Teacher Emergency Kit Ideas - How to Create a Teacher Emergency Stash for Yourself or as a Gift

There's nothing worse than not having something you desperately need when in your classroom. That's why you need a teacher emergency kit. There are plenty of kits you can buy out there, but I prefer the DIY version. See everything a veteran teacher feels you need to get started. This is a great teacher gift, perfect for back to school or ANY time of year. Teachers at all grade levels will appreciate having one of these on hand.

When you are in a stressful situation, (getting ready to present at open house, welcoming parents to conferences, speaking at a meeting) you do not want to worry about a run in your tights, bad breath, or a headache on top of everything else. As teachers, things like broken nails or lunch forgotten on the kitchen counter at home can’t slow us down. Therefore, having an “emergency kit” in your classroom desk or closet is essential.


The goal of this step is to help you gather a collection of items to bring to school that will help you in case of an emergency...admittedly, a chocolate craving doesn’t warrant a call to 9-1-1, but it certainly will make life better for all parties involved if there is a Hershey Bar available. Below, you’ll find a list that includes items to pack in your “teacher emergency kit” for those moments that arise and we wish we had something to help with it.


  • Aspirin: Headaches happen quite often when you’re teaching 25 youngsters who have yet to grasp the concept of “inside voices”.
  • Feminine Products: Accidents happen and sometimes we need to be prepared.
  • Deodorant: For those days when you were rushing to get out of the house and forgot to put deodorant on (or not enough).
  • Nail File / Nail Clippers: If you haven’t broken a nail at work, you’re lucky!
  • Hair Elastics/Bobby Bins: Sure, wearing your gorgeous long blonde hair seemed like a great idea this morning….until the humidity went up to like 1000% and you’ve got recess duty. You’ll need to get your hair up in less time than it takes the kids to run to the slide!
  • A Change of Clothes: For those moments of surprise like paint spilling on you, a kid’s lunch tray that magically found your lap even from 5 feet away, or the rain storm that suddenly hit while you were doing your duty.
  • A Hairbrush: Humidity is no one’s friend and it affects everyone’s hair. A hairbrush can be a life saver when you need to brush out the frizz right before a parent walks in.
  • A Toothbrush/Toothpaste: We’ve all been there: Parent conference week, you get to eat out with your coworkers (which is rare), you try out the new Chinese restaurant that uses 10lbs of garlic for every 1lb of chicken, you get back to school and realize you could scare away 5,000 vampires with your breath….thank goodness you packed the toothbrush and toothpaste because you have just enough time to brush before your first parent shows up!
  • Chocolate: This is pretty self explanatory. We always have those days where a chocolate will solve all our problems….until we get home and can indulge in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
  • A Can of Soup, Bowl, Spoon and Can Opener: For those days when you either forget your lunch sitting on the counter or you packed a cold cut sandwich and the cold weather hit and soup just sounds perfect.
  • A Few Non-Perishable Snack Items: Kids get snack time, so why can’t we indulge in a snack too? This helps on those days where your breakfast just isn’t letting you make it until lunch or lunch won’t help get you to dinner.
  • A Bottle of Water: You should be hydrating at work already (see step 6), but sometimes you drink all of what you brought and need another bottle.
  • Tissues: Sometimes the classroom box of tissues runs out while your nose keeps running.
  • Stain Remover: Not everyone needs to know that you had spaghetti for lunch just by looking at that spot on your shirt or pants.
  • A Pair of Tights/Nylons: Picture it….you’re sitting in a chair at the carpet, reading a story to your kids, when little Billy thinks it’s fun to pull on a teeny tiny strand on your tights….the next thing you know, you have a big gaping run in your tights and you have a parent meeting right after school (and with your luck, it’s probably Billy’s mom).
  • Lint Roller: Whoops! You forgot that you hugged your German Shepherd goodbye this morning, but don’t worry, the dog hair all over your top reminds of you of it!
  • Change for the Vending Machine: When a soda/skittles/bag of chips just sounds sooooooo good!
  • Cough Drops: That tickle in your throat will not get the best of you!
  • Chapstick: Who knew that wind out at recess would dry out your lips so much?
  • Safety Pin: Sometimes, buttons just fly off and straps break.
  • Duct Tape: Luckily, MacGuyver showed us how to fix just about anything with duct tape. From broken sandals to ripped pillows, we can fix anything in a jiffy with duct tape!
**If you are including aspirin or any other type of medicine, be sure to store your container in an area that is not accessible to children.


**If you are including food ideas, you will want to invest in a container that is "critter proof."


Your teacher emergency kit may look different than your teammates, and the items you include will change with experience (I never thought I’d need a change of clothes until I had two separate incidents that left me soggy and uncomfortable...I obviously didn’t learn after the first time). The important thing is that you have a supply of things that you will undoubtedly need at some point. As they say in Girl Scouts, “Always Be Prepared”!

There's nothing worse than not having something you desperately need when in your classroom. That's why you need a teacher emergency kit. There are plenty of kits you can buy out there, but I prefer the DIY version. See everything a veteran teacher feels you need to get started. This is a great teacher gift, perfect for back to school or ANY time of year. Teachers at all grade levels will appreciate having one of these on hand.


By the way, if you are not already subscribed to The Clutter-Free Classroom newsletter I encourage you sign up. Subscribers receive weekly tips for organizing and managing a classroom as well as exclusive free printables. You can sign up here.


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