{gifts with style} Teacher Appreciation Coloring Card

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!  This is a first for us, as my son is now attending a preschool program a few days a week.  I scoured Pinterest and found so many cute ideas for teacher appreciation gifts, but then I learned that each teacher had already put together a list of "suggestions" of the gift cards they would like to receive.  Now, I'm not sure how I feel about a gift registry of sorts for teacher appreciation week, but I decided to go along with it and bought each teacher a gift card to somewhere I have a hunch they will like. 

Nonetheless, I still wanted to do something personal for Beckett's teachers to let them know that we really do appreciate the very important work they do in teaching young children!  I really wanted to come up with something that Beckett could help to create - but that's a challenge with a 16 month old.  Since one of Beckett's favorite activities at school each day is art, I decided to create a card for each teacher that Beckett could color.

Each classroom at the preschool is identified by a specific animal - and Beckett's class is knows as the Eager Elephants.  I searched around online for some cute elephant clip art that I could use in making the card, and ended up coming across this great coloring page from the Dr. Seuss book "Horton Hears a Who."  And, of course, when I think of "Horton" I immediately think of the wonderful quote from the book, "A person's a person, no matter how small."  What a perfect quote to embody the important work done by teachers of 12 to 18 month old kiddos!  So, I downloaded the coloring page and used Photoshop to add the quote to at the top.

Wanting to personalize the card, I removed the speck of dust that Horton places on the soft clover, and replaced it with a photo of Beckett standing on the little hill.  I pulled up an adorable photo of Beckett walking down the sidewalk in front of our house (from a recent family photo shoot with Technicolor Vision), and using the Quick Selection tool in Photoshop I selected just Beckett from the photo. 

Then I sized the photo of Beckett to about 1.2" tall - just the right size for him to stand on the hill below Horton's trunk.
Finally, I added a personal note to each of Beckett's teacher at the bottom of the cards, and printed them out ready for Beckett to color.  He had so much fun!
I love that Beckett was able to help create these personal cards, and that by adding his cute little photo it will give his teachers something to remember him by when he moves up to a new classroom next month.  
Once Beckett finished coloring, I slipped each card into an envelope with a gift card.  It's a win-win - the teachers get the gift cards they want, but I was still able to personalize a little something to let them know that they are truly appreciated.

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