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Teacher Appreciation Week: Simple Ways to Say 'Thanks'

Teacher gifts that aren't complex or expensive, but say a whole lot.

There are only 26 days left of school! If you think your kids are excited, just ask a teacher how she feels. The summer-is-coming energy has permeated the classrooms and even the teachers are counting down the days until the last day of school.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week around the nation, and the timing couldn't be better. It may be just the little pick-me-up the teachers need to get through the end of the school year.

As with any teacher gifts, it is easy to get caught up in the crafty competition between parents; don't let this be you! Sure, Pinterest.com is great for fabulous gift ideas, but it's not intended to make you feel inadequate or overwhelmed by all the creativity. Here are a few Pinterest teacher gift ideas that do not take excessive time or talent to make:

"Thank you for helping me grow."- Paint a small flower pot, add saying in paint pen, and plant flowers.

"You are the highlight of my day!"- Buy a collection of highlighters, wrap in a cellophane bag, add bow and a card with the saying.

"With you as my teacher, I'll be one smart cookie!"
- Put cookies, homemade or store bought, in tin or plastic container, and card with saying.

"Thank you for quenching my thirst for knowledge."- Buy an insulated cold drink cup with lid, and fill with individual powdered drink mixes, such as Crystal Light lemonade. Add a ribbon, and card with the saying.

If craftiness is not your thing, there are other simple teacher gift options that only require a trip to the grocery store:

At the Movies: Buy a gift card for Fandango or your local theater, and tape it to a box of candy, such as Sugar Daddys or Mike and Ike's.

In the Garden: Buy a pair of gardening gloves, a packet or two of flower seeds, and a magazine such as Southern Living or Martha Stewart Living.

By the Pool: Buy a magazine, bottle of sunscreen, and an iTunes gift card, and your teacher is all set for some poolside relaxation.

For the Classroom: You can always take this opportunity to contribute those much needed classroom supplies that have started running low, such as glue sticks, crayons, and tissue.

Whatever you end up getting for your child's teacher, the most important part of a teacher's gift is the sentiment. Make sure there's a word of thanks from your child; that's the gift that means the most.

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