It is that time of year...the end of school!
So, that brings a bunch of pot lucks, picnics, and presents.
Teacher-gifts are always interesting. What to get? How many apple and school bus-themed trinkets can one have?
Here are some ideas....
*I ask the teacher if they need anything for their classroom.
Our school doesn't have a lot of money and there is always something they could use (e.g. a dictionary, thesaurus, board games, art supplies, batteries, paper, snacks). Or a gift card to an office supply store (e.g. Office Depot) or department store (e.g. Target).
*A student-made appreciation gift
My daughter wrote thank-you notes to all her teachers and principal this week for Appreciation Week. And for her teacher, a poem about him. My 3yo made a list of what he liked about preschool (I wrote it down for him...unedited). He also decorated some reused clementine boxes with stickers to pack the gifts in.
*A pampering gift
Since they won't have to get up and go to work for three months, we made a breakfast kit (homemade pancake mix, syrup, nuts, and OJ) and a dessert kit (homemade brownie mix, hot fudge nuts, and OJ (see below)). Or a gift card to the movies or rental place with some microwave popcorn and candy. I would stay away from bath/spa stuff, since it is a popular gift.
*Note the kids helped make the mixes and gather the other supplies.
*Ask the kids what they want to do to thank their teachers.
I asked my 3yo what type of gift he would like to make for his teachers. He said orange juice...they really like to drink it. So we did! My daughter likes to bake for her teachers and draw them pictures.
We don't spend a lot of money but we do think it is important to say thank you for spending your time and energy to educate and guide my children.
As for potlucks...I love them! I love deciding which dish to bring (hopefully the one everyone is talking about). But it is hard to pick a dish that can be served at room temp...doesn't melt or spoil in the heat...can be made ahead of time, if possible.
This week I made a Kansas Corn Casserole (Swiss cheese, corn, and saltines...yummy!), Sauteed veggies with tempeh and couscous, and a Mocha Tart (I will post this recipe soon...it was awesome and easy!).
Overall, I love the end-of-the-year activities because we get to hang out, talk with families, and make plans to see each other over the summer. I love to watch the kids play and I love to feel part of a community that can get together to share time and food.