50 Creative Ways to Appreciate Early Educators

50 Creative Ways to Appreciate Early Educators

50 Creative Ways to Appreciate Early Educators

Teacher Appreciation Week is just around the corner—May 3-7, 2021! Are you looking for creative ways to celebrate the teachers at your childcare center or preschool? We gathered some great ideas from our community of early educators in our Teacher Appreciation Week webinar

Whether your teachers prefer affirmations, treats and gifts, or fun activities, there’s something for everyone in the list below! 


  • Give handmade notes and artwork from students
  • Host an awards day where every teacher wins a trophy for something special they bring to the program
  • Send digital eCards
  • Send a personal, handwritten note to each teacher sharing what you appreciate about them
  • Decorate classroom doors with thank you notes from parents and students
  • Record appreciation videos from parents and students 
  • Ask families and students to respond to the prompt “why my teacher is a superhero” through notes and drawings 
  • Invite parents to share words of appreciation about their child’s teachers
  • Make a candygram for each teacher 
  • Invite teachers to share shout-outs with each other 
  • Go out of your way to give each teacher a sincere compliment
  • Share shout-outs to your staff on social media
  • Reach out to alumni families for words of appreciation
  • Make a collage using photos of your teachers with their students 
  • Use kudo boards in the break room that all staff members can contribute to

Treats and gifts

  • Organize a rotation where parents can volunteer to bring coffee, baked goods, or lunch for the week 
  • Offer “room service” by giving teachers a door hanger with a snack menu. Teachers can “order” snacks by filling out the hanger and leaving it on their door, and someone will deliver their snacks directly to their classroom.
  • Give teachers additional time off
  • Put together wellness bags with self-care gifts like candles and face masks 
  • Create “coupons” where you offer to take on a teacher’s less desirable day-to-day responsibilities, such as changing diapers 
  • Give teachers balloons and flowers
  • Put out gift bags for every teacher in the hallway so parents can contribute goodies to each bag
  • Give each teacher a house plant 
  • Ask parents to donate $5 gift cards for teachers, such as for coffee or fast food 
  • Give your staff personalized coffee mugs
  • Treat teachers to a car wash during school hours
  • Order lunch for everyone
  • Stock up the break room with sweets and snacks
  • Order each teacher’s favorite Starbucks drink to be delivered during the school day
  • Decorate your center with fresh flowers

Fun activities

  • Host a Make Your Own Sundae Day or a Smoothie-Making Day
  • Organize a scavenger hunt where staff can find notes of appreciation throughout your center
  • Throw a hot dog party, pizza party, or Taco Tuesday party
  • Set up a coffee bar or a mobile coffee cart
  • Have a Tie-Dyeing Day where you give each teacher a white t-shirt with your program’s logo that they can tie-dye
  • Treat your staff to a manicure or pedicure
  • Organize a staff potluck
  • Have a food truck cater lunch 
  • Treat teachers to a massage day 
  • Set up a waffle or pancake bar for breakfast
  • Throw a painting party
  • Put together teacher talent shows and fashion shows
  • Offer daily tea time for the entire staff team 
  • Share homegrown fruits, vegetables, and flowers
  • Make time for daily dance breaks
  • Create a staff playlist with everyone’s favorite songs
  • Celebrate each day of the week with a theme, such as sports jerseys, decades day, silly hats, etc.
  • Host a surprise party at the end of the week in the break room or parking lot
  • Have a classy white elephant gift exchange
  • Invite families to participate in a bake-off and ask teachers to be the judges 


We hope these suggestions sparked some new ideas that will help you celebrate your staff during Teacher Appreciation Week and all year round. At brightwheel, we also acknowledge all the hard work you do as a childcare or preschool director. Thank you for everything you do for the students and families that you serve! 

For more ideas on how to support your staff, check out our library of on-demand trainings

Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

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