20 Teacher Approved Gifts For The Holidays

Looking for holiday inspiration? Want to give a unique present and need help thinking outside the box? We’ve got you covered. Here are few gift ideas inspired by kid favorites in our classrooms. There are a variety of price points and some of these gifts can easily be picked up during your routine errands.

  1. Library Card

Most public libraries will allow you to open a card in your child’s name. Providing your child with their own card will create a sense of pride and ownership. Bonus: it will also help remind children to take good care of their books.

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  1. Train Ride

Have a transportation obsessed child? Why not take them on a short (or long) ride on a real train!

  1. Locks and Latches Board

These DIY boards are a great way for your child to get some fine motor practice, keep them occupied for hours, and allow them to safely play with latches and switches without risk of harm.

  1. Cooking Tools

Cooking tools that you would find in your own kitchen are often fast favorites for children. These items are particularly popular and safe for kids: spatulas, metal bowls, sifters, whisks, and pans. Keep these in a lower kitchen cabinet so that your child can easily pull them out to “help” you cook dinner!

  1. Linking Blocks

Blocks are wonderful! They allow for all types of gross motor, fine motor, and problem solving skills to develop. Our teachers especially love ones that connect, either by snapping together or sticking together with magnets.

  1. Slime/Playdough

This easy DIY item is always a favorite in any classroom. Children love the sensory experience and teachers love the endless possibilities of this fine motor activity.


  1. Tunnels

Fun for all ages, tunnels are a great indoor, gross motor play activity. Having trouble making transitions? Use a tunnel as a physical reminder that you are changing from one activity to the next.

  1. Scooter Boards

These flat boards with four wheels can be purchased at a toy store or even a hardware store (they are listed as furniture movers). They require both arm and leg coordination and can be a great inside option for movement.

  1. Drawing Implements

There is nothing quite like a new box of crayons, pencils, or markers to inspire creativity in a young (or old) child.

  1. Water Toys

Make bath time more fun with water “toys” that can be found at the local grocery or hardware store. Some of our favorites include large sponges, funnels, turkey basters and buckets.

  1. Exercise Trampolines

Looking for more big movement activities for indoor play? This is your answer! There are small trampolines made specifically for children that include a bar or you can also use an exercise trampoline. Exercise trampolines usually have covers over the springs but do need some extra adult supervision.

  1. Scarves

Scarves are a wonderful gift that can transform into so many different things for all ages. Have a child that loves to pull wipes or tissues out of the box? Transform an old wipe container by filling it with scarves. Want to spice up your changing table? Hang colorful scarves from the ceiling to keep your child mesmerized through the process. Jazz up a song by including movement with scarves.

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  1. Disposable Cameras

In a world of instant gratification this gift will teach your child patience and the art of film photography! It will also provide you with a look at the world through their eyes.


  1. Puppet Stages

There are few children who can resist a stage. Promote dramatic play by providing your child with a platform for their performances.

  1. Dress Up Clothes

Let your child’s imagination run wild with dress up clothes. We especially love including clothes from all different professions. When a child acts out scenarios in pretend play they are developing important social and problem solving skills.

  1. Books

Continue to foster your child’s love of reading by giving them new books. Even at a very young age a child is developing pre-reading skills and should be exposed regularly to text even before they are able to read it themselves.


  1. Tricycles

There is always a mad dash on the playground for tricycles and bicycles. Teachers love them because they require coordination and gross motor strength from the child.

  1. Steps

These could lead to nowhere and still be endless fun for a young, active child. Especially in their toddler years, they are always on the move! This is a great gift to help them safely explore and practice stairs.

  1. Magnifying Glasses

Encourage close looking with this gift! It will give children a new perspective on things they encounter in their everyday lives.


  1. Seeds

Have a picky eater? A great way to get your child excited about trying their vegetables is to get them started at the beginning of the process. Provide them with some seeds and a small space to garden and see the wonder in their eyes as their plants appear!

Did we forget something? Share your idea in the comments!