Daycare Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket

Gift baskets make great group gifts! Here are some of my tips on how to create the perfect gift basket!

I recently finished up my last week of school, and therefore my kiddos’ last week at daycare until the fall. We have been blessed with a wonderful daycare staff that loves on our kids on a daily basis. While they have some fantastic teachers in their classroom, I also feel like it’s necessary to recognize the entire daycare staff since they all know and work with our kids throughout the day. They are an amazing part of our village, and we want to make sure they know how much we appreciate them! 

I have been thinking all year of clever gift ideas for showing appreciation to the whole staff, but it’s been a struggle to find a solution that doesn’t totally break the bank! Here are some of the ideas I came up with:

  • Catered Meal
  • T-shirts for Staff
  • Breakfast Bar
  • Gift Card for a Restaurant (so the director can order food for the staff)
  • Gift Cards for Each Teacher

With the rising costs of pretty much everything, I didn’t want to go too crazy with some of the above ideas, so I tried to still get some goodies for the staff that wasn’t overly costly. To do this, I decided to go with the option of a gift basket.

Gift Basket Ideas

Gift baskets are a great way to share a variety of gifts with a large group of individuals. When coming up with ideas for a gift basket, you want to make sure the items you are including are suitable for individuals and can be enjoyed by the entire group. While you do not necessarily need to make sure there is enough of each specific item for every person, you want to make sure that each person receiving the basket will have a few things that they will enjoy.

For the gift basket I made, I decided to go with the theme of “summer daycare survival kit.” I included items that I felt would make the lives of the daycare teachers easier over the warm and busy summer months. Here are some other fun ideas you could use for daycare teacher appreciation baskets:

  • School Supply Basket – Every teaching facility goes through tons of school supplies. You could include some nice pens and markers for the teachers, construction paper, glue, scissors, markers, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, and more!
  • Fruit Basket– For a healthy and fresh treat, you include a variety of different fruits. Just be sure that each of the fruits you include are ones that can be eaten by one person easily. Bunches of grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and plums work well for this. You will want to avoid uncut fruit like pineapple, watermelon, and cantaloupe because they require work to prepare for eating. You may also want to be cautious against including fruits like strawberries that can squish and stain easily unless you have a container to help prevent that during transport.
  • Breakfast Basket – Breakfast is an easy way to treat your teachers in the morning. You can include a variety of individually packaged pastries, juices, cereals, coffees, teas, bagels, and more! Just make sure everything is ready-to-eat and packaged for one person.

For my “Summer Daycare Survival Kit,” I included a variety of snacks, coffee cups and water bottles, candy, gum, hair ties, chap sticks, and sunscreen. The teachers all loved the items that were included and claimed their own portions right away! Below you can check out everything I included:


As I mentioned earlier, it is important to make sure that items for a group gift basket are individually packaged – especially for food. To prevent germs and encourage people to grab a goodie, you want to go with single-serving options for food. I bought a variety of sweet and salty items for my gift basket.

You can choose items based on what items you know the staff likes, what you think would be best, a specific theme, or you can do what I did and just choose a variety of items that are on sale that week. While not all of the items I picked were marked down, I did save a few dollars by picking brands that were less expensive than others.

Candy and Gum

Gum and candy are great additions for gift baskets because they offer a quick, sweet treat! Make sure you grab individually packaged candy and small packs of gum so the items can be dispersed amongst the individuals receiving the gift basket. My kids’ daycare is not a peanut-free zone, but in the event that nuts may be a concern, you may need to make sure to avoid candy that is made with nuts or nut butter.


Caffeine is an important part of any teacher’s day, so I knew that coffee cups were sure to be a hit. Since it was summer, I also wanted to include some additional options for hydration. I grabbed a couple of cute water bottles from the dollar store so teachers could have their pick of the options. I also got some of the squirt bottles that have flavoring for water to make their water choices more varied. Since these could safely be shared or used by one individual, I figured they would be a hit. I made sure to get some of the options that had caffeine in them too!

Warm Weather Essentials

I honestly don’t know how daycare teachers and summer camp workers do it! Being out in the heat all day while having to maintain the patience needed to work with that many little kiddos has to be rough. I wanted to make sure they had some of my must-haves when watching my kids in the summer. My biggest focus was trying to help them survive the heat and the sun.

I included several packs of hair ties so they have an emergency stash for hot weather. I also included some small tubes of sunscreen and a variety of lip balms with SPF included. When I was thinking of hot weather essentials, I also thought it may be a good idea to include some travel-size deodorants, but I opted against it. You could also include some little travel fans.


When assembling the gift basket, you want to start with adding some decorative tissue paper first. This adds some extra color popping out the sides of the basket, helps to prevent things from falling through the basket at the bottom, and can be used to fill space at the bottom of the basket. I chose to use red, yellow, and black to play off the traditional colors associated with teachers (red for apples; yellow and black for pencils).

If you have any parts of your gift basket that are bulkier or heavier, you want to position them towards the bottom or the back. I put most of my water bottles and cups towards the bottom, leaving some poking out the top of the back. This prevents them from squishing other items, as well as creating a solid base.

When filling the basket, put similar items away from each other so it looks like there is quite a variety. You want to make it obvious there are a lot of different items, so keep similar items as separate as possible. I tried to make sure each of the types of food and other goodies I purchased were showing from the front of the basket.

If you have any small items, such as candy or lip balms, you will want to add these items last so they sit on top instead of just falling to the bottom. When you put everything else in your basket, it will make the items tight enough together that you can push the smaller items into the crevices. This not only creates a nice finished look, but helps create stability since all of the gaps are filled in the basket.

The last thing I did for my gift basket was to add a bow. I made a bow with several different types of teacher-themed ribbon and tied it to the handle of my basket. I had made sure that the basket handle was propped up so that I could tie the bow onto it. While a bow is not necessary, I do think it adds a nice finishing touch.


The Final Result

My kiddos’ daycare teachers absolutely loved their basket! When I came back at the end of the day to pick my kids up, all the staff was raving about what they picked out and how much they liked the options. By the end of the day, they said more than half of the goodies were already gone!

I hope this gift basket tutorial was helpful for you and that you are inspired to make one yourself! If you decide to try out a gift basket, I would love to hear about your experience! Please let me know all about it in the comments below, and share any ideas that you would add!

~ Candace

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