If your usual way of thanking the staff at your kids’ nursery is a last minute dash to the local supermarket to buy a box of chocs, then you are in good company.
With never-ending to-do lists, sometimes it’s hard to find time to put more thought into it than that.
I asked some friends that work in nurseries or primary schools and they all agreed that whilst they don’t expect a gift it’s always very much appreciated. Although, they did say they receive a LOT of chocolate. So if you are looking for some alternatives here are some suggestions for Top 10 Leaving gifts for nursery staff.
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1. Homemade Card (key worker and nursery staff)
By far the most valued gifts by nursery staff and teachers are homemade cards. Particularly those that include drawings and words penned by your child. And don’t forget to add some kind words yourself. Everyone likes to know how appreciated they are and even better if you can give specific examples.
2. A work of art (nursery staff)
A piece of art for the walls, listing all the names of the children would look great in the staff room as a reminder of that year. A friend of mine made these great class memorabilia pictures using either some ladybirds, pom poms or buttons. It’s a really simple idea, they look great and were well received.
3. Sweetie Jar (key worker or nursery staff)
Instead of giving a traditional box of chocolates, how about a retro sweetie jar filled with sweets to keep in the staff room? To give it a homemade touch, ask your child to draw a picture and/or write thank you on a label and attach to the jar with some colourful ribbon.
Alternatively, a box of macarons (with a warning about the fact that they contain nuts) may also go down well. You can buy macarons from M&S or from a local patisserie. Or, you could always make your own, with your kids assistance, and showcase them in a box tied with ribbon. This tutorial by Sweet and Savory has some great tips on how to make macarons.
4. Vouchers (key worker)
John Lewis vouchers or Amazon vouchers are always a safe bet. Even better, if there are a few children leaving at the same time, then club together to buy a larger value voucher. Amazon has some great gifts cards that are either presented in little boxes or within a gift bag.
5. Nursery contribution
Most nursery staff don’t expect a goodbye gift but they may appreciate something for the nursery, perhaps a selection of books, role-play toys or art supplies for next set of children to enjoy.
6. Pot Plant (key worker or nursery staff)
Flowers are always well received but a pretty pot plant will last longer and has the added bonus that it can either be kept in the nursery or taken home. To give it a personal touch, you could buy a chalkboard pots from Hobbycraft (£3) and ask your child to decorate it with some chalk (50p) drawings.
7. Treasure Chest (nursery staff)
Either make or buy a treasure chest and fill with chocolate coins, lottery tickets and scratch cards. We make a treasure chest every Christmas for the nursery and it always goes down well. Last year someone won £60.
If you want to buy one, then check out this papier mâché version from Hobbycraft which you or your child can decorate. Alternatively, if you are up for a challenge, then try making a treasure chest by using the printables from this tutorial by Tim Van De Vall.
8. Break time Essentials (nursery staff)
Give the staff room a bit of an upgrade by filling a basket with a selection of posh teas (Pukka Teas are beautifully packaged), coffee, drinking chocolate, marshmallows and a pack of luxury biscuits. If you are sharing the cost of the gift with other parents, you could even splash out on some colourful tea, coffee and sugar containers.
To make it more personal perhaps add a multi-aperture photo frame containing photos of each of the children leaving which can be hung in the staff room. Hobbycraft sell a photo frame with 12 small frames (7.5cm x 7.5cm) surrounding one large central frame. This is perfect for holding photos of the children complete with a thank you message in the middle.
9. Hamper (general nursery staff)
You may want to club together with other parents and give a little something to the general nursery staff (manager, receptionist, cleaner, handyman). A hamper filled with goodies is a good option. Pick up a hamper from Homesense and fill it with goodies that can be shared out – luxury biscuits, a bottle of wine, chocolates etc.
10. Home Made Coaster (key worker or nursery staff)
Buy some Tile Coasters (£3.49) and Porcelain Paint Pens (£9.99) from Baker Ross and create your own coasters. The tile coasters come in a set of six so if your child can concentrate for that long, then you may have enough to make a coaster for each member of staff in their class.
Over to you
I hope you found some inspiration from the Top 10 Leaving Gifts for Nursery Staff. Do you work in a nursery or a school? What gifts have you received that have gone down well with you that you would like to share?