Help Teachers, Parents, and College Students Prep for School with These Back-to-School Gift Ideas

This school year is an exciting time for students returning to in-person classes, but it can also be extra stressful for parents and teachers. Lend a helping hand with a thoughtful back-to-school gift.
Gauraa at SmartGift
August 11th 2021Aug 11, 2021

After sixteen long months of turbulence, classes are almost back in session. While it’s difficult to predict what returning to school may look like — remote, hybrid, or on campus — teachers and students will still need supplies to make the most of the year.

Whether you’re in the market for dorm room essentials, back-to-school gift baskets for teachers, or a care package for parents and families of students, SmartGift has you covered. Send them a thoughtful gift of encouragement this National Back to School Prep Day (August 15) to kickstart the season!

Gifts for Teachers

Between navigating new teaching platforms and adjusting to changing guidelines throughout the pandemic, the past year and a half has been a true trial for teachers. Find the right gift to show them your appreciation.

Floral arrangements are a favorite gift for many occasions, and are sure to brighten any teacher’s desk, at home or on campus. Opt for bright, vibrant colors in cheerful vases to bring the last of summer inside.

The school is a busy place! With orientations, syllabus week, meeting with teacher's aides and providing extra support to students who need it, teachers are often overworked and too busy to find a healthy meal. Why not send them a fresh fruit basket so they have a healthy snack at hand?

If you’re not sure what to get the teacher in your life, pen cases, lunch bags, and tote bags all make great gifts (and gifts teachers really want!), especially for those perpetually on-the-go. Our brand partners Pandora, Timberland, JanSport, Kipling, and vineyard vines even offer discounts for teachers all-year-round!

Help teachers stay cool and hydrated with an easy-grip, shatter-proof vibrant tumbler from vineyard vines.

A chalkboard dangle charm is a perfect gift for teachers from students. With the word “teach” engraved on one side, and “with heart” on the other, it’s sure to keep them inspired and passionate about teaching.

Gifts for College Students

For many college students, this year will be the first time they’ll be living away from home. Help them start their new life with the right supplies for their dorm room!

If you’re looking for dorm room ideas, plants are sure to brighten up bare and stripped-down campus housing. Try sending them an easy-to-care-for pilea plant, or a fern in a fun and decorative planter to bring life into their new space.

A tote bag, like this one from Kipling, is a no-brainer dorm essential. With multiple zippers and ample room, your college student will have enough space to carry their sneakers, outfits, and toiletries when they’re on-the-go.

A simple photo frame will not only add to their dorm decor, but a picture of family or friends resting neatly on a side table might even help keep homesickness at bay.

College dorms can often feel impersonal. Help students make the small space their own with soft, breathable, and gorgeous bed sheets to go over their mattress toppers.

Even the best college dorms have limited opportunities to truly relax. Help them unwind and decompress from dorm life and living on campus with a spa set. Complete with body butter, body wash, a mesh sponge, and a rope basket (that can double as a shower caddy!), the Vanilla Bliss Spa Basket makes for an ideal back-to-school gift for college students.

An easy favorite for all college students, it’s impossible to go wrong with cookies. This care package from Cheryl’s features individually wrapped chocolate-chip, buttercream and triple cookies, as well as yogurt pretzels, roasted almonds, and sour gummy stars — fit for late night cram sessions or weekend movie marathons alike.

Whether trekking, walking to class, or simply lounging around in the dorm, college students can always use an extra pair of socks. Try Smartwool’s Walk Light Crew Socks for light cushioning and extra ankle support.

Gifts for Parents

The back-to-school season can be especially stressful for parents — a fact that has only been compounded by the pandemic. Send them a fruit basket, cookie, snack, or breakfast box so they have one less thing to worry about during this busy season.

Save parents multiple trips to Starbucks by gifting them a french press gift set. They’ll be able to brew rich, flavorful coffee at home within minutes!

In search of something to help them unwind in the after hours? Send them a gourmet gift set of wine and snacks, or a family-style Mexican meal. They’ll appreciate a mealtime treat they can fit into their busy schedules.

If you want to truly pamper the mom in your life, send her an indulgent spa experience she can enjoy right at home! With luxurious bath salts, lotions and soaps, she will finally be able to recuperate from a hard day’s work.

Looking for more good gifts for teachers? Scouring the internet for the best back-to-school gifts for high school students? Check out our Back-to-School Shopping Guide, or browse the full collection.