teacher appreciation

A TEA-RRIFIC $2 VBS Teacher Appreciation Gift #groan

tea-rrific graphic

About May, I start seeing a lot of hits on THIS post of Three VBS teacher appreciation gifts that are less than $2 each from 2 years ago. Clearly people are searching for inexpensive ways to say thank you to VBS teachers. I hear you! Thought I’d add to the list by showing you what we did this year..

This year’s thank you was plastic tumblers with iced tea bags that have a note that says “thanks for being ‘TEA-RRIFIC'” (Picture all of the kids slapping their knees and saying “ha ha ha” when presented with such pun-erific awesomeness.) Thank you Pinterest, home of all things pun and appreciation. As I said in the other post, my preference for appreciation gifts is that they be consumable (something to eat or drink or plant) rather than another item to put on a shelf or in a jar. I made an exception for these, though, because 1. They were adorable and 2. I think these types of reusable tumblers with straws make a nice way to bring lemonade or iced coffee or water from home and thus reduce extra trash from water bottles or coffee shops. 3. (Truth alert) I was in a rush. These are super easy.

1. Get some plastic tumblers with lids and straws. I found mine at Dollar Tree for $1 each. (Here are some from the Dollar Tree website). If you have to buy them from Amazon, it might push your overall cost over the $2 per item promised in the headline. The cheapest I could find them on Amazon were these which are $35 for 12 cups. (Might be worth it though, because the quality might be better…)

2. Put in some tea bags that are specifically formulated for iced tea.

3. Tie on a tag with ribbon or string. You can google around for one that looks super fancy, or write your own, or use this one I made, just for you! 


Yay! All done! Thanks VBS teachers!


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3 Volunteer Recognition Gifts for Sunday School/VBS Teachers — Less than $2 Each (2013)


I always think a little recognition goes a long way. As a pastor, I see the many unpaid hours all of my volunteers put in on so many programs… Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, the list goes on. Certainly none of the volunteers does it for the recognition , but I think a little token of appreciation is a great thing. I have a few preferences when it comes to recognition gifts:

1. Consumable. Something to eat, something to plant, something to drink. I don’t believe in giving people one more thing to put on the shelf.

2, Inexpensive. As much as I wish my budget (or the church budget) could support big dollar gifts, we can’t. Has to be inexpensive.

I have a whole file of ideas like this that I’ve found online which fit the above criteria. Here are the ones I used for 2013.

Hope you enjoy them, along with the links to printables so you can make them yourself!

Seed Packets – Faith Makes You Grow

For these, I just bought seed packets at Lowes ($1.78 each) and printed out THIS printable. I was having trouble getting it to print in color that day, so I had to do black and white. I was very low tech and just taped it on the front. Part of the reason for this is that I needed people to be able to lift up the label to see the flowers and the directions underneath. Otherwise I may have glued it on the front so that you couldn’t see the tape. It still worked out just fine. The nice thing about this one is that I was able to talk about how teaching is sometimes like planting seeds… we do the work of planting, but God waters and provides the sunshine. The wildflowers were also Texas wildflowers, which is kind of neat.


For VBS this year, I used two different thank yous, first THIS package of almonds with a label that says “we’re nuts about you.”  To make these I bought several boxes of 100 calorie almond packets. (It wasn’t important to me that they were the 100 calorie kind, but that kind was the right size for the printable.) There were regular almonds and also the cocoa almonds (yum!). You can get them online HERE. I printed the labels in color and cut them. Then I held each label up with the almond packet and punched a hole in the center. Then I tied the label with a piece of green and white yarn I had lying around. The label says “Thank you for your service” and I signed it “VBS” kids. The teachers enjoyed it!


At our VBS we also had some younger helpers (ages 10-16). I wanted them to have something different just for then and, well, I wanted it to be candy. I simply bought the Movie Theater style boxes of Whoppers (99 cents each at the store! Link to Amazon has them priced hirgher) and taped on the labels. Simple!  (Note: to get the labels, which were a part of a pack of a variety of other labels, I had to sign up for a free “scoop.it ” account. I’d never used them before, but it was easy enough to do.)


All in all, a lot of people were recognized in easy ways for not a lot of money! Hope these ideas are useful to others!

Printable Links

Seed Packets: Faith Is Like a Little Seed 

Almonds: We’re Nuts About You

Whoppers: You Were a Whopper of Help

Other Links:

Sow Seeds of Love Wildflower Packets — These are interesting because they are designed for weddings, but you could just buy them and give them out as appreciation gifts and skip the whole printable thing.


UPDATE: Here’s a 4th $2 teacher appreciation gift with tea and plastic tumblers.

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