The end of the school year is upon us, and you know what that means? 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. Scratching your head for end-of-year gifts for students from teachers that won’t break the bank? We put together a few easy end-of-the-school-year gifts for students that teachers love … and their students do too!
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 honoring all that time spent together.
When it comes to giving gifts to students at the end of the year, it’s always wise to check with your district rules — most allow this sort of ritual, but there may be limitations such as no food-related items.
Gifts for kids who keep things clean — free printable
Let’s face it — no teacher has fun wiping down all those desks, but the kids who were careful to stow their stuff before the end of the day made that chore just a little bit easier. So 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!
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 personalization. Just write a note on pencils to each child using a permanent marker, and your end-of-year student gift is done!
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 on the Bubbles
Is there a child out there who doesn’t love bubbles? Hit the dollar store, and let your students know they “blew you away” this school year! The bubbles can be used on field day or kept for a summer outing. Print the gift tag here.
Not quite right? Give these student gift tags a try:
Brighten your students' end of year with these student gift tags!
Let your students know how much you will miss them with this end-of-year gift tag.
Make this end of school year a ball with these student gift tags.
This fun tip came to us from one of our Instagram fans! 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.
Give Students a Bookmark
The long summer break is 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 plow through books over their break (and a gentle reminder to less enthusiastic readers to pick up a book or two!). You can even personalize each bookmark with a handwritten message. Try our 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.
These are our top picks of gifts for students from our huge collection of bookmarks:
A bookmark with positive self-talk affirmations.
A set of 4 reading inspired bookmarks.
Younger Student Gifts: Play dough
There’s no doubt about it: Small children love play dough! 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 play dough mats together with it. If you’re pressed for time, you can purchase pre-made themed kits or multi-bags of small Play-Doh tubs. Check out Target’s dollar spot or your local dollar store.
School Graduation Gift
If you’re teaching elementary school students who are graduating and heading off to middle school or junior high, and you’re planning a special farewell for your graduates, here’s a lovely gift full of meaning: Create graduation packs.
For each pack, you’ll need to include…
- Our downloadable Student 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).
See ideas for throwing a successful elementary school graduation ceremony.
Inspirational Posters for Students
These printable posters are part of our Motivational Poster Resource Collection! Print them two-to-a-page, mount them on black cardstock for effect, write a note on the reverse side, and you have easy-peasy end-of-year gifts for your students that they can hang on their walls at home.
Sweet Summer Send-Off
It’s campfire season, and what could be sweeter for saying goodbye to this year’s class of students than a little bag with all the makings for s’mores? Fill small paper bags with a chocolate bar, graham crackers, and some marshmallows, add a printable “I wish we had s’more time” gift tag, and you’re done!
Don’t forget to prepare for the big reveal with a fun end-of-year s’more writing activity!
Get more ideas for making the end of the school year a time to remember with these teacher-created end-of-year activities.
Banner image via shutterstock/Monkey Business Images