Pandemic life. If there is one positive thing we are learning is how to adapt and roll with the punches. And boy do they feel like punches sometimes.
Our new challenge, Back to School. Each day brings new changes about what school will look like ths fall and yet we are only one week out! Students, Parents and Teachers alike have to be flexible and wait to find out just how our lives will shape out. When will kids go back? Will teachers be able to keep up the virtual learning? Will parents be able to get a break from teaching their kids or, for those who need it, not have to worry about what to do with their children during the day?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what we can do to celebrate everyone that’s affected. We all need a little pick-me-up, don’t you think? We came up with a list of perfect gifts from our own collection and other fantastic companies below.
What is Back to School Looking like for Teachers and Students and Parents this year
Let's take a look at the landscape then dive into the gifting for each category.
As Parents we are exhausted and ready to have our young kids back in school, but also want to keep our kids safe. It's a tug of war of emotions and patience. There are also a lot of parents who just need a safe place for their kids to go, to have meals provided for them, and to be educated in person while they go to a necessary risky job site.
For Young Students, the importance of getting back to school is undeniably invaluable for their social growth and education, important for free meals or necessary if their home life is less than ideal.
For College Students who just graduated, they might be ready to be out on their own and begin college for their first new exciting Freshman year. The reality of virtual training on a college level is hard to fathom living at home or struggling without in person teaching.
For Teachers, safety is a big concern. Going back into a school environment with up to 30 kids is worrisome in a face to face environment.
Back to School Pick Me Ups for Parents
Whether it’s for the person or a charity, these ideas will give everyone something to cheer them up.
Top Ideas for Back to School Gifts for Parents
Charitable donations are a great way for all of us to donate help and money (if you have it) to those in need. You can donate a chrome book for a child to learn at home (Google just donating 4000 across California alone), donate food or money to the School Nutrition Foundation, or give to the Intercultural Development Research Association or Unisef to help give to an organization that helps with distance learning.
Wellness or Self-Care Books
Home School Supplies
Let’s face it. Our homes are not set up for a classroom setting. Here are some suggestions from my experience with virtual learning. A dry erase board, workbooks, lined paper, extra pens and paper, a fill-in schedule for the kids like the free one I created here or a magnet schedule for kids, a bell (for ringing for the end of breaks, folders and containers to organize folders.
Food Service or prepared meals or Groceries
Food is sometimes the last thing I want to think about after a long day of working and managing my kids' education. I’m loving this new find: Spoonful of Comfort. There are also the standbys like GrubHub or Hello Fresh for prepared food.
Top Ideas for Back to School Gifts for College Students during Distance Learning
Normally we would be giving college students care packages with fresh baked cookies, food, water bottles, new sheets, and school cash to use toward books and supplies! This isn’t to say we can’t do the same thing now!
The College Care Package
What about this new box featured up top, from us called Snack Power (on sale August 7). Snacks and some simple school supplies to give them a motivational boost. And all the snacks are super-powered with brain powered foods to increase alertness and get those brain synapsis connecting. If they love to cook, the Food Lover Deluxe box is actually pretty perfect.
UV Sanitizing Phone Charger
School Supplies and Décor
Some students still are moving to the town and out on their own, to a new place where their school is still doing online learning. What about new sheets or powercords or a book of their new home town!
A piece of art to decorate their new home. What type of thing do they like? Music, Nature, Art? Find a perfect piece for anyone on Society 6.
Local Gift Boxes
Top Ideas for Back to School Gifts for Teachers
Teachers are going to be swamped with new learning of their own. Most are used to in-person learning and going online is quite a shift.
Meditation App for the Teacher
School Supplies for organization
Besides getting a gift card, give her some supplies to keep her house or classroom organized like this awesome filing system. I also like the idea of a personalized tote bag to carry around all of her kids' papers. Pair it with some personalized pencils too!
Sleep aids/Coffee or Tea
I pair these together because, let’s face it, teachers need to be as alert as possible and then be able to get their zzz’s to start the whole day with 25-30 students all over again. Coffee or Tea and a Mug for the morning, maybe some relaxing lavender spray and a sleep mask for the night. We have just the things here: This or That.
Personalized Teacher Gifts from the Kids
One thing our teacher appreciated this past year, was having the class photo taken through Zoom. Really it’s just a screenshot of the computer, but our teacher didn’t know how to do that! So, it turned out to be a really special way to end last school year to help remember the kids by (seeing as they missed their class photo because of Covid).
If you start the school year out with by taking the picture, then they’ll appreciate it as a way to get to know the kids. Have each kid write down their name, favorite thing to do in school, and something that they want to share with the teacher as a beginning to the year. Then take the picture on your computer via zoom and send it to the teacher with the kids' names next to it, so she has a little cheat sheet.
Relaxation Gifts like any of our Wellness gift sets, One of our most popular boxes for a reason. People love to find ways to take time for themselves and sometimes just need some coaxing to do it.
This is a great gift idea given to me by my techy bro in law. Let's face it. Teachers are going to be logging a lot of hours on the computer and these will for sure come in handy to silence the noise around them and help them hear all of their new students' voices clearer. We love this stylish look from Marshall.
Pamper Yourself or them, we are all in for the long haul.