Riley Heruska
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Whether you're road tripping to the Texas coast or flying somewhere more exotic, there are about a million things to remember to stuff in your bag. Packing is probably the least enjoyable aspect of any vacation, but unfortunately, it's also one of the most important, so you'll have to dedicate some time to planning. Annoying, I know. 

The question is, what are the items you don't want to forget before heading to sandy shores? 

For Protection

Sure, you've got enough sunscreen to slather an army in SPF 50, but there's more to beach safety than that. You'll probably want: 

  • A hat that can protect your tender scalp and shade your eyes while you're out and about 
  • Water floaties for any little ones who aren't totally confident in their swimming abilities 
  • A waterproof bag for electronics that might just save your life (or at least your phone) 
  • Bug spray, because no one wants to debut bare legs covered in splotchy insect bites 
  • Sunglasses - your eyes can get sunburnt too! 
  • A breathable cover-up to go over your swimsuit 

For Practicality 

Okay, I'll admit it: These are the boring items that you don't necessarily want to think about, but they'll make your life so much easier. 

  • A beach bag to help you tote around all those pool toys and tasty snacks
  • Big beach towels that are perfect for spreading out on the sand 
  • Sandals that you don't really care about (so that you won't shed a tear when they're unbearably sandy) 
  • Plastic bags so you can separate your sopping wet swimsuit from your clean dry clothes 
  • Refillable water bottles, because hydration is important! 
  • Aloe vera for that person who will get sunburnt, even with all the sunscreen you brought 
  • A giant umbrella so that you can take a few breaks in the shade without having to rent a cabana 
  • Foldable chairs (if you can) because they're more comfortable than towels on the ground 
  • A small, portable cooler for transporting refreshing drinks 

For Fun 

Finally, the things you're actually excited to grab before you head out. 

  • Goggles and/or snorkeling gear for underwater wildlife viewing 
  • Inflatable rafts or toys to set your Instagram on fire 
  • A waterproof speaker that will let you blast your tunes without worrying about the occasional splash 
  • Frisbees or beach balls for friendly games on the sand 
  • A book for reading while you relax to the sound of gentle waves 

Obviously, these aren't all of the items you'll need, but hopefully, the list will get you started! Bon voyage! 

Riley Heruska
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With Father's Day fast-approaching, it's time to hit the stores and figure out what gifts that father figure in your life will appreciate. Sure, there are always "#1 Dad" mugs and other cliche (if cute) options, but what can you get a man who just recently joined the daddy club? Here are some fun ideas for the newly-minted dad that will make him feel appreciated AND prevent him from losing his sanity during those first crazy months. 

Create a "New Daddy Toolbox" 

This is the perfect gift for dads who are on a budget and/or totally new to this whole parenting thing. Plus, it's super easy to make. Simply find a toolbox of some sort, decorate to his taste, and then pack it with items that will save his life during a drastic baby meltdown. Some great things to include are diapers, rash creams, rags for cleaning spit-up, pacifiers, and distracting toys. It's always nice to include a few items for dad, as well, like maybe a Starbucks gift card for when he's running on two hours of sleep. 

A Camera 

Babies change so fast. One second, they fit in the palm of your hand, the next they're learning to crawl. Help your new daddy out by encouraging him to document all of these amazing stages. Even if he's not into photography, he'll appreciate the push later on when he can look back at quality photos of his little one. Sure, iPhones can capture pretty great pictures, but there's something really wonderful about taking out a camera and dedicating time to snapping photos. 

Incorporate Tiny Hands and Feet in Artwork

Even if you're not artistic, this isn't a difficult project. Pick out some paint, coat the baby's hands and/or feet, and press them onto a piece of canvas, a plate, or whatever you'd like. It's unique and sentimental, so even the manliest dad will appreciate the thought. For some ideas, browse through this gallery. 

A Sturdy Baby Carrier  

If you're shopping for a man who likes to be up and about, this can be an incredibly useful gift. Now, he can get things done around the house AND spend quality time with his little one. It's a win-win for everyone! Not sure what kind of carrier to search for? Click here for a great guide for buying! 

Host a Father's Day Themed Photo Shoot 

Whether you want to turn to a professional photographer or set up your own cute scene, it's not difficult to incorporate a few daddy-themed ideas into some adorable photos of his little one. Buy wooden letters that spell D-A-D and have the baby hold them, or tape a tiny mustache to the kid's face for a laugh. Not only will you preserve his child in some photos, but you'll bring a smile to his face on his special day.  

Those Headphones He's Always Wanted 

The poor man probably needs some quality noise-cancelling headphones more than ever. Sure, it might not be a cutesy gift, but it's one he'll actually use on a daily basis. 

Do you guys have any gift ideas for new daddy-o's? Leave your suggestions in the comments below! 

Riley Heruska
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With the Texas heat hurtling towards us at full speed, many of us will be heading to the water in search of respite from the intense weather. Trips to the lake, pool, and even the ocean are an essential part of every Texan's summer vacation.

However, spending time around bodies of water does have its risks, especially for young children. If you're toting around a toddler or even younger children, it's not too early to start teaching them how to be safe in the water. In fact, you should be teaching them to swim at a young age, and here's why. 

Safety Is No Joking Matter

According to recent statistics, almost 800 children drown in America every year, and most of those children are under the age of five. Therefore, it's never too early to introduce your children to water safety. Sure, you always think you'll hear your child cry out if they fall in or that a lifeguard will intervene, but is that really a risk you want to take?

By instilling basic survival skills in your little ones, you'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief, and they'll feel less intimidated by waves and splashes. Now, that's not to say you should dump your child in the deep end or anything: There are plenty of programs and instructors that can help you figure out which baby steps you and your child can take towards confident swimming. Holding them securely in your arms while you walk around the pool can be a great start.

In short, when it comes to safety, there's really no question that teaching little kids to swim is a necessary and worthwhile precaution. 

Swimming Is Great for Their Health (And Confidence!) 

Interestingly, babies and toddlers who learn to swim often display more signs of self-confidence. The sooner you introduce your young ones to water in a smart manner, the more comfortable they will feel around it. In fact, it's often harder to teach older children to swim if they haven't been exposed to water much. Help your children dispell any future fears about learning to swim by teaching them efficiently and preventively. It doesn't take much! Just teaching them the basics can help them conquer worries about submerging their heads and make sure they're able to save themselves in the event of an emergency.

Additionally, swimming is a fantastic source of exercise. You might be pleasantly surprised by how quickly your kid takes to water, and how much they enjoy it. It's a great way to wear them out before naptime, and it'll help strengthen their little muscles. 

It's a Life-Long Skill 

I've met more than my fair share of grown adults who are hesitant to set foot on a boat because they never learned to swim. Not only has it caused them to fear large expanses of water, but it's deprived them of many great water-based experiences. The sooner your child learns that they can be safe around water while still having fun, the easier their future will be. Beaches and lakes won't pose a problem for them, and in the event of an emergency, they'll know that you've given them the necessary skills to cope. Even adults can encounter dangerous situations in water, and the more experience your child has, the better. 

Riley Heruska
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Visiting a local movie theater is the perfect way to spend any lazy summer afternoon, especially if you have bored children at home. Luckily, there are a handful of movies for children hitting the big screen in the next few months, so you'll have a few opportunities to take the family out and see a new film before school starts in the fall. 

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (June 2) 

George and Harold have been responsible for dozens of pranks in their school, and in their spare time, they create comic books in their special treehouse. When the principal of their school becomes fed up with their shenanigans, the two pranksters take drastic measures to ensure they aren't separated. 

Cars 3 (June 16)

Lightning McQueen has been the most famous racer in the world for years. Now, he's getting a little older, and he doesn't speed across the track quite like he used to. When another racer threatens to steal Lightning's place in the spotlight, McQueen realizes that he needs to buckle down and show the world what he's really made of. 

Despicable Me 3 (June 30) 

For the third time, audiences can return to the world of mastermind villain, Gru, and his lovable band of adopted children. Gru and his new wife, Lucy, must work together to stop a deranged villain, former '80s child star Balthazar Bratt, from achieving his goal of world domination. Oh, and of course, there are squeaky yellow minions. Lots of them. 

The Emoji Movie (July 28) 

This is the story of the secret world that exists inside your phone. Each emoji has a personality, and yet they are expected to only ever embody the one emotion they're meant to express. When things go wrong, three emojis must embark on an adventure through their owner's smartphone in an effort to protect their very existence.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (August 11)

In this sequel, Surly the squirrel and his band of animal friends must work to combat the evil mayor of Oakton when he plans to destroy the park that they call home. 

Leap! (August 30)

Eleven-year-old Felicie might be a poor orphan, but she has a big dream: to become a world-renowned dancer. She travels to Paris and enrolls in ballet school, where she pretends to be a rich girl as she struggles to master the art of dancing. She faces animosity and doubt, but with her friend Victor and her tough mentor, Odette, she learns that she can work towards her dream.

Riley Heruska
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With hundreds of books hitting bookstore shelves every month, it can be difficult to sift through new releases for the best finds. That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you! Here are ten of the most praised novels that were published in May.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas 

This highly-anticipated third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series is packed with romance and high stakes. Feyre, a human who has become immortal and ensnared in the politics of a magical realm, must battle against powerful evils to protect the people she loves. She will have to face monsters, deceit, old enemies, and most importantly, herself. Beautifully written, this next installment in the story will sweep you off your feet. 

"A gorgeously written tale as lush and romantic as it is ferocious. Absolutely spellbinding." - Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author, on A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 1) 

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan 

An epic tale of courage, this novel details the life of Pino Lella during the reign of Nazi Germany. He's an Italian teenager, but his days of flirting with girls and being a normal kid are coming to an end as Germany grows more powerful. Rich with history and suspense, this book has marked itself as an incredible tale of resilience. 

“Meticulous research highlights this World War II novel of a youth growing into manhood…a captivating read…” - RT Book Reviews

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare 

Clare follows up on her Dark Artifices series with this second installment, and as always, her new book promises intense drama and lovable characters. Emma Carstairs may have finally avenged her parents, but her life and the lives of her loved ones have been drastically altered. Now, she must walk a fine line between breaking the rules and following her heart. 

"Positively a quiver with secret ardor and murderous zeal." - Kirkus on Lady Midnight (Book 1) 

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

This is not just a book about a crime: It is a book about learning to deal with the past. Marzano-Lesnevich tackles heavy topics in her thriller, including forgiveness and truth. The complicated story will leave you contemplating more than just one crime.  

"Haunting... impeccably researched... Her writing is remarkably evocative and taut with suspense, with a level of nuance that sets this effort apart from other true crime accounts." - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh 

Best-selling author Renee Ahdieh's newest YA novel is earning tons of praise for its beautiful portrayal of Japanese culture, as well as its strong character and plot. Mariko, the daughter of a samurai, is promised to the son of an emperor. On the way to fulfill her duty and marry her betrothed, she encounters more danger than she ever imagined. 

“Rich in magical realism and cultural nuance of feudal Japan, Ahdieh’s series starter begins with a girl-power bang... A wonderful choice for YA shelves, especially where lush fantasy is popular.” - School Library Journal

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Although she has a difficult time with social engagements and tends to blurt out whatever she's thinking, Eleanor likes her life. When she unexpectedly befriends Raymond, her coworker, and an old man they help off of the sidewalk, she realizes that opening her heart may change her life forever. 

"Eleanor Oliphant is a truly original literary creation: funny, touching, and unpredictable." - Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

One of Us Is Lying
 by Karen M. McManus

This "who done it" tale will have you paying close attention to every tiny detail as you attempt to solve the mystery. During one session of detention, teenage Simon doesn't make it out alive. The question is, which of the other high schoolers in the room is responsible? 

"This fast-paced blend of Gossip GirlPretty Little Liars, and classic John Hughes will leave readers racing to the finish as the try to unravel the mystery on their own." - Kirkus Reviews

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig 

Ludwig's teenage character, Ginny, has recently been adopted. She has autism, which makes settling into a new home and life pretty difficult. As she adjusts, she realizes that remaining voiceless is no longer an option. Illuminating and powerful, Ludwig's novel teaches an important lesson about listening to those who don't always speak loudly. 

“A powerful affirmation of the fragility and strength of families.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger 

You may think you know about man's first voyage to the moon, but you've never heard the story told quite like this. Kluger's account of the mission reveals the risks these Americans took and how they changed our view of the world forever.  

"Kluger, a science journalist, previously co-authored the best-selling book turned blockbuster film Apollo 13, and his latest foray into space history overflows with similarly cinematic details. Apollo 8 delivers the definitive story of what is, and always will be, one of humanity's greatest adventures." - Scientific American

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman 

Not only is Silverman's YA novel the perfect beach trip companion, but it's also an adorable coming of age tale with a splash of romance. Anise plans to spend her summer relaxing, surfing, and hanging with friends, but when she's forced to leave California, she's forced to face her past... and the charismatic boy she meets in Nebraska. 

"Silverman's debut is an entertaining and well-done coming-of-age story featuring a likable protagonist who learns that home is less about place and more about being surrounded by loved ones and friends. Silverman does a commendable job showcasing a diverse cast of characters, and the interracial romance is sweet and clean. " - RT Book Reviews

Riley Heruska
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According to some experts, Texans are in for a buggier summer than usual this year, especially when it comes to flying pests.

Great, right? Nothing like mosquito bites and annoying flies to make the hottest season more enjoyable. Plus, these flying bloodsuckers can carry dangerous diseases. So, what can you do to prevent creepy crawlies from invading your personal space? 

Seal Any Gaps/Cracks That You Can 

Bugs will hunt for any entrance your house, no matter how tiny. Take the time to examine your walls and search for hidden cracks that could expose your house to unwanted pests. Doors and windows are especially dangerous, so make sure everything seals tightly when closed. You can even purchase extra weather sealing to add along edges that are little too loose for your comfort. 

Maintain Your Landscaping and Yard 

The more plants in contact with your home, the more insects that can find their way inside. Now, this doesn't mean that you should rip out every bush or tree that borders your house. Just make an effort to keep things looking tidy in your yard. Overgrown grass and untamed shrubberies are not your friends, especially during the summer. 

Invest in Protective Sprays and Other Products 

If you or other members of your family enjoy being outside quite often, then you might want to purchase some heavy duty bug sprays. Not only will the products prevent uncomfortable bites, but it will also deter bugs from latching onto your clothes and hitching a ride inside. Click here to see some of the most recommended spray brands. There are also items you can install in your outdoor living areas to make your time there more enjoyable. Despite what you've probably heard, citronella candles don't always repel mosquitoes well, but there are other more effective options. Click here for some ideas. 

Try to Keep Your Home As Clean As Possible 

Food and trash will always attract bugs, and the last thing you want is an ant invasion in your pantry. Make sure to clean up after every meal and refuse to leave food out in the open for long periods of time. Even minimal crumbs in the carpet can sing a siren song to ugly pests. Keep lids on your trash cans, food in sealable containers, and cleaning products at the ready. 

Call Professionals As Needed 

Unfortunately, even if you follow all of the recommended steps above, you can't ever completely bug proof your home. Don't hesitate to call an exterminator if things are really getting out of hand. They'll know the best tips and tricks for eradicating the problem, as well as preventing it from reoccurring. 

Riley Heruska
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Let's face it: You love your children more than anything, but sometimes, finding time to be alone with your partner is more than a little challenging. Between the surplus of sports practices, crazy meal preparations, demands at work, and the thousand other things that get in the way, parents hardly get any time to themselves. So, how can you find the time?

Well, you can start by taking a step away from the family life and doing some parents-only travel. Now before you start protesting that it isn't practical or that you'd feel incredibly guilty about abandoning your kids for a weekend, let's look at some of the reasons parents should be planning a few vacations sans children. 

It Reminds You to Put Your Spouse First 

My dad used to always tell me that the best way for him to be a good father was to love my mother wholeheartedly. As a child, I rolled my eyes and scoffed. Isn't devoting yourself to your children the best way to be a good parent? Surprisingly, not always. Research has shown that putting your spouse before your children is actually a healthy way to facilitate a happy family life. Parents give up so much to care for their children, but attention to their marriage is one thing that should never be shirked. In his book To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First (2010), author David Code states that “as we break our backs for our kids, our marriage and self-fulfillment go out the window while our kids become more demanding and dissatisfied.” Other psychologists agree that parents don't dedicate enough time to themselves or their partners. 

There is nothing wrong with taking the time to work on your marriage away from the kids. It doesn't mean you're being negligent or selfish. In fact, it's just the opposite: You're working to keep an important relationship in your children's lives running smoothly and happily. 

You Don't Just Get "Us Time," You Get "Me Time"

Like David Code was pointing out, part of building a strong relationship with your partner involves setting time aside for yourself. By taking a few days for the two of you to relax, you'll actually recharge your own batteries. No one will be screaming at you to fix the Xbox remote or complaining that they need help with their homework. Not only will your marriage feel rejuvenated, but so will you. 

Your Kids Might Even Have Fun While You're Gone 

If you're thinking that your poor children will be sitting around moping the entire time you're gone, then you might want to think again. Many kids actually have a blast while their parents are out of town. Think a G-rated version of Risky Business. Sometimes, they need a break from your parenting and busy schedule, too. As long as you're able to find a competent but fun babysitter, then your kids will probably be fine, even if they're a little tearful at the beginning. Plus, you'll probably promise to bring them back a few souvenirs, and every kid loves the sweet anticipation of a new toy.

It Prevents You From Becoming a Helicopter Parent 

Believe it or not, parents can actually care a little too much about their children. If you find yourself paying close attention to every detail of your child's life, especially when they're older, then you might actually be hindering them from finding independence. Margaret Nelson, author of Parenting Out of Control: Anxious Parents in Uncertain Times, points out that when parents are too involved in their children's lives, their own relationships begin to suffer. So, take a breath, and leave your kids in the capable hands of another adult for a day or two. Your children will learn to be a little more self-reliant, and you'll learn that you've raised them to be okay without your constant supervision after all. 

If you're a BubbleLife parent, do you and your partner go on vacations without the kids every now and then? Share any comments or advice you have in the comments below! 

Riley Heruska
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For many Texans, this weekend will be packed with campfires, outdoor activities, and of course, barbecue. It's time to fire up the grills and hang out with family while chowing down on burgers and hot dogs. Although you can always throw some beans on the stove to pair with the meal, sometimes it's nice to be a little more creative. Here are a few recommended recipes that will add some flare to your cookout, and bonus: They're not even that hard to make. 

Cowboy Caviar 
There are actually many different names for this type of dish, but they all include the same delicious base ingredients: beans, veggies, and just the right amount of spice. Personally, I'd recommend adding some avocado (trust me, it's great). Serve with chips and voila! Instant hit. The View From Great Island has a great recipe. 

Fruit-Based Sides 
Many different fruits are in season right now, and they're so scrumptious that you can probably just serve them by themselves. However, that's a little too boring for some, so you can always jazz it up a bit. Mirlandra's Kitchen has a tasty recipe for brown sugar roasted pineapples, and Tastes Better From Scratch can teach you to make the perfect creamy fruit salad. 

Grilled 3-Cheese Fondue Bread Bowl 
Nothing impresses a group of hungry people like a steaming side of melted cheese. I mean, come on: We Texans devour queso by the bowl-full. Land O Lake's recipe will have you whipping up cheesy goodness in no time. You can always leave out the edible bowl if you want and serve the cheese with sides for dipping. 

An Edible American Flag 
Since this is a patriotic holiday, it only makes sense to serve things that come in red, white, and blue. Family Fresh Meals has a creative method for displaying the flag, and your family will wolf down the salty and sweet design. Plus, it only takes about ten minutes to prepare, so it's a win-win for everybody. 

Rasberry Pretzel Salad
If you're a fan of pretzel crusts, then you simply have to try Mom on Time Out's dessert. Packed with fruity flavor and a salty aftertaste, it'll be a refreshing hit with all dessert lovers. Just make sure not to skimp on the whipped cream. 

Buffalo Cheese Fries 

What goes better with a cookout than fries? Especially ones with a little extra seasoning? Tidy Mom has whipped up a fry recipe that practically explodes with flavor, and she even sprinkles cheese on the fried goodies to add extra zest. 

What are you guys serving with your Memorial Day meal? Comment with suggestions below! 

Riley Heruska
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We're almost there! Within the next few weeks, students will be released to the exhilarating freedom that is summer break. If you're a parent, chances are your kids are already bouncing off the walls in anticipation of sun-drenched days away from the classroom. Their excitement is more than a little contagious. 

Why not mark the start of the summer season and the end of the school year with a fun activity or two? Here are some cost-effective and easy ideas to kick off your kid's vacation. 

Host a Water Ballon Fight 

Nothing screams "summer" like running around the backyard in bathing suits, avoiding being drenched by the burst of a well-thrown water balloon. Kids will have a blast with the activity, and it's a great way to really make the beginning of their vacation memorable. 

Go on a Picnic 

Before we know it, the Texas heat will be back in full force and we'll barely be able to stand outside for five minutes without feeling dizzy. So, why not make the most of the warm (not blistering hot) weather while we can? Head to the park or an open field and spend some time soaking up rays while snacking on fresh fruit. 

Make a Summer To-Do List

My parents always used to do this with my siblings and me when we were little. Each of us was allowed to pick one activity we wanted to do at some point over the summer break, and we'd work our way through the list before school started again. It could be anything, as long as it could be done in one day. Trips to the zoo, laser tag, and pool parties were all fair game. 

Camp Outside 

Summer is the time for s'mores and late night campfires, and now's the perfect time to start. You don't have to go far to camp with kids - even pitching a tent in the backyard is exciting

Take Them to the Movies 

Tons of family-friendly films will hit the big screens this summer, and a family trip to the theater is always a great way to make the day special. Let them order a few ridiculously expensive concessions since it's a celebration. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could check out a drive-in theater

What are you guys going to do with your family to celebrate the end of school? Comment with suggestions below! 

Riley Heruska
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As school draws to a close, most parents like to drop off a little something for the adults who've helped raise their children over the past nine months. Teachers often go above and beyond while caring for their students, and it only seems right to thank them for their dedication with a heartfelt gift at the end of the school year. The question is, what do you get them? They've got a million little trinkets on their desk and nine "best teacher" mugs, and the last thing you want to do is give them a gift that they'll never use. 

Here are some ideas that are sure to win a smile from teachers.

Meaningful Note

Teachers spend hours and hours on lesson plans, crafts, parent-teacher conferences, and a million other things every year. As their time with your kid comes to an end, it's always nice to let them know how they made a difference in your child's life, as well as your own. Have your kid write a thank you note detailing how their teacher helped them improve over the year or their favorite parts of the class. A note from you never hurts either. After all, don't you want to tell them how impressed you are with your child's growing education, or simply how they were able to get your child to sit still for seven hours? 

Gift Card That's NOT to Starbucks 

Although we Americans drink more than our fair share of coffee, not every teacher is a fan of Starbucks (or coffee in general). If you're going to give them a gift card, make sure it's to a place that the teacher actually likes and will visit. Stores like Walmart and Target are always a safe bet. Movie theater passes are also good and might be a little more fun. The important thing is to actually think about what the teacher likes or needs. 

Useful School Supplies 

Speaking of need, many teachers decorate and supply their classrooms with some of their own money. Chances are, they need to restock their colored pencils or sticky note stash more than they need a personalized cup. You can even ask them what they need and offer to purchase some of the items for them. Not only will you be assisting the teacher, but you'll be helping out future children who enter their class. 

Donation in Their Name

Sometimes, a physical item isn't the best gift for a teacher who receives many trinkets from parents. Educators enjoy making a difference through their jobs, and you can help them do that by making a donation to a charity they support. Is your kid's teacher an animal lover? Donate to the local shelter. Are they a big advocate for children's literacy? Donate to an organization that spreads education in lower-income areas.

Photo Album/Scrapbook 

Saying goodbye to the children they've come to know over the course of the year isn't always easy. Help teachers preserve their memories with photos of the kids and little notes or crafts. Rope other parents into helping you create a personal gift that the teacher can treasure for years to come. 

Do you have any other ideas that teachers will appreciate? Let us know in the comments below!