It's end of term and I have so many people to thank.
I have two children with additional needs so a LOT of people to buy for including taxi drivers, escorts, classroom support staff, teachers and Headteacher's.
It can end up costing a fortune and feel quite overwhelming.
I remember when I was a teacher there was a limit to how many boxes of chocolates you wanted or how many bunches of flowers or bottles of alcohol you could fit into your car going home.
So I always encourage my kids to help. My son has no concept of gifts nor can he hold a pencil but I still encourage him to join in even if just a hand print.
Here are my five top ideas for end of term gifts that don't break the bank.
1. A memory jar.
My daughter has loved making this for her teacher this year. We had a lovely time reminiscing about previous topics the class had studied, assemblies they had taken part in, new maths they had learnt and new children starting in the class.
I allowed my daughter to tell me anything...from the funny, to the cute to the seemingly insignificant but obviously important to her.
After a few nights we had over forty memories to fill in her jar.
Total cost was £1.99 for the jar as we used our own materials to decorate and scrap paper to write the memories on.
2. A personalised bag.
Last year my daughter (and son even though he only scribbled) designed canvas bags for gifts.
My daughter wrote the names of those in her class and 'thank you for helping me' and we did one or two a night until we had enough.
For my son I wrote some personal things and allowed him free reign on the reverse to mark make as much as he wanted.
Even if the bag is just used at home it is still something my children made themselves and holds sentimental value.
Total cost was about £1 and bag and a few pounds for the pens.
3. A photo thank you card.
Make a little sign on A4 card or paper that says 'thank you' and get your child to hold this while you take a photograph.
Then get your child to help you make a simple card than says on the front 'for all you have done I just want to say..' with the photo of your child inside the card.
The feedback was lovely too.
Total cost under £1
4. Appreciation poster.
If you have access to a picture of your child's teacher or helper (there maybe one on the school website or from class photos) print this out and stick it on a piece of cardboard.
Around the picture write things your child thinks of this person even if they seem so simple. My daughter wrote things like 'I like her pretty hair' and 'she always wears nice clothes'.
It is always sweeter when it is the child's thoughts but feel free to add anything you can think of too like 'thank you for respecting my child' or 'you made my child smile so many times this year.'
Don't forget to add your child's name on it so they remember who it was from or even add a little picture of your child at the bottom.
Total cost under £1
5. Make something with your child.
Bake a cake, paint pictures, decorate biscuits, anything your child enjoys that can be shared.
With a little clever wrapping even a simple cupcake can be made to look special and knowing it was made with love is priceless to any recipient.
Add in a little handwritten note and it will look even better.
Yes many will argue that those looking after your child be they taxi drivers, escorts or school staff are paid to do a job.
That is true but by getting your child involved at this time of year you are teaching them to be appreciative and thankful and more aware of others.
Sometimes the greatest gifts of all are those that come from the heart and involve more time than money.
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