banner svg (1)

50 Creative Ways to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Celebrate your staff during Teacher Appreciation Week on May 6-10, 2024.

50 Creative Ways to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Creative Ways to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect time to show your childcare and preschool teachers how grateful you are for their hard work and dedication to children. This article details creative ways to celebrate the staff in your program so you can remind your teachers how much you value them and boost morale at your center. 

What is Teacher Appreciation Week? 

Although we express our gratitude for early educators all year long, Teacher Appreciation Week is a nationally-recognized week set aside for honoring teachers and the important work they do. Every year, Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated the first full week of May and includes Teacher Appreciation Day, which is typically the Tuesday of that week. This year, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10, 2024 and Teacher Appreciation Day is May 7, 2024.

Preschool teacher appreciation ideas

Because the early educators in your program are all unique and have different interests, it’s best to plan a variety of Teacher Appreciation Week activities to ensure that every teacher feels included and celebrated. For example, while some of your teachers may love sweet treats, others may feel more appreciated through spending quality time together, or receiving a heartfelt note. To learn more about your staff members’ preferences, you can always send out a survey before Teacher Appreciation Week asking what kinds of gifts and activities they enjoy most.

We also gathered some great ideas from our community of early educators in our Teacher Appreciation Week webinar below. Whether your teachers prefer affirmations, treats and gifts, or fun activities, there’s something for everyone in the list below!



Affirmations are positive statements used to encourage and uplift individuals. In a preschool classroom, they serve to express gratitude and recognition towards teachers, highlighting their contributions and care.

  • Give handmade notes and artwork from children
  • Host an awards day where every teacher wins a trophy for something special they bring to the program
  • Send a personal, handwritten note to each teacher sharing what you appreciate about them
  • Put together a book with thank you notes from each child
  • Ask families to write a handwritten note or send a personalized email of appreciation
  • Record appreciation videos from families and children and email to your teachers
  • Ask families and children to respond to the prompt “why my teacher is a superhero” through notes and drawings 
  • Make a candy gram for each teacher 
  • Create a calendar for each teacher with photos of class activities 
  • Share shoutouts about your staff on social media
  • Reach out to alumni families for words of appreciation
  • Make a collage using photos of your teachers with their class
  • Use kudo boards in the break room that all staff members can contribute to
  • Decorate classroom doors with thank you notes from families and children

Preschool teacher appreciation ideas - Door Decoration

Source: California Teachers Association

Gifts and treats

Gifts and treats are a heartfelt way to show appreciation to teachers, serving as tangible tokens of gratitude for their dedication and hard work. Whether it's a handmade gift from a student, a bouquet of flowers, or a gift card to their favorite coffee shop, these gestures can significantly boost a teacher's morale.

  • Organize a rotation where families can volunteer to bring coffee, baked goods, or lunch for the week 
  • Give teachers additional time off
  • Stock their classrooms with school supplies
  • Gift your teachers with school swag such as t-shirts, hats, or tote bags with your program logo on it
  • 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 
  • Send flowers 
  • Have families contribute to a gift card or gift basket for each teacher
  • Give your staff personalized items such as coffee mugs, water bottles, or journals
  • Treat teachers to a car wash during school hours
  • Host a catered lunch for your staff
  • Send a gift card to a local restaurant so they can skip cooking for a night
  • Stock up the break room with healthy snacks and drinks
  • Fill a tote bag with cleaning supplies for each teacher
  • Create custom notepads or sticky notes with each teacher's name printed on them
  • Offer "room service” by giving teachers a door hanger with a snack menu they can order from

Preschool teacher appreciation ideas - Room service

Source: Pinterest

Fun activities for appreciating early educators

Organizing fun activities, such as a surprise lunch, is another way to show gratitude towards teachers. These activities not only offer a break from the routine but also bring joy and acknowledge the hard work of educators in a memorable way.

  • Host a "make your own sundae" or "make your own smoothie" event
  • Organize a scavenger hunt where staff can find notes of appreciation hidden throughout your center
  • Throw a school-wide themed party such as a 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 
  • Play bingo for prizes
  • Set up a breakfast buffet with coffee, bagels, or baked goods
  • Throw a group painting party
  • Put together teacher talent shows
  • Offer daily tea time for the entire team 
  • 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, or silly hats
  • Host a surprise party at the end of the week in the break room or parking lot
  • Have a white elephant gift exchange
  • Invite families to participate in a bake-off and ask teachers to be the judges 

Celebrate teachers all year round

Your preschool teachers are essential to running your business. It's important to acknowledge all their hard work, in both big and small ways. Use these suggestions as inspiration as you celebrate your staff during Teacher Appreciation Week and all year round.

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

Subscribe to the brightwheel blog