The festive season is upon us again and I see lots of people asking for Christmas gift ideas for teachers, school and kindy friends. The expense of gifting to so many people can get out of control so to get ahead of that, it’s great to put some effort into homemade items. I always like to think outside the box and gift something that is useful, fun, sustainable or something that the whole family can enjoy. Working as an educator in my early career, my lovely little friends gave me presents every year. I was always very thankful but over the years I amassed quite a collection of candles, bath bombs, coffee cups and chocolate (not so great on my hips!). With that in mind, I thought I’d create a list of things that I’m going to put together this year for teachers at my daughter’s kindy, swim school, dance class and gymnastics lessons, as well as a little something for all her friends she’ll be leaving behind as she embarks on her school years next year. Hopefully there will be something here to inspire your creativity too! Gift Ideas for Teachers This year I’ll be making some coffee syrup to pop into our 150ml Christmas reusable pouches. I’m a coffee addict but in the Aussie summer months I sometimes find hot drinks a bit unappealing. To get around the heat and still have ‘my fix’ I make coconut milk iced coffee with a homemade coffee syrup. You can view the recipe that I use here. For the non-coffee drinkers I’ll be making some chai latte for which you can see a recipe here. This cookie mix has always been very well received – not only does it look gorgeous, the whole family can enjoy making and eating the cookies together (saving one for Santa of course!). I’ll make it again this year and layer it into our 500ml pouches. Another delicious pre-made treat is some fudge which I’ll be making and gifting in our reusable sandwich bags. My hubby started making his own spirits this year and has concocted the most divine homemade baileys! OMG, it’s so delicious I have to hide it in the back of the fridge so I’m not tempted to have a little night cap EVERY NIGHT. Christmas is a merry time of year and what nicer way to add a little joy than with some homemade baileys in a pouch (if you can bare to give it away)?! Stay tuned for a recipe in the coming week I made a coffee body scrub one year for all my mums group friends and they loved it! The sand-like texture of coffee grounds makes a great exfoliant, working to gently remove dead skin cells and the caffeine helps to rejuvenate and boost circulation. As I have a coffee machine at home which grinds fresh beans this for me is a no brainer (did I mention I’m a coffee addict?). I tend to gift this in a snack bag as it's easier to scoop out. Oh and the recipe is super easy - 1 cup of ground coffee, 1 cup of brown sugar & 1 cup of coconut oil. If it's looking bit dry just add more coconut oil. Gift Ideas for School and Kindy Friends We love giving in our family and we especially try to teach our kids the joy of giving at this time of year. Last year I took my daughter to an old aged home to visit the residents and hand out chocolates. To see the joy in these residents’ faces was priceless – oh how it filled my heart! This year we’ll be making reindeer food for our little friends and putting it into Sinchies Pops – you can even use these cute printable gift tag toppers that fit the Pops perfectly! The recipe I use for the mix is oatmeal, edible glitter (just sugar and food colouring) and a few raisins or sultanas. My little girl even sprinkles it on the lawn at night to make sure Santa’s reindeer pull-in for a snack. A hot chocolate mix is also super easy to make and the kids always love it! Well, I’m not sure if they love the fact that they’ll get to drink hot chocolate for a few nights or that there’s marshmallows in the pouch... The recipe - I use 1 1/2 cups of milk powder, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (that you use for baking or 1/4 cup cacao) 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of corn flour - mix well to combine - pop it into a 150ml Christmas pouch and include a few mini marshmallows on the top, which can be found in the baking section at most supermarkets. Pop a note on saying at 3 tablespoons of mix to a hot mug of milk & enjoy! Or you can layer the ingredients individually in a pouch - this looks pretty cool. Another favourite little activity that we’ve gifted previously is a Build-A-Snowman. We included 3 marshmallows, some pretzels for arms, mini chocolate chips for buttons and googly eye candy. We popped this into Sinchies snack bags which the kids can then use in their lunchboxes the following year. And finally, a winner with kids and parents is homemade green and red playdough, scented using cinnamon essential oil. We pop it into our snack bags with printable instructions on how to build a wreath. I know parents love this as it usually keeps their kiddies entertained for a little while. I have a great playdough recipe here. I hope to have helped with some great gift ideas!