DIY Graduation Gift: “Thrive” Kit

Graduation is coming upon us, perhaps passed already, but it’s never too late to give a gift to a recent grad.  I got this idea from a friend, and we made “thrive” kits for our fifth graders.  I modified it for a friend of mine who graduated with a degree in education.  Being a fellow educator myself, I put together a “thrive” kit fit for a teacher.  Thrive kits are a play on ‘survival’ kits.  They contain random items that symbolize pieces of wisdom for someone moving on to the next big thing.  The original kit contains the following:

  • Toothpick: pick the good qualities in everyone including yourself.
  • Rubber band: be flexible, things might not always go the way you want.
  • Band-Aid: to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else’s.
  • Eraser: everyone makes mistakes. that’s okay, we learn by our mistakes.
  • Candy Kiss: everyone needs a hug or a compliment everyday.
  • Penny: so you’ll never be broke and to remind you that you are valuable and special
  • Bubble gum: so you can stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
  • Pencil: list your blessings every day.
  • Confetti: to celebrate your joys and have fun
  • Small smooth stone: to remind you that rough times help refine and polish–use for smoother tomorrow
  • String: to tie things together when everything falls apart

I modified it for a teacher as follows:

  • Post-It Sticky Notes:  So that you always remember to “stick” with it and never give up on a kid.  Be Relentless.
  • Band-Aids/First Aid: Not only for the many accidents, scrapes, and scratches that kids seem to get, but also to remind you that as a teacher, you are also a healer.
  • Notebook: To write down all the silly things kids say and do.
  • Highlighter: to remember to focus on the highlights of your day rather than the low points.  Being a teacher is like being on a rollercoaster – high and low points – but focusing on the good of your day helps you through.
  • Eraser: Because we all make mistakes, so it’s important to start new every day.  As a teacher, we make many mistakes whether it’s the lesson plan that didn’t go how we thought it would or the wrong way we dealt with a kid or situation.  Also, kids make mistakes, so it’s important to always allow them to start new every day as well… Give em a chance to show you something better every day!
  • Rubber Band: A reminder to always be a flexible teacher.  Again, things don’t always go as planned, so being flexible is important.
  • Penny: So you never go broke and to remind you that even though teacher’ don’t get paid a whole lot, the work we do is worth so much more.
  • Tooth pick: To pick out the good qualities in your students as well as in yourself.
  • Hand Sanitizer:Because them kids always be getting stinky and dirty!! Gotta stay healthy to keep from getting sick!
  • Green Tea:  To relax at the start of each day and detoxify at the end of each day.  Being a teacher can be stressful.  Drink green tea to remind you to stay healthy and take care of yourself.
  • Motrin: To take care of the random headaches that comes with teaching
  • Stickers: to have in your back pocket because we all know that a sticker can get a kid to do anything. Haha. kidding…. well half kidding 😛  But in seriousness, the stickers to give to students who need to be reminded that they are indeed terrific, excellent, great, awesome, etc. etc…. and also for YOU to be reminded that YOU are also all of the above!

And of course, the gift cannot be given w/o attention to the packaging:



Package.  Don’t mind the wears and tears, I reused an old box.  I think it gives it character.


Happy Graduation to all those who are moving on.  Be proud of your accomplishment and good luck!  Life is too short to not do something meaningful!

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