"Thanks, Coach!"

Winning ways to show thanks from the team

By Jeanne Field
Coaches Gifts | Hallmark

TWO-FOUR-SIX-EIGHT, who do we appreciate?
Our coaches, of course!
Coaches and instructors do more than teach kids skills and technique—they teach character. So when the season starts to wind down, it’s time to think of what you can do in return. Hit a home run with these ideas for a one-of-a-kind gift that will help the whole team say thanks.

Snack attackCater to his or her sweet tooth with a gift that’ll soothe the savage beast…er, coach: Buy or make a batch of cookies, cupcakes or muffins, and decorate them with icing (use spray icing from the grocery store or make your own). The kids can write their names or messages like “Go Sharks.” Finish them off with team-colored sprinkles. If you want to go the extra mile, your team can even decorate a plate to serve them on.

Or go with a healthy option: Make a sports tote bag cornucopia by stuffing a large tote bag with snacks, treats, protein bars, water and sports drinks in team colors. You can buy a sports tote bag from the store, or get the instructions to make a tote bag from a team T-shirt here. Then the team can have fun filling it up.

A signature eventFor a coach who’s always on the go, have your team autograph and doodle on a gift he or she can use. Grab some permanent markers (team colors, of course), and let the team sign a sports ball (football, soccer ball, etc.). Other sporting goods—orange cones, a super-sized umbrella or snack cooler—make great, useful gifts, too.

Here’s another idea: Use fabric paint or pens on a T-shirt or team jersey. Kids can add their handprints (like a pat on the back!) or fingerprints along with their signatures. You can even make the T-shirt or jersey into a pillow for Coach’s favorite chair. Get the sports-jersey pillow how-to here.

Team memorabiliaThese ideas are a perfect way to say, “Thanks for the memories.” Frame a team picture with an oversized mat and add your names, favorite quotes and highlights from the season. Light-colored mats work best, but you can also use a team color for the mat and add signatures with metallic markers. If you want to forego the mat and custom frame, have the team sign their names to a T-shirt, and stretch it over a canvas frame. Get the T-shirt canvas frame instructions here.

You can also make Coach a scrapbook: Just give every kid a blank page from a photo album, and ask them to add a photo or two, mementos (ticket stubs, programs) and a message about their favorite moments from the season or year.

Jeanne Field is a Hallmark editor who loves finding ways for her kids to get as messy crafting as she does.


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