Secret Pal Ideas for Teachers

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

Bags, Boxes, and Containers for Your Secret Pal/Silly Santa Gifts/Halloween Gift Bags

Gift Box Pattern

Image: iClipart

This is a re-post from last year. Hopefully the links still work. Sorry if there are glitches!

It’s still early! I recommend that you order bags, boxes, and containers online, while there’s still time. Since it’s Halloween, I’ve included a gift bag for today’s holiday (although it’s probably too late to order it online–but it might give you some creative ideas).

One of my favorite companies for secret pal gift giving is Current, which is located at currentcatalog.com on the web (Colorado Springs, CO, in real life). But I’ve done all the necessary bag and box shopping for you, and I’ve got these links to help you find what you need:

Daisy Purse Gift Bags

Cardstock Holiday Treat Boxes

Spendy but Cute Scroll Basket

Snowflake Felt Treat Bags

Christmas Owl Bags

Gable Box Value Pack

Santa Paws Gift Bags for Dogs

Non-holiday Black and White Gift Bag Set

Halloween Felt Owl Gift Bags

Polka Dot Hip Hop Bags

Designed Gift Bags (All-Occasion)

Country Themed Gift Bags

Assorted Solid-Color Gift Bags

That last bunch, the “assorted solid-color gift bags” are something I keep in my classroom for on the spot gift-giving (like when I’m trying to put together a small token of my appreciation for an emergency substitute teacher. I’ll pack it with soda, popcorn, and candy from the teachers’ lounge’s vending machine. Then I’ll throw in a few pens, pencils, and other supplies, so the sub won’t have problems with students who come to class unprepared. I also keep note cards in a secret location in my room so I can say thanks for coming in, to sub at the drop of a hat.

Well, I do hope these gift bag ideas come in handy for your gift giving this year. If you need more gift ideas, please look back through my old posts. I’ve got bunches of ideas here!

And if you haven’t visited it before, check out my sister blog, English Emporium, which is an online MLA handbook for students grades 6-12.

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Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Secret Pal Teacher Friend

Secret Friend Valentine's Day Poem

Image: Pinterest

Just as with last month’s post, I ran across this clever gift-giving idea on Pineterest, so I thought I’d share. Valentine’s Day gifts for the secret pal need to be clever but not-so-romantic. Here’s just the “tool” for you.

A person could choose teacher-y stuff to put in the cellophane instead, of course: erasers, pencils, Oriental Trade prizes, colorful paper clips, or sticky notes. I’m assuming you just make these gifts with the following:

  • cellophane wrap (12 inches x 12 inches, approx. depending on the size of your shovel)
  • curling ribbon
  • candy or prizes
  • I Dig Your Style Valentine Labels (click to download)
  • plastic shovel

Steps:

  1. Lay the cellophane on a flat surface.
  2. Place the shovel over the top of the cellophane with its scoop in the center.
  3. Fill the scoop with the gift of choice (candy or prizes).
  4. Gather the cellophane around the handle and tie it off with curling ribbon.
  5. Glue or tape the label to the front.

I’ve included a Valentine’s Day label that you can easily download and print right here. (See link above.) On that document, I made two possible labels, so you can choose which one suits your secret pal best.

Happy Valentine’s Day! And remember, please show your appreciation for my freebies by “liking” this page, sharing it with others, and/or posting links from your blog to mine. Thanks!

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Bags, Boxes, and Containers for Your Secret Pal/Silly Santa Gifts

Gift Box Pattern

Image: iClipart

Last year at Christmas, I offered a post about making gift bags and gift boxes out of old Christmas cards. If you didn’t get a chance to see those blog posts, you should really link back to them.

This year, I’m going to post a little earlier, so you can order bags, boxes, and containers online, while there’s still time.

One of my favorite companies for secret pal gift giving is Current, which is located at currentcatalog.com on the web (Colorado Springs, CO, in real life). But I’ve done all the necessary bag and box shopping for you, and I’ve got these links to help you find what you need:

Daisy Purse Gift Bags

Cardstock Holiday Treat Boxes

Spendy but Cute Scroll Basket

Snowflake Felt Treat Bags

Christmas Owl Bags

Gable Box Value Pack

Santa Paws Gift Bags for Dogs

Non-holiday Black and White Gift Bag Set

Halloween Felt Owl Gift Bags

Polka Dot Hip Hop Bags

Designed Gift Bags (All-Occasion)

Country Themed Gift Bags

Assorted Solid-Color Gift Bags

That last bunch, the “assorted solid-color gift bags” are something I keep in my classroom for on the spot gift-giving (like when I’m trying to put together a small token of my appreciation for an emergency substitute teacher. I’ll pack it with soda, popcorn, and candy from the teachers’ lounge’s vending machine. Then I’ll throw in a few pens, pencils, and paper clips, so the sub won’t have problems with students who come to class unprepared. I also keep note cards in a secret location in my room for the same purpose, to say thanks for coming in to sub at the drop of a hat.

Well, I do hope these gift bag ideas come in handy for your gift giving this year. If you need more gift ideas, please look back through my old posts. I’ve got bunches of ideas here!

And if you haven’t visited it before, check out my sister blog, English Emporium, which is an online MLA handbook for students grades 6-12.

Leave a comment »

Gifts in a Jar for Your Secret Pal Teacher Buddy

Librarian Grant Funding List

Image: iClipart

Does your secret pal teacher buddy like to bake? There are so many gifts you can give someone like this!

But why not give the gift that keeps on giving? Gifts-in-a-jar books and labels! Here’s a link to a set of three gifts-in-a-jar books, plus three sheets of labels to accompany them. Give this gift in parts of course. At the start  of September, give them the Harvest Gifts book. Then, in October, give them Cookies From Your Kitchen to Give In-a-Jar. By November, they’ll be ready for Christmas Gifts to Give In-a-Jar.

In the weeks in-between, give them fabric, ribbons, and the jars themselves as gifts. And don’t forget to give them the labels as well.

And guess what will happen down the road? You might just see a gift-in-a-jar in your mailbox too! After all, you gave your secret pal everything he/she needs to get started with gifts-in-a-jar.

Here’s another possibility: buy the books and labels for yourself and give your secret pal teacher friend a gift in a jar each week. If he/she loves to bake anyway, you can’t go wrong!

Do ask ahead though, about your secret pal’s food allergies. If he/she is gluten intolerant or has food allergies or diabetes, you might need to make some adaptations to your gifts-in-a-jar recipes. However cookie and cupcake recipes are found online for all kinds of dietary needs. Search cooks.com or specialty websites for your secret pal with food intolerance issues.

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The Very Best Gift You Can Give Your Mom on Mother’s Day

what do i give mom for mother's day ?

Image: iClipart

As I said last week, I”m taking a break from Secret Pal gift-giving in this week’s post.

Mother’s Day is approaching fast, and you might be wondering what to give your mom. Sadly, my mom passed away in 2008, but I can tell you about the most special gift I gave her before she died.

My mother was battling with a cancerous brain tumor. But no matter how much that tumor ate away at her gray matter, her bond with her daughters never disappeared.

She came to stay with me for her birthday in 2007. By that time, the doctors had already determined that her days were numbered. What kind of birthday gift do you give a mother who is definitely going to die? I thought about this for a long, long time. It kept me awake at night. I could only think of one thing that would be of value to my mom…

TIME.

She needed time with me. So I set an appointment to spend the day with my mom, at the spa. We had our nails done. We were given facials. A professional masseuse rubbed sore muscles until they were like mush.

But best of all, we spent time together. Just talking. Just sharing. Just being a mom and her girl.

With mother’s day coming soon, be sure to give your mom a little of your time. You don’t realize how valuable it is, until time runs out…

 

If you’re an English teacher, like me, and you’d like to see all my cool assignments and stuff online, here’s the link to my academic blog.

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This Secret Pal Gift Is For the Birds!

spring gift ideas

Image: iClipart

In conjunction with my April gardening gift ideas, I’m going to give my secret pal some bird-lovers’ gifts. I found this simple window bird feeder at Fred Meyers for eight bucks. That will be the first gift I give my secret pal, with regard to bird feeding.

Then, for the days that follow, I’ll be giving him a few additional bird-related gifts:

1.) The Beginner’s Guide to Bird Feeding by Donald and Lillian Stokes

2.) Cellophane-wrapped bird seed.

3.) A bird-shaped outdoor thermometer.

4.) A hand-painted wooden bird house.

Now the second of these gifts will be something I can spread out over several days’ time. You simply buy a big bag of bird seed for, say, six to ten bucks, at a gardening store. Then get some pretty, decorative cellophane (or tulle) and curling ribbon. Bundle the bird seed into fist-sized bunches and wrap it with curling ribbon. Be sure to put a gift tag on it that says, “birdseed,” so your secret pal doesn’t think it’s for him/her to eat!

And like I said with last week’s gift, you might include some other goodies, like packages of garden seeds or pots for plant starts. That might be a cute way to give your secret pal the birdseed too–inside a plant start pot with a curly ribbon around it and a gift tag explaining what it’s for (to go with the bird feeder you gave as a first gift).

The hand-painted wooden bird house is a fun little gift. You can decorate it with your secret pal’s name, his/her favorite color, or something silly (like camouflage print, if he likes to wear camo or shamrocks if she’s Irish). This makes the gift very special and personal.

 

If you’re an English teacher, like me, and you’d like to see all my cool assignments and stuff online, here’s the link to my academic blog. I hope you get something good there too.

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Happy Easter for Your Secret Pal at Work

Easter gift for secret pal office friend

Image: iClipart

Trying to think of a good Easter-related gift for your secret pal office/teacher friend? The M&Ms company put out cute bunny-eared M&M candy dispensers this year. What a fun thing to find on your desk at work, right? There are lots of great Easter candies:

  • chocolate bunnies
  • Pez dispensers
  • Easter-egg-shaped Reeses Pieces
  • the traditional Peeps
  • etc…

But you can also give your secret pal bunny ears, a potted plant, or a ready-made Easter basket.

What you need to make your Easter gift especially special, though, is a thoughtful poem. How about this:

Easter candy (or other gift–insert words here)

For my secret pal

Looking forward to Easter Sunday

Walk around

With a smile on your face

Because it’s such a fun day

I know, that’s sort of silly and cheezy, but if your secret pal thinks you wrote it, that makes it special. You can adapt the poem to suit your gift, like this:

M&Ms

For my secret pal

To eat on Easter Sunday

Chew them up

With a smile on your face

Because it’s such a fun day

OR

Bunny ears

For my secret pal

To wear on Easter Sunday

Walk around

With these on your head

And you will have a fun day

Transfer the poem onto a home-made card–in your own handwriting–and your secret pal will certainly think you’re the genius who came up with that little poem. And heck, if you adapt it to whatever gift you’re giving, then you DID come up with that poem, right? So there.

 

If you’re an English teacher, like me, and you’d like to see all my cool assignments and stuff online, here’s the link to my academic blog. I hope you get something good there.

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