In my mind, there are two kinds of gifts: 1) store-bought, which are very valuable and useful, and 2) homemade, which are sentimentally valuable and meaningful. I have received many store-bought gifts that I love and have special meaning to me. However, I cherish the homemade gifts I have received over the years.
Whenever I begin thinking about giving someone a present, I first think about what I can make homemade and then add a store-bought element if needed. I really love putting time and thought into the gifts that I prepare for people in our lives. One example of people that I take time contemplating ways to show our appreciation is for my kids' teachers. They work so hard (and have to educate MY children, which is no easy feat!) and receive many gifts from their classroom families. I have no doubt that they are grateful for every single coffee mug or adorable desk decoration they receive. At the same time, they have only so much space for items like that.
With that in mind, I work hard with my kids to create homemade gifts for their teachers that are from the heart and unique. We have made several things over the years. Some of those things were busts (not executed well, but TRULY homemade!), and some have been real hits.
Teacher Appreciation day is coming up quickly! Let me introduce you to one of our biggest hits – the fingerprint tree! We have given this to several teachers, and it has been a winner every time.
I have a template of a tree that I print on card stock paper. Then I provide three colors of green paint and let the kids fingerprint to their hearts' delight. The more fingerprints, the better! This can be done as a family/single child from the class. Alternatively, the entire class can create this if you have the ability to let all the kids in the class participate.
Another use for this gift idea is for Mother's or Father's Day. It's a nice way to preserve the size of kids' fingers while they are small. FYI, I'm also including grandparents in the Mother's Day and Father's Day idea!
Here is a picture of how I print ours out on card stock. Then I take it to the class and let the kids fingerprint away, as shown in the picture above. They have so much fun with this project!
If the fingerprint tree is a gift from the class, feel free to add in the teacher's name and/or the names of the kids in class. I printed the names, but I think it would look very nice handwritten as well!
The finishing touch of this gift is to package it in some way. One idea is in a nice looking picture frame like this one or this one. Or if you have a notebook of individual student contributions (such as a sheet telling their teacher what they love about him/her), this fingerprint tree could be placed inside a plastic sleeve inside that notebook.
Once completed, you now have a beautiful, unique, meaningful gift to give to any teacher, parent or grandparent for a very small cost. This is a win-win for everyone!
We even have two versions for you! Version #1 is from multiple people, and version #2 is from one individual.
Teacher Appreciation Fingerprint tree blank
Teacher Appreciation Fingerprint tree blank single