The other day I was at my sons’ school and my first grader’s former kindergarten teacher came up to me.

“I just wanted you to know that I really loved the basil that your son gave me as a gift last year. It was a great gift. I used it all summer.”

You may be thinking that it’s a little early to be thinking about the end of the year gift for your kid’s teacher, but if you want to give a gift that your child actually has a hand in creating and will be useful to the teacher, now is exactly when you need to start.

Last year, I had my sons plant basil plants from seeds for their teachers. When the seedlings got large enough to transplant, we purchased inexpensive ceramic pots that were large enough for the basil plants to grow to full size in. That way, the teachers could keep them all summer in the pot if they didn’t have a garden.

The boys were responsible for taking care of the plants. Once it was warm enough for us to keep the pots outside, they took turns going out each morning to water their teachers' gifts. They were very proud to be able to give something to their teachers that they grew themselves and worked diligently to keep alive for weeks.

You can do this with any edible plant, but I think a frequently used herb is a good choice. Herbs don’t get too big, they do well on a sunny windowsill if placing it outside isn’t an option, and they are relatively easy to maintain.

The other great thing about this is that it is such an inexpensive gift, yet it is so thoughtful and will give teachers pleasure all summer long. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Teachers' gifts that keep on giving
Want your kid to give his teacher an end of the year gift that is truly useful? How about potted basil that your child starts from seed?