Inside: Don’t forget the art teacher gift this year! Taken from the mouths of actual art teachers, check out this list of the best gift ideas for art teachers.
The week before Christmas break. All of the classroom teachers are carrying around big coffee mugs filled with chocolate goodies, planning how to spend their Starbucks gift cards, and tearing up over sweet notes from their students. And you? Sweet Stephanie from 2C gave you a candy cane, and you got some craft sticks and googly eyes from your Secret Santa.
I’m not saying we NEED presents each Christmas or Teacher Appreciation week, but each year art teachers around the country feel the slight sting of under appreciation this time of year.
I recently asked in the Art Teachers group on Facebook — “As an art teacher, what would you LOVE to get as a gift?” I used their feedback to create this list of gift ideas for art teachers.
Several teachers noted this traditional holiday shafting of the elective teachers. Here are some of the teacher comments on that thread:
- “Anything? Heh, electives teachers get shafted.”
- “Actually just a gift! lol.”
- “I think..anything, since we are usually left out!”
- “Anything…I’m usually forgotten amongst the other teachers.”
- “I get nothing, so anything, even the smallest gesture of a card would be nice.”
- “Anything nice someone wants to give me.”
You could totally make an art teacher’s day this year with a sweet and thoughtful art teacher gift. All of the below gifts ideas for art teachers came straight from the source themselves!
Please note, this post includes Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Gift Cards! Simple and Easy Art Teacher Appreciation Gifts
Far and away, the best gift ideas for art teachers are gift cards. Over half of the responses included gift cards as the art teacher gift of choice.
Find it too impersonal? It’s not! Just think of all of the art teacher’s own money goes into their classroom each year purely because of love and excitement over teaching your child. That gift card can go a long way for an underpaid and overworked teacher! And, you bet they will savor every second of spending it.
Where should the gift card be to? The consensus is basically ANYWHERE. The following places were mentioned in the thread–Amazon, Michaels, JoAnns, Target, Home Depot, Blick, Walmart, Etsy, as well as coffee, restaurants, movies, books, gas, greenhouse, massage, spa/pedicure, and art supply stores.
Me? I always particularly love Starbucks or Amazon.
Colorful Pens and Sharpies: The Perfect Art Teacher Gift!
Second on the most popular gift ideas for art teachers was an assortment of colorful gel pens, Sharpies, and Prismacolor products.
Here are some great options to give the art teacher:
Art teachers are particularly obsessed with Sharpies. They are pretty wonderful. One teacher even posted a picture of herself and the gifting student with the box of Sharpies! ❤️❤️❤️
A big box of black Sharpies is about the most useful gift an art teacher can get. (36 Sharpies for $14.43 on Amazon)I just want to put a big heart eyes emoji on that picture of Sharpies. ???
Colorful Sharpies. I honestly have two sets of these, and every time I see them at the store, I am tempted to buy more. I have a problem. (24 Sharpies for $10.23 on Amazon)
Gel Pens. (108 Pens for $17.99)
Prismacolor is the Cadillac of colored pencils. Delight your favorite art teachers with a box of these gems. (48 pencils for $19)
Practical Gift Ideas for Art Teachers
One teacher said she wanted “simple stuff that makes my life easier” as an art teacher gift and cited a student who kept her stocked in qtips and toothpicks. Several teachers mentioned things like hand sanitizer, tissues, and lotion.
The truth is that when students bring those types of supplies at the beginning of the year, they rarely ever make it into the art teacher’s classroom.
Other mentioned practical gifts ideas for art teachers include: rubber gloves, rags, oven gloves, sponges, rubber spatulas, dish soap, paper plates, and a first aid kit.
For art teachers, a large part of our jobs is cleaning and organizing the chaos. Little things to help with that can go a long way, and these materials add up in cost after a while!
My add-on to this list of presents for art teachers? Magic Erasers!
These amazing things can get anything off of anything (see Sharpies above)! I used these like crazy when I taught elementary! Plus, you can buy a 20-pack of generic Magic Cleaning Eraser Sponges for only $9.95.
Art Books for the Classroom Library
Having a library of art books is so helpful for an art teacher to use as reference for students, to give students something to do when they finish their work, and *ahem* to assign as book work for a misbehaving student who hasn’t earned the right to use the Sharpies responsibly.
What book you get depends on the age level of the student, but I would recommend some quality art history books or books on an individual artist, style, or civilization.
The Story of the World series is great for a teacher to have on hand for art history lessons.
Here are some book guides from my website.
Miscellaneous Gifts Ideas for Art Teachers
I think the above list covers most of the art teacher gift bases, but there were some other great ideas from Facebook that I want to include.
- Art museum membership or tickets
- Art-related t-shirts, sweatshirts, and aprons
- Quality glue gun
- Handwarmers and Mittens
- Lottery Tickers
- Sketchbooks or Planners
- Colored Papers or Watercolor Paper
- Copic markers
- Oil Pastels
A Genuine and Simple Thank You!
When it comes down to it, teachers work very very hard for their students, and they do it from the bottom of their heart with no expectation of thanks. A thank you note from the heart is almost better than everything above combined. We want to know that the hard work we are doing is making a difference, and the from-the-heart thank you notes keep us going on the most stressful of days.
But, if you throw in a cup of coffee, some chocolate, and a Sharpie, it certainly won’t hurt. ?
What are you getting for your art teacher this year? Or teachers, what did I miss? What would you love to receive as a gift! Leave a comment below.
Love the ideas and thanks so much for sharing. It saddens me to hear that other art teachers are left out. I am extremely blessed by an awesome Parent’s Group and very thankful students. I am reminded at Christmas time especially how much I am loved and appreciated. Art teachers work incredibly hard should be recognized on a regular basis. Thanks for your newsletter, thoughts and inspiration. I am fairly new to the education field and always gain new insight through your work. Keep it up!
So glad that there are art teachers out that feel the love and appreciation!! Thank you so much. 🙂
I appreciate your hard work in assembling these lists and ideas. Incredible work you do Cindy! Making Christmas lists for family, because they always ask, these lists help me think of things I wanted and totally forgot about. LOL Those of us who not only teach but also practice art on our own usually have a lot of things needed for creating. Again, thank you for this great post, and for all the spectacular work you do. We love it!!