After spending time at home trying to juggle teaching my kids due to the recent school closures, there’s one thing I think we can all agree on: teachers are amazing! They deserve all the thanks they can get, which is more than just one week each year. We’ve compiled some fun DIY teacher appreciation crafts that kids and parents can do together to show teachers how much we love them!
This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com on behalf of The Quaker Oats Company.
We love our teachers
Y’all, I was a teacher once. For 12 years, I taught special education in a variety of settings, grades kindergarten through 12. But nothing – NOTHING – prepared me to take over trying to teach my own kids this year.
I’ve never appreciated my kids’ teachers as much as I did during this time.
School at home has been tough! Finding ways to keep the kids busy and engaged has been a struggle for me, even with teachers sending ideas and assignments virtually.
So to solve two problems at once, I decided we would break out the craft supplies. Not only did it give Aren and me a fun activity to do together, but it also gave us the chance to create something to show her teachers how much we love them!
Here’s how we did it:
Step 1: Grab a snack
You might not think getting a snack counts as step 1, but with a preschooler it absolutely does.
I certainly can’t work on an empty stomach, and neither can she! Luckily this also happens to be the easiest step of our entire activity!
Quaker Kids Organic Whole Grain Bars and Bites help make snack time one of the easiest parts of the day. I love that Quaker Kids Organic products are made with 11-19g of 100% whole grains and other delicious ingredients without added colors, artificial flavors, or high fructose corn syrup. They are also Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project verified, with 5-6g of sugar.
Aren loves them because they are delicious. She loves the soft-baked strawberry bars, and I can’t help but snack on the crispy bites with real strawberry pieces baked inside.
With our snacks and water nearby, we were ready to get crafty with our DIY teacher appreciation project!
Step 2: Paint a t-shirt
If wearing adorable clothes could be a love language, that’s what Aren’s would be. My girl loves to wear shirts that show team spirit or ones with meaningful messages, so we decided to design a shirt that she could wear when presenting her teachers with these gifts!
First, I put down some paper to protect our craft area. Then we took a plain white t-shirt and use 3-D fabric paint to make our design. To keep it simple, I wrote “We <3 Our Teachers” on the front of the shirt. I did the painting and let Aren choose the colors.
Aren was able to add to the design with her own creativity. With my help, she colored in the heart and added a flower to the shirt.
We set the shirt aside to dry and moved on to the next step.
Step 3: Decorate a picture frame
We took a wooden picture frame in the shape of a heart and painted it with acrylic paints. Aren decided she wanted to make a rainbow design, so I let her take full control of this project.
It’s hard sometimes to not take over and make everything “pretty” – but I know she needs to let her creativity out too!
While we painted, I asked Aren to tell me some things that she loved about her teachers. I wanted to get those ideas out so we would be ready for the next step.
After she determined that her picture frame was complete, we set it aside to dry and moved on.
Step 4: Write thank you notes
Because Aren is only in preschool, writing thank you notes isn’t something she can do independently. But we can work together to come up with some pretty sweet ideas!
I wrote out the cards as she told me what she wanted to say. To add in a bit of an educational piece, I had her help me sound out some of the words. She did a great job of helping me spell her teacher’s name!
While this activity is mostly focused on thanking our teachers, we know that teachers aren’t the only ones who make school special. Aren and I made sure to include extra notes for teacher assistants and office workers too.
After I wrote the notes, she signed her own name and added a little artwork. And what thank you note would be complete without stickers? The more flair, the better. That’s what we think anyway.
Step 5: We Love Our Teachers coloring sheet
By this point, Aren has had her fill of DIY crafts and our project is mostly complete. She was content to do a more independent activity while I cleaned up the rest of our materials.
I printed this We Love Our Teachers coloring sheet from the Quaker Kids Organic website and let her color it however she wanted. (Print your coloring sheet here!)
Step 6: Take a picture wearing the shirt
To make sure our fabric paint was fully dry (the paint was quite thick in a few places), we waited until the next day to try it on. After testing it to be sure it was dry, I helped Aren put her shirt on so we could take a picture.
I snapped a photo of her giving her sweetest smile possible, then sent it to our printer. Then we took her shirt back off so we could keep it safe to wear on gift delivery day.
Meanwhile I got the photo I had printed and cut it to fit inside the wooden frame she had painted. I put the frame and thank you notes inside a gift bag for easy transport to her teachers.
Giving Back to our Teachers
Teachers deserve thanks all year long, and these quick and easy craft projects are perfect to make whenever we need a creative break. Do you have other craft ideas for teacher appreciation? Leave a comment and let me know so we can try it too!