sometimes the best gifts take time
I saw a video on the Today Show several years ago about a girl who graduated from high school and her parents gave her a copy of the book Oh The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.
Big deal right? What if I told you the parents had had every teacher sign it from the time she was 5? They kept a secret from her for years while she attended school. Every year they would have the teachers sign the book and they’d put it away.
Once she graduated from high school, her parents gave her this book.
A 13 year undertaking. It’s like having all the people who had you has teachers cheering you on as you embark on your journey into college and beyond.
This touched my heart deeply, and makes me cry every time I tell someone about how they can do this. So I thought, I can do this too.
how to plan a great gift for your kids for graduation
I bought 2 copies of Oh The Places You’ll Go! and I’ve hidden them in my office. I have contacted my daughters first grade teacher (just a little behind) in hopes she will sign the book for me. And then I’ll contact her kindergarten teacher (now retired), to see if she will sign it as well. It will be easier for my son as he’s just starting kindergarten.
The hard part will be keeping the books hidden the next 13 years from them and them not finding them. But I’m looking forward to the awesome looks on their faces as they see all their teachers rallying behind them through the years to be successful.
You could also use this as a baby shower gift and have family members sign it for every birthday too.
I just had to share and I hope it inspires you to do this or something unique for your kids graduation.
Update: I am in year 8 of this project. My book has been discovered, but not opened in my office. I just tell them it’s my book, leave it alone and hide it again.
printable candy bar labels for your kids teachers
It takes some work in planning as they have gotten older, more teachers. Middle school and high school have multiple teachers I have them tell me who their favorite teachers are and I only ask those teachers to write in it. There are lots of emails the last 3 weeks of the year. I also put a sticky note on the book with a list of who needs to sign it, my name and number and the office calls me when it’s done.
I have 4 more years for my daughter and 6 more for my son.
What if my kids are almost done with school?
You may be thinking great, my kids are almost done with school, there is no way I can do this. You can certainly contact the teachers if you want and ask them to write in the book. Another way to use the book is to give the book to the child their last year of school and have their friends write notes in it. They can look back on it and see where their friends end up later in life.
Have you done this for your kids?
I sat down and wrote my daughter a note the night before she started kindergarten. I will keep the letter and give it to her on graduation day. The book idea is awesome! I’m going to go buy the book today and get started 🙂
That is super sweet Morgan! I hope you enjoy the book!
Amy Turner says
What a well-thought out, carefully planned and delivered gift, personally, I would love to receive such if I were still a new graduate. Very thoughtful and sensitive of you to do this as well. How I wish I’d read about this when my kids were still young and studying.
Thanks Amy. I wish I had a gift like this too for myself.
Oh my what a great idea. I got goosebumps reading about it. I made my son a scrapbook when he graduated a couple of years ago, he would have loved this though. Wondering if my daughter would enjoy this. Not sure if I can contact all her teachers now though.
I love scrapbooks! Maybe start with contacting her favorite teachers first. Good luck!
Oh my goodness, I love this idea!! I’m thinking that would be an awesome thing to do for my daughters and it’s good that they are still young enough that I can easily do this. I’ll have to go back a few teachers for my oldest, but that won’t be any big deal. Thank you for sharing such a great and sentimental idea.
Glad to have inspired you to do this. I’m sure this family has no idea what an impact they have had on people.
Leigh @oneandoneequalstwinfun.com says
Love this idea. I got this book when I went to college. Would have loved it even more with the personal notes from my teachers. It’s a nice trip down memory lane.
I’m glad I’m on the right track with this for my kids Leigh. Thanks for affirming it.
Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club says
What a really cool idea!
I couldn’t agree more Courtney!
What a great idea!!!!! Thanks for sharing.
I love, LOve, LOVE this idea! I have one starting Kindergarten, and I think I’m going to do it. Thank you for a great share!
You are welcome Rosey, I’m so glad so many people are inspired to do this! You’ll have to report back how it’s going.
Ada Miller says
This is such a awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome Ada!
What an awesome idea! I am making a scrapbook for my kids that I will give them as a gift!
That sounds like it will be an awesome gift of love Pamela!
The Stiletto Files says
I think this is an AWESOME idea! What an ingenious and thoughtful thing to do for your kids and what an even better book to choose to give!
thanks for the feedback. I hope my kids love it. I sent the book out to my daughters first grade teacher today. She was more than happy to write in it, and was inspired to do this for her kids as well (or at least consider it)
This is such a fabulous idea!!
I think so too!
pamela r says
what an awesome gift!! It would take some careful planning , but I’m sure the child will enjoy for MANY MANY years!
Thanks Pamela. I’m hoping so!
Kenya G. Johnson says
That is a wonderful idea. I’m not to behind. My son is going into the 2nd grade and his Kindergarten teacher is at that school. Love this. Thank you so much for sharing. I agree that boys may now enjoy the sentiment as much as a girl would, but I will enjoy looking back on what teachers had to say.
Thanks Kenya. I know my daughter will definitely enjoy it. My son, we will have to see. But I’m sure his wife will enjoy seeing what kinda kid he was. 🙂
Jennifer Williams says
I did not see this so thank you. I will do this for my youngest, my oldest is 15 and it is a little late. We did keep clothes as he was growing up though to make quilts, sports related clothing for college, all kids for when married and of course his baby clothes for a quilt for his kids! Not that I am expecting much from him!
What great idea Jennifer! I know of a company who does quilts from Tshirts, for those of us (like me) who are sewing challenged! Great gift ideas!
Very cute idea!
That is a fantastic story! What an adorable & thoughtful gift idea. I would definitely do this if I had children.
I thought it was a good idea too Pynk!
Anne @ GreenEggs&Moms says
This is a great idea!!! My son just turned five and I’m still in touch with his first teacher!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I am!
Val @Bonbon Break says
Oh my goodness. I am going to buy two copies right now. That is BRILLIANT. I have started gathering t-shirts each yar from our local fair. I am going to make a quilt out of them to send off to college with my kiddos.
Oh that is another thing I’m working on 2 Val! The T-shirts! Wait to you see what you can do with them (if you haven’t already found something to do with them).
What an awesome idea! LOVE it! Definitely sharing this one! My oldest may be going to preschool this fall, so perfect timing!
Great timing to plan ahead!
Family Travels on a Budget says
I saw this too. My son graduated high school this year — he did not get such a personal gift. He’s not all that sentimental, so I’m not sure he would have appreciated it as much as this young woman did. His yearbook sits on a shelf, covered in dust already.
Another great idea is a giftbook of photos — it, too would take time, but picking six favorite photos from each year and saving 2 or 3 precious stories would fill a two-page photo book spread. The child would have their entire life in one book. From mom’s POV, but still… precious!
That is a good idea to Karen. I am making digital scrapbooks for my kids as well. But I thought something for them, from their teachers, would be awesome to look back on. I would love one myself!
Celebrate Woman says
Love all ideas here!
I’d better start it asap while my toddler is still 4!
Thank you so much for sharing these. I haven’t seen the episode you speak about, but it got me really emotional. Just imagined for a moment that girl with the book full of best wishes from her teacher. Amazing!
You are welcome! It got me all mushy too when I saw the episode (linked above)…and the thoughts she must have had when she read it, and will have everytime she does read it. It’s just like a pick me up when you don’t think you can do it, you look back and see all these people cheering you forward while you were in school.