In January, my oldest son, James (3 1/2) started "school" for the first time at a Mother's Day Out program two days a week. Our first fun bring-a-gift holiday celebrated at school was Valentine's Day and this crafty mom had loads of non-sugar gift ideas.
I don't necessarily have a problem with that, but I decided to "sit this holiday out" and see what the other kids brought for their exchanges. Still, I had to be a little different, so I made James his very own, personalized Lightning McQueen Valentine's Day cards. When you factor in how much computer ink I used, I probably wasted money (and time) with these, but aren't they cute???
Anyway, there weren't any over-the-top "wow" exchanges, so we don't quite stick out like a sore thumb... yet. Easter came and it was crazy! I got a memo saying that James had to have 6 filled eggs for a huge egg hunt. Now does this egg hunt mean just James' class? Surely not since this memo looks like it went out to all the Mother's Day Out classes... meaning there are babies participating in this hunt too. That crosses out any throat-sized trinkets that fit perfectly in eggs, so I "settled" for sugar. Ugh... so not a fan of "filled eggs" considering the amount of sugar the boys will probably be eating on Easter anyway. So I bought chocolate that easily melts in your mouth so that no kids will die by my son's filled Easter eggs.
Then, the night before the egg hunt, I get another memo that says "No chocolate." Well, guess what, kids? You are now getting leftover Valentine's Day candy that you gave my kid but I took away from him after several days of his crazy side... and yes, there were a few trinkets as well.
So, I send James to school with the 6 ordinary filled eggs with recycled candy. When I pick him up, the teacher walks him to the car carrying a HUGE GARBAGE BAG of stuff! "Wow, you must have found a lot of eggs, James." Um... no... they were GOODIE BAGS from a lot of the kids in his class, coloring books, crayons, toys, pencils, cookies, candy, candy, candy, eggs that look like animals, eggs that look like bugs, and oh, a lone egg that is just so ordinary. One of our eggs. Filled with that recycled candy that I still won't let him eat. Now, I am that mom... the lame, lackluster mom.
So, I now I want to go back to being the first mom that my husband was worried about me becoming. For Teacher Appreciation Week, I want James to show his appreciation with a keepsake gift that will be really special for his teachers. More importantly, I want to talk to James about how important a teacher's role is and why I appreciate his teachers' hard work so much! I want my son to appreciate his teachers and I want his generation to know that being a teacher is one of the most respectable and challenging jobs out there.
When I was a teacher, I loved handmade gifts. Those are the gifts that I still have tucked away in my treasure box. When a student added his her own special touch to a gift, it meant the world to me!
Do It Yourself Project
Here is a few framed art idea that you can do with your child this weekend that will mean the world to your child's teacher:
Have your child paint the background of the canvas (use painters tape to tape off any areas where you don't want paint) and then put their hand or feet prints on top of their art in either a lighter or darker shade. Add a cheap frame and you have a gift that will be kept forever!
Or choose a few colors and just hand over that paintbrush! Let them go crazy! Don't forget to add your child's name and the year on it.
Want to add a special touch to your child's art? I really recommend the blog Handprint and Footprint Art that has some of the most clever ideas to do with your child!
Have fun and please share your ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week with me!