This post has everything you need to plan your Teacher Appreciation Week including decorations, gifts, activities and more!
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the craziness that was Teacher Appreciation Week the last few weeks. It was just last week but we started prepping a few months ago and really started getting ready for it a few weeks ago. I’ve had a lot of requests on how we did everything and why we did everything so I thought it would be easiest to put everything in one place.
How To Know What To Do For Teacher Appreciation Week?
When we first started talking about Teacher Appreciation Week we decided on a theme. In the past, the school had done western, decades, favorite things and more but we wanted something different. One of the moms in our PTA meeting suggested Disneyland and we ran with it!
We first decided on the layout for decorations. Our school is a charter school and goes from grades K-9 and we have 4 halls. We assigned each hall a part of the park (Tomorrow Land, Fantasy Land, Frontier Land and Toon Town) and then made our main lobby Main Street USA. We (the PTA board and volunteers) were in charge of the main lobby and the room parents were in charge of decorating the doors for each hall. We sent an email out to the room parents letting them know their theme and when they needed to have their doors decorated by.
In the next meeting, we decided on what activities to do for the teachers, daily themes for gifts and final choices for the Main Street USA decorations.
How Can I Make Teacher Appreciation Week Flow Smoothly and Easily?
The first thing you’ll want to do is get help – lots of help. More help than you think you’ll need because life happens and it’s almost inevitable that you’ll have at least one person cancel for each activity/day.
Secondly, start planning well in advance. Our Teacher Appreciation Week was the first week in May and we started planning in March. By the time May rolled around, we had everything planned and ready to go.
Make getting supplies simple. Ask for donations from parents and make the least amount of trips as possible. We got all the supplies we needed (that weren’t donated) from Dollar Tree, Costco and Zurchers. Zurchers is a great place to get supplies for not only the decorations but for the gifts and activities too!
Now let’s get into the details of what made Teacher Apprecation Week so magical!
We don’t have room parents for our Middle School classes so the middle school coordinator and I did the doors for our middle school teachers. We went with Star Wars theme for most of them and they were super easy to make thanks to my Cricut and Zurchers. Did you know Zurchers sells butcher paper?! I just found out and we went in and got several different colors for the doors. They rolled it up for us, then we came home and put together the doors. Then, when it came time to hang the doors, all we had to do was tape them to the doors… easy peasy right?!
I also made a door for our Kindergarten class and a few of the other Toon Town doors since I knew there were some that wouldn’t get decorated (like the aids’ rooms and director’s office).
Main Lobby (Main Street USA):
We designed our lobby just like Disneyland Main Street USA. We made train tracks out of electrical tape on the floor, had railroad crossing signs made out of PVC pipe and wood, a train made out of moving boxes and a HUGE 9 foot Castle.
One of the amazing moms came in and got measurements for our learning center’s doors and windows. She then went home and uploaded the dimensions into Illustrator and added a silhouette of the castle to fit. Then she cast the design with her projector on the wall and used black butcher paper from Zurchers to draw the castle in several smaller sections. We then taped it all together at the school and hung it up with packing tape.
Daily Gift Ideas/Themes:
In one of our meetings we came up with some fun daily themes for teacher gifts to make things a little more fun. We sent out a favorites list (you can download yours here) to all the room parents to give to their teachers and then distribute to all of the parents. We also sent out an email to all the parents with the daily themes. Here’s what we did:
Monday – You’re Teacher Is Incredible – Give Them Something To Power Through The Day
Tuesday – Your Teacher Is A Princess/Prince – Give Them Something Pampering (could be something like lotion/bath bomb, or something like their favorite treat just for them).
Wednesday – Your Teacher Is Goofy – Give Them Something Fun/Funny
Thursday – Mouse-ka-tools – Give Them Something They Can Use In Their Classroom
Friday – Your Teacher Is Out Of This World – Give Them A Stellar Gift.
We made sure the aids got gifts for each day too! Here is a list of what I got our teachers each day as well as what we got the aids.
Monday – I made our teachers these Teacher Fuel Tumblers and added a Sodalicious gift card and their favorite candy. For the aids we gave them a bottle of Gatorade with a granola bar tied to it.
Tuesday – The teachers got nail polish, nail files and $10 Lush gift card. For the aids I made cherry limeade lip scrubs (recipe coming on Thursday). I had some extra lip scrubs so I added them to the teachers gifts last minute.
Wednesday – I found these fun hair ties on Jane.com and got our teachers a set and a $10 Baked Bear gift card (they make AMAZING ice cream sandwiches). The aids got a small popcorn box from the dollar store filled with a bag of popcorn and candy bar.
Thursday – I made our teachers this fun bouquet with EXPO markers from The Happy Scraps. The aids got to pick a few school supplies out of a big basket we filled from the dollar store.
Friday – I went to one of my favorite stores, Lush, and got our teachers Twilight Bath Bombs and EOS lip balms with a gift tag that says You’re The Bomb. For the aids we made Wookie Cookies and gave them Cosmic Brownies.
Here is the flyer that we handed out to the teachers. We also included a “punch pass” for the store (I’ll talk about that in a little bit) attached to a lanyard for them to use as their ‘fast pass’. We gave these to the teachers the Friday before Teacher Appreciation Week so they knew what to plan for.
For the breakfast on Monday, we created a sign up and parents brought in everything. We had plenty of extras, we were able to stock their break rooms for the whole week!
On Tuesday we did some of our favorite Disney treats – Churros and Cotton Candy! We ordered a box of frozen churros from Costco for just under $30 and rented a cotton candy machine and bought all the supplies for making cotton candy at Zurchers.
On Wednesday we made Dole Whips. This was my favorite treat of the week and I think it might have been the teachers favorite too!
On Thursday we held our school store. We got supplies from the dollar store (and some of us moms decluttered our house and craft stashes to bring new products for the teachers to buy). They used their punch passes to buy school supplies, beauty supplies, treats, books, movies and more.
Friday was everyone’s favorite day! We started the day by having Star Wars characters from some of the local groups come and welcome the kids into school. You can usually find these groups by searching Facebook and a lot of time they’ll come for free.
Then after school, we had a ‘Luke I’m Nacho Father Bar’ and handed out Jedi Training certificates (download yours FREE here) and candy light sabers.
We made these candy light sabers out of neon test tubes, filled with sixlets and wrapped with light saber wrappers one of our moms made. You can get all the supplies you need for these at Zurchers too.
All in all I would say this week was a total success. Was it a lot of work, yes! But totally worth it! Our teachers take care of our kids 40+ weeks out of the year and do so much for them – the least we could do was spoil them for 5 days.
Does your school go out for Teacher Appreciation Week too? Let me know what you do in the comments!