Scratching your head for end-of-year gifts for students from teachers that won’t break the bank? The end of the school year is upon us, and for some of us, this will mean handing our kids over to other lucky teachers within our school. For others, it will mean saying goodbye as our students head off to another building next year.
No matter where your students will be next year, handing out small gifts to our students at the end of term is a nice way to celebrate the wonderful year you had together.
The teachers of the Teach Starter team have put together a list of our favourite (and easy!) end-of-the-school-year gifts for students that teachers love … and their students do too! We have included a mix of no-cost, low-cost and printable options so every teacher is sure to find something.
What Can I Give My Students for End of Year Gifts?
Allow us to preface this by saying something relatively controversial: You don’t have to give your students gifts at the end of the year. It won’t make you a bad teacher if you opt out. It won’t make you a better teacher if you opt in.
That said, many teachers get real enjoyment out of the act of bestowing a few small tokens on their students in the last few days of the school year. And why not? You’ve spent a long year together, growing together. Marking the end of the school year with a gift can be a way to celebrate all that your students have learned from you — and you from them. It can also be a way of honouring all that time spent together.
Teach Starter Teacher Tip: When giving gifts to students at the end of the year, it’s always wise to check with administration’s rules — most allow this sort of ritual, but there may be limitations such as no food-related items.
From printable bookmarks to colouring pages and a whole lot more, here are some inexpensive end-of-year gifts for students that can help you mark the final farewell before summer holidays begin.
End-of-Year Student Gift Ideas
Hand Out Colourful Chalk
Get your students ready for summer fun with a few pieces of colourful chalk. Drop them in a small bag, add a gift tag that reads ‘Thanks for a colourful year,’ and boom! You’ve got a simple end-of-year student gift that your students will be excited to use!
Provide an Inspiring Summer Read
One of the (many) reasons students remember their favourite teachers for so many years is the fact that we are amongst their biggest cheerleaders! If your class will be heading off to big things in the new year, you might want to splurge on an inspiring book to gift each students.
We realise it can be a bit dear, but if you’re in the mood to splurge, here are a few favourite books that are perfect for the end of year gift:
- I Knew You Could by Craig Dorfman
- You Will Do Great Things by Amerie
- I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Give Desk Fairy Awards
Let’s face it — no teacher has fun wiping down all those desks, but the students who were careful to stow their stuff before the end of the day made that chore just a little bit easier. Show them a little thanks with some acknowledgment from the desk fairy for doing their part to keep your classroom clean! You can make it extra special by attaching a fun pencil or eraser, or maybe even their own desk pet?
This fun tip came to us from a teacher in the Teach Starter community!
Each year to end the year with a gift for her students, she asks each child to come up with a word to describe a classmate. She then collects all of those words, creates a word cloud, prints it and sends it home with the child! Each student receives this unique end-of-year gift to remember how special and wonderful they are.
You can roll the student’s word cloud up and add a ribbon or take it to the next level with a simple frame from a cheap shop so families have ready-made wall art.
Is there really anything the pencil can’t do? It’s mightier than the sword (OK, OK, we know that’s the pen, but it’s the same idea!), and it makes for a cheap student gift that can be packed with personalisation.
We know many teachers love to give out fun decorated pencils or the ones with the sweet scents. But if you’re short on shopping time, you can just write a note to each child using a permanent marker on an average pencil, and your end-of-year student gift will automatically be elevated.
Or pair it with this fun ice cream sundae template, and send kids home with a project they can present to their family, giving them the full scoop on what they did during the year!
Bring Out the Bubbles
Is there a child out there who doesn’t love bubbles? Hit a cheap shop, and let your students know they ‘blew you away’ this school year with little bottles of suds or bubble wands. Bubbles make for good, clean fun and even have that added benefit of serving up some sensory play.
Print a You Blew Me Away gift tag to match!
Write a Note
Yes, a gift really can be THIS simple! Print out a letter from you thanking your students for a great year and sharing how proud of them you are. Type the letters to save time, but you can write in their names and sign by hand to give a personal touch.
Give Students a Bookmark
The long summer holidays are such a great time for kids to read, and what do you need if you’re going to be toting a book around everywhere you go? A bookmark, of course!
A bookmark is a great end-of-year gift for students who will plough through books over their break (and a gentle reminder to less enthusiastic readers to pick up a book or two!). You can even personalise each bookmark with a handwritten message. Try these fun printable bookmarks made specifically for the end of the school year to be given out as student gifts — they are ‘turtely awesome.’ Or you can mix things up with a different page marker for every child in your classroom. We’ve got a little something for everyone.
Pull Out the Playdough for Younger Students
There’s no doubt about it: Small children love playdough! If you’ve got the time or the inclination, you could make each of your students a little bag of play dough as a goodbye gift for the end of the year.
You could even pop one of our great playdough mats together with it. If you’re short on time, you can purchase pre-made themed kits or multi-bags of small Play-Doh tubs.
Add Water Bottle Stickers
Water bottle stickers are easy and inexpensive, and kids love them. They also help make individual kids’ water bottles stand out, so next year’s teacher will thank you (even if they don’t know it was you!).
Why not staple the sticker to their end-of-year award as something extra special?
Celebrate the End of Primary School
If you’re teaching year 6 students who are leaving for secondary school, and you’re planning a special farewell, here’s a lovely gift full of meaning: Create ‘graduation’ packs.
For each pack, you’ll need to include…
- Our downloadable Primary School Graduation Gift Tag
- A ruler (to keep them on a straight track)
- A pencil (to help them be life-long learners)
- A pencil sharpener (to keep their minds sharp)
- An eraser (to help them repair their mistakes)
- A rubber band (to help them snap back when life gets them down)
- A piece of chocolate (to remind them that life is sweet)
Gift Inspirational Posters to Students
These printable posters are part of our Motivational Poster Resource Collection! Print them two-to-a-page, mount them on black card for effect, write a note on the reverse side, and you have an easy-peasy end-of-year gifts for your students that they can hang on their walls at home.
Send Them Off With Summer Activity Packs
Print out some fun zentangle templates or colouring pages to assemble some packs students can take home with them. Not all students will have printers at home or access to colouring books, and your pack can give them an activity to start the summer.