EDITOR'S NOTE: This blog was originally posted in October 2022. It was updated in August 2023.
Teachers take care of our kids each weekday, filling their brains with new knowledge and inspiring them to become more well-rounded, clever, kind individuals. And let’s face it… they don’t always get the thanks they deserve.
Whether you’re searching for gifts for a child’s elementary teacher, high school teacher, band director, art teacher or math tutor, the best gift is one that comes from the heart. A locally made gift for a teacher (including these gifts made in the PA Wilds) is more unique than one that comes from a big box store. Your handcrafted gift will stand out and show how much you care. And remember, when you shop local you also show PA Wilds entrepreneurs that you care too!
Before selecting a locally made gift for a teacher, think about their personality and what they might appreciate most. For a teacher with a sweet tooth, a candy made in the PA Wilds could be perfect. Or if you know how much your child’s teacher loves matching her earrings to each outfit, have your child help select a piece of jewelry. How about what to give a teacher who you don’t know much about? Almost anyone can appreciate a tote bag or a travel mug!
Check out these ideas for thoughtful gifts for teachers made in the PA Wilds.
Maple Cotton Candy - Patterson Farms
Made from pure maple syrup from Patterson Farms in Sabinville, PA, this maple cotton candy is sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth. If you know a teacher who appreciates the sweeter things in life, maple cotton candy makes a fun and inexpensive gift for a teacher. “Tap” into your creativity and pair the gift with a handwritten note from yourself or your child, maybe with a few puns about how sweet they are!
Steeped Packs Sabra Blend - Alabaster Coffee Roaster and Tea Company
As they get further into the school year, teachers rely on coffee to keep them going! These freshly ground, nitrogen-sealed, compostable coffee sachets are so convenient and can provide your favorite teacher with a quick boost of caffeine while dealing with their students all day. Looking for a gift for a teacher who loves coffee? The Sabra blend from Alabaster is going to impress them. It’s a flavor profile that is sweet with a syrupy body and a vibrant finish, made from a blend of Colombian & Brazilian coffees. Tasting notes include a full yet crisp body with hints of dark cocoa and cherry.
PA Wilds Midnight Sky Mug - Jillia Ceramics
But what will your favorite teacher put their coffee in? This PA Wilds travel mug is a practical gift for a teacher, but it will quickly become their favorite way of transporting their hot drink while also showing their love of the Wilds. To make this gift even more special, fill it with coffee packets, wrapped candies or little notes of appreciation before you give it to them.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Jabebo Earrings - Jabebo LLC
Does your student have a wildly fun teacher who reminds you of Ms. Frizzle? These stylish yet playful earrings are a unique gift for a science teacher or nature lover. Believe it or not, they’re actually made from recycled cereal boxes! In fact, you can see the evidence of the cereal box on the reverse side of each earring. And notice that although the earrings match each other, they aren’t exactly the same image on each ear. How imaginative! They make perfect gifts for environmental educators, scientists, and nature enthusiasts. Jabebo makes a variety of designs, so check out their PA Wilds Marketplace storefront to see them all.
Bundi Mzuri Congo bay owl bird - Ellen Paquette Art
A Renaissance-themed owl? What a cute gift for a geography or history teacher! Perfect for anyone who appreciates cute and playful artwork, especially if they love animals. These portraits from Ellen Paquette feature animals that are endangered, raising awareness for protecting these environments while also providing beautiful artwork. Give a hoot and add this one to your cart! The endangered Congo bay owl is a rarely sighted owl that is native to forests in central Africa. They are threatened primarily by habitat loss due to human activities, as well as a small genetic pool.
Crick is Calling Waterproof Sticker - PA Made
If you’re looking for a gift for a teacher who loves fishing or kayaking, this waterproof sticker could be great for their boat or tackle box. Even a small gift for a teacher can mean so much to them, particularly if it’s based on their hobbies. They’ll remember you and smile each time they see this little sticker. Anglers and boaters from the PA Wilds will especially love the “correct” spelling of their favorite place… the crick! (Though we can't guarantee that the spelling won't drive your English teacher crazy!)
Meditation Candle - Blackberry & Sage Market
If you were a teacher spending 8 hours a day with dozens of screaming elementary students, wouldn’t you need a couple moments of rest and relaxation when you got home from work? We love our kids, but we know that sometimes they can be a handful. This meditation candle is a wonderful gift for an elementary teacher or any teacher who needs a few minutes of peace and quiet. If you want to make it even more meaningful, a handwritten note (especially one that acknowledges how hard they work or a specific way they’ve helped your student) could be a great addition to this locally made gift.
PA Wilds Grocery Tote - PA Wilds Conservation Shop
Talk to any teacher and they’ll tell you how much they love a good, sturdy tote bag. Teachers lug heavy books, paperwork, notepads and school supplies in and out of the classroom each day. A tote bag is a practical gift for a teacher that still shows how much you appreciate them. If you’re struggling with what to buy for a teacher you don’t know, a tote bag is a safe bet. They’ll remember you each time they carry it to their car, even after you child graduates from their class.
Beeman's Beard Care Kit - Rich Valley Apiary
For the teacher with a beard, this care kit is a thoughtful and locally made gift that keeps him looking sharp! It includes everything your bearded teacher might need, with beard balm, beard oil, mustache wax and even a nice wooden comb. Vetiver, lime and rosemary essential oils give a fresh yet manly scent that isn’t overpowering. This beard care kit makes a unique gift for a teacher with a beard.
Clarion River Starter Deck - TSW Games
Looking for an educational gift for a teacher? This card game is a first-place award-winning educational game and a Mensa Mind Games Competitor, created locally by a family here in the PA Wilds! The goal is to outscore your opponents using species native to the Clarion River. This clever card game is a great gift for a science teacher or anyone who values our natural resources. TSW Games also makes similar Edge of Extinction start packs based on the Allegheny National Forest and Appalachian Homestead.
State Park Passport - PA Wilds Conservation Shop
A state park passport book is an inspiring gift for a teacher who loves camping, hiking and exploring the outdoors! If your child’s teacher appreciates nature and the beautiful state parks we have here in Pennsylvania, a passport book is a fun way of tracking all of the places they go. Paired with sunscreen and bug spray, this can be a meaningful gift for a teacher at the end of the school year to help them make the most of their summer vacation! The state park passport book makes a great gift any time of the year though, so don’t be afraid to give it to a teacher at the beginning of the school year or during the holidays.