is the manicure type, they might like a set of nice polish. Safe bets are Essie or OPI polishes in new summer colors. Put two together with a "MANI thanks" tag and some ribbon, and you've got one adorable gift. If your teacher was extra good this year (or you got a hefty tax refund) you could throw in a gift card to a local nail salon!

6 /12: Beach towel bundle

6/12 :Beach towel bundle

Chances are good your child's teacher is going to the beach (or at least the pool) this summer. Why not put together a fun towel bundle? Pick out a beach towel (such as this choice for the cat lover) and wrap it up with some goodies: a magazine, sunscreen, bookmark, lip balm, etc. Add ribbon or twine and a gift tag, and you're all set. Check out Sisters, What! for printable towel tags.

7 /12: Teacher mug

7/12 :Teacher mug

It may be cliché to give a teacher a mug, but there are some really cute ones out there! Plus, you can never have too many mugs. I've seen this "teaching tiny humans is exhausting" mug all over Instagram, for instance. For the complete package, add a beverage mix, a gift card or even some chocolate and wrap the whole thing up with some cellophane. And the tag? How about "Thanks for being a tea-riffic teacher"?

8 /12: Jar of cookies

8/12 :Jar of cookies

Teachers are divided on whether baked goods make a good gift. For the dieting or diabetic, for instance, treats can be problematic. For me, they're delicious. If your child's teacher eats sweets, bake some cookies and put them in a Mason jar with this free printable on the lid — so cute! Edible gifts are nice because they get consumed, so there's nothing to store or display after they've been enjoyed. 

9 /12: Give Lovely box

9/12 :Give Lovely box

Choose a fun themed gift box from Give Lovely and all the work is done. Goodies like nail polish, candy, a candle and a koozie are wrapped up for you and include a handwritten gift card — no need to even print a tag! A great option if you're pressed for time.

10 /12: Wine

10/12 :Wine

Simple and to the point! This one is great if the teacher in question actually enjoys wine, so you may want to do some recon first. Use the "Our child might be the reason you drink, so enjoy a bottle on us" personalized label from Evermine and you're sure to get a laugh. Go above and beyond with some wine glasses.

11 /12: Customized stamp

11/12 :Customized stamp

Rubber stamps are a great addition to a teacher's grading arsenal. A sweet sentiment imprinted in ink makes a memorable gift. Check out what's available on Etsy, like this Facebook-inspired stamp. Add a notepad and a pun tag, and you're good to go.

12 /12: Group gift card

12/12 :Group gift card

Teachers always welcome gift cards, especially to stores like Lakeshore (for elementary or preschool teachers) or Target (because Target has everything). It may be somewhat impersonal, but a group gift card from the class would be much appreciated. An easy way to organize it is for one parent to collect (anonymous) contributions via PayPal or Venmo. Find a free bookmark gift card holder printable on Yellow Bliss Road.