full picnic basket with a bottle of drinks and flowers on blanket

Picnic Perfect Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Teacher appreciation week is a special time of year when we show our gratitude and appreciation for the incredible work that teachers do every day.

It’s a chance to thank them for their dedication, their hard work, and their commitment to our children’s education.

One way to show our appreciation is by hosting a week of picnic-themed events for the teachers, complete with a delicious breakfast and luncheon, and some thoughtful gifts.

Read on for some fabulous ideas for a picnic-themed teacher appreciation week!

Set the Stage

Be sure to personally invite each staff member so they’ll know what you have planned for them and can plan accordingly!

Decorate Delightfully

Decorating the room where your PTO will host the appreciation events for the week is a must!

Taking the time to add themed decorations elevates the events since the added step demonstrates that lots of time and thought has gone into the events.

And attendees will take notice and appreciation the efforts to make everything so special.

This set of fans and pennant banner are a good start!

And paper lanterns scream picnic, don’t you think?

Take the time to cover any tables you’ll use for serving food during the week with a disposable tablecloth at the start of the week.

This tablecloth on a roll is an economical way to cover lots of surface area, especially when longer than traditionally sized tables. the large, oversized tables used in many school staff lounges take two tablecloths to cover.

Cutting a custom length eliminates the seam and the potential for the tablecloths to separate during the week.

If you’d like to stick with a red theme, the tablecloth on a roll is also available in a cheery cherry red too!

Plus using a disposable table covering not only helps add to the decorations, but will speed clean up at the end of the week.

With surfaces covered, it’s time to layer on other decorations to complete the look.

These mini galvanized buckets can serve as decorations, or serve a functional purpose to serve food.

Be sure to add a paper liner if the buckets will hold edible items.

Daily Ideas

Delight staff with a different treat each day of the work week!


Start the week off with a bountiful breakfast. As the start of the school week, it’s often a slog to get through the day, so filling tummies is a good way to brighten everyone’s spirits!

Breakfast Menu Ideas:

  1. Fresh Fruit Platter: A colorful display of fresh fruit is a perfect way to start the day. Cut up some strawberries, pineapple, melon, and kiwi, and arrange them on a platter. You could also add some yogurt for dipping.
  2. Assorted Muffins: Muffins are a great breakfast food, and you can make a variety of flavors to suit everyone’s tastes. Blueberry, banana nut, and chocolate chip are all popular choices.
  3. Breakfast Burritos: You can never go wrong with breakfast burritos. Scramble some eggs, cook up some sausage or bacon, and wrap it all up in a tortilla. You can also add some cheese, salsa, and avocado for extra flavor.
  4. Yogurt Parfaits: Layer some yogurt, granola, and fruit in a clear cup or mason jar for a beautiful and healthy breakfast option.

This nice set of muffin liners can also be used later in the week for serving cupcakes.

This red gingham tableware set has what you’ll need for the breakfast.

Keeping foods temperature appropriate throughout all the lunch periods can be especially challenging, but this inflatable table cooler simplifies the issue altogether.


Ask parents to write personalized notes of gratitude to give to each and every staff member.

This set of funny, mostly food themed thank you cards is really cute.

And this set of primary color schemed notecards is fun too.

The thoughtfulness of this gesture really can’t be overstated and they’re sure to love the effort!


Wow them on Wednesday with a bountiful spread for a wonderful staff luncheon.

Lunch Menu Ideas:

  1. Sandwich Platter: Offer a variety of bread, meats, cheeses, and veggies for teachers to make their own sandwiches. This allows for personalization and dietary preferences.
  2. Salad Bar: Set up a salad bar with various greens, toppings, and dressings. Provide options for vegetarian and gluten-free diets.
  3. BBQ: Grill up some burgers, hot dogs, or chicken breasts and serve them with sides like coleslaw, baked beans, and corn on the cob.
  4. Cheese and Charcuterie Board: Arrange an array of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, and nuts for a more sophisticated picnic experience.
  5. Enlist the help of a food truck and submit pre-orders from a curated menu and let someone else handle the food prep and serving!

If you opt to not go the food truck route, have some fun! “Decorate” some of the food with these little ants. Admittedly, the ants could go over as gross, but they’re mostly cute, I think!

Instead of plates, use food trays for a more casual and picnic-y feel.

Pair the trays with these gingham napkins to further evoke a picnic setting.

Adding labels to all dishes is a nice way to indicate allergens and give staff with dietary restrictions or preferences a clear idea of what’s what.


Load up an A/V cart from the library with lots of snacks and treats for your staff and wheel it through the school for a snack delivery!

Teachers and staff will love being served right in their classroom or office and getting to choose from the selection of what’s on display.

Getting an assortment of pre-packaged snacks speeds the selection process since teachers can snag what they’d like and eat when they have a break.

Leave whatever snacks are leftover in the staff lounge to be enjoyed later.

Cookies are a snack staple and for good reason- they’re yummy!

Granola bars are a good snack option.

And don’t forget the crunchy and salty option!


End the week with a thoughtful gift for each teacher and staff member.

Customize tumblers with the school logo or teacher’s name. All staff will appreciate a new tumbler to use at school or on-the-go.

Succulents are low maintenance and add a touch of greenery to any classroom or home office.

Package them in a cute pot or planter for an extra touch.

Thank You Notes: Sometimes the simplest gifts mean the most. Provide blank thank you cards for teachers to write a note to a colleague or student who has impacted their year.

Over to You!

Picnics are a fun and casual way to celebrate and appreciate our teachers.

Whether you host the event on school grounds or at a nearby park, a picnic is a great way to bring everyone together and show your gratitude.

Make sure to plan ahead and ask for help from other parents or staff members to ensure a successful and memorable event.

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