If it is the last week of school and you want to give your child’s teacher a thank you gift but don’t want to spend a lot of money then check out this teacher gift idea! A refreshing drink, tasty flavored popcorn, cute saying, and a heartfelt note ought to do the trick!
I’ve had the opportunity the last 2 years to create the yearbook for my children’s elementary school. This opportunity has allowed me to be at the school working on it and watching the teachers interact with the kids. The more time I spend there, the more grateful I am for these dedicated men and women who teach the children at our school! They are incredible people! My daughter said she wanted to make a homemade gift for her teacher this year instead of a gift card. Her teacher likes popcorn, so we came up with this fun idea. After sneakily finding out her favorite pop we made a cute little tag and assembled it all.
I spent 65 cents on the can of pop and had the other ingredients I already had in my cupboard making this a cheap teacher gift idea! Then we printed out the tag. I found a picture of a can of pop and added the words, ” Pop Pop Fizz Fizz, I know who a wonderful teacher is!” We printed them out on card stock and since I got a S- in cutting in kindergarten (not an S+) I used cute edged scissors to cut it out. On the back I wrote an honest heartfelt note about how much my daughter had grown in the last year thanks to Miss W. This woman cares about the kids in her class, you can just see the care in her eyes. We are so fortunate to have had her as a teacher! You are welcome to copy this picture of the tag I made and print it out! 😉
The last thing we had to do was make the popcorn. I accidentally doubled the recipe when I added the first ingredient, so we made two kinds…which wasn’t my original plan, but it turned out cute! The popcorn flavor is totally up to you! You need 2 tsp. of flavoring/extract for each batch. If you buy a little jar of flavoring you will need two jars since they are only 1 tsp. each. You can pick these up at any candy store or in my small town they are at the pharmacy/drug stores. If you buy an extract at the grocery store that will work too! You can get really wild with the flavors, like cherry cheesecake, coconut lime, or root beer! Yum!
To make the popcorn you will need 1/2 cup un-popped popcorn kernels. Pop them into one large bowl. NOBODY likes hard kernels in their popcorn, so to remove those kernels, just move the popcorn in handfuls from one bowl to another. At the bottom of the 1st bowl the kernels and kernel pieces will be at the bottom. Dump them out and then split the popcorn into the 2 bowls to make it easier to mix/coat later.
To make the candy coating for the popcorn:
Melt 1/4 cup of butter *that is 1/2 a stick!*over high heat. Add 1/4 cup corn syrup and 1/8 cup water. Add 1 cup of sugar. Be sure to stir the sugar in well, scraping the sides often so it won’t crystallize. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Let it boil and stir often until it reaches 238 degrees F. A candy thermometer works great, but my digital meat thermometer works even better! 😉 Don’t let it go over 242 or your popcorn will be hard! Don’t under cook it or it will be gooey. A thermometer is very helpful! Once it has reached 238 degrees, add 1/4 tsp baking soda. This will cause it to get frothy and bubbly so be sure to stir quickly. Remove from heat. Add food coloring if desired and 2 tsp. flavoring/extract. Mix well. Pour over the popped popcorn and stir until it is evenly coated. Let it cool on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper.
Quick recipe card for candied popcorn
1/2 cup un-popped popcorn kernels
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/8 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp flavoring/extract of your choice
Food coloring if desired
After it cools, you can bag it up cute. If you don’t have a cute bag you can get creative like me and cut off the top of a big zippered bag. 😉
Let me know if you make one! Both of my girl’s teachers said they loved it today! 🙂 They made a special point to come find me and thank me! I hope you have a great summer!