50 Holiday Gift Ideas for Students That Won’t Break the Bank

Find the perfect little something for your class.

’Tis the season of giving, and as a teacher, you probably wish you could give a lot more than you can actually afford. We know a teacher’s budget is small, which is why we came up with these awesome, easy, and inexpensive gift ideas for students.

We have lots of FREE printables in the mix, some DIY, and also some Amazon deals for when you buy in bulk. It doesn’t matter whether you have five or 205 students. These ideas won’t break the bank.

Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves! 

1. Reading Bookmarks 

WeAreTeachers has so many great bookmarks you can save and print for free. Don’t forget to laminate them so they’ll hold up. Get them here! 

2.  Microwave PopcornGift-popcornsnowmen

SOURCE: Craft-O-Maniac

We love the idea of giving a single bag of microwave popcorn as a gift, and it’s even better when you can make the bag adorable, like they did here. 

3. Holiday Crayons 

Source: Sew Totally Smitten

We love these colorful crayons you can make from old or broken crayons. 

4. Homemade Play-Dough

You can’t go wrong with giving play-dough as a gift, and we especially love this homemade peppermint play-dough recipe. This no-cook recipe is also a good one to make in class with your students. 

5. Miniature Calm-Down Jars 

Have you seen our calm-down jars? These are such a good experiment, and they can also make a good gift for students. Just get miniature jars to save money! 

6. Snowman Soup 

Snowman soup is perfect for any age, and it’s pretty inexpensive to put together. Best of all, we have a free printable with the label (pictured above). 

7.  Personalized Water Bottles 

inexpensive student gifts

SOURCE: Hanging With Mrs. Hulsey

Your students will love having their very own personalized water bottle to keep them hydrated. You can use stick-on letters or use colored Sharpies to decorate inexpensive bottles.

8. Snow Slime 

Source: No Time for Flashcards

We love this snow slime recipe and idea from No Time for Flashcards. After making the snow slime, package it up in nice and neat little jars. 

9. Painted Rocks

There are so many cute options for painted rocks. Here are a few ideas we put together for WeAreTeachers. There’s even a video showing how to create some of them. But Pinterest will be your best friend in finding other creative ideas. 

10. Candy Cane Pens 

Why yes, those are candy cane pens with scented peppermint ink. This tub comes with 36 pens, making them less than $1 each. Get them on Amazon. 

11. Stress Balls 

You can find lots of options for stress balls on Amazon, and these globes are some of our favorites. A 24-pack will cost around $17, which isn’t too bad for a classroom gift. Get them here.

12. Fidget Sticks 

Fidgets are another good classroom gift to give. If you want to make the above fidgets (or if you’re looking for some cool fidgets to buy), check out this WeAreTeachers article

13. Ice Cream Floats

You can’t beat a break in the school day for a good ol’ ice cream float party. It’s the perfect gift for any group of students, and it’s affordable because you can buy in bulk! 

14. Marshmallow Pops 

Gift_MarshmallowpopsSOURCE: JustATaste.com

If you are a crafty teacher, give these reindeer marshmallow pops a try. If you have a lot of students, this is perfect because you can make them in bulk.

15. Classroom Coupons 

You can’t get any more “free” than printable classroom coupons. We have 15 different coupons to choose from, so you can give out whatever works for your students. Go get them here.

16. Game Boards 

This is such a fun gift idea. We have a whole set of themed game boards available to download for free—reading, math, science, etc.! Just buy lots of dice (from the dollar store) and find a game or instructions to include. Then you have a gift to give students. Save and print the game boards here.

17. DIY GamesGif_tic-tac-toe-activity-craft-gift-3-680x453

SOURCE: BalancingHome.com

Here’s another idea to continue with the game theme. A simple deck of cards can be a good gift. Otherwise, gather up some rocks and try creating this tic-tac-toe game project.

18.  Children’s Books

Giving a child a book is always a good idea. Some teachers tell us they buy books in bulk, getting a great deal so they can give all their students the same book. Others tell us they have great luck finding gently used books at thrift stores. For more book-finding ideas, check out this article.

19. Read-and-Scratch Challenge Card 

Give your students a challenge over winter break with this read-and-scratch sheet. It pairs great with the printable bookmarks. Get the reading challenge here

20. Animal Bookmarks 

We love bookmarks, so we had to throw one more into the mix. You can get 30 animal bookmarks for a great price on Amazon. Get them here.

21. Hot Chocolate 

It’ll be one of the easiest and cheapest gifts you can give. Plus, you can pair it with a candy cane if you want to be a little extra. Buy in bulk, like this big box of 50 on Amazon

22. Personalized Art

inexpensive student gifts

One of the teachers from our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook gave us a fabulous idea. She has her students write down adjectives for one another. Then she turns them into Wordles and applies them to clipboards with Mod Podge. Her students love the daily reminder of all the nice things their classmates think of them.

23. Classroom Games

SOURCE: VisitMontgomery.com

One of our wise teachers says she buys presents for the classroom—the kids get to open them, which adds to the fun. She buys presents like puzzles, games, STEM labs, etc., so everyone can enjoy them for the rest of the year.

24. Custom Classroom Games 

Upcycle Your Old Board Games

Give those board games new life! More ideas here —–> https://www.weareteachers.com/board-game-hacks

Posted by WeAreTeachers on Saturday, June 15, 2019

Here’s another board game one. Take a regular game that your students know and customize it for your classroom. Guess Who? makes a great game; you can use it for a seasonal theme or align it with curriculum. 

25. Tic Tac Treats

Source: Somewhat Simple

These fun (and funny) candies are an easy gift to throw together for any group. The labels you see here are available on Somewhat Simple

26. Kawaii Squishies 

These are so popular with kids of all ages. You can get 45 squishies in this pack. Your students will love choosing one, or you can choose it for them along with a special note. Get them on Amazon.

27. Snowman Gum

Source: A Mom’s Year

Most teachers don’t allow gum in the classroom, so when you give each student their own pack, they’ll definitely know it’s a special occasion. This will make you a very popular teacher! And if you can make the packs of gum cute, that’s even better. 

28. Retractable Pens 

What’s old is new again with these retractable pens with six colors of ink. They make great gifts, and they’re affordable when you buy in bulk. Get them on Amazon.

29. Kindness Posters 

Have you seen our kindness posters for the classroom? They make a great gift for kids, too. First laminate them to help them so they hold up long term. Then let students choose their favorite to take home. You could consider pairing it with a kind message, too. Sometimes just hearing positive things is all the gift students need. Get the free posters here.

30. Personalized Pencils 

Printing on Pencils is Magical!

These personalized pencils are kind of genius. 🤓 Get instructions for making your own here —-> https://www.weareteachers.com/printing-on-pencils/

Posted by WeAreTeachers on Saturday, February 16, 2019

Pencils are always a necessity in the classroom, and you can personalize them by printing on clear tape. Watch the video above to see how we did it. 

31. Pencil Candy 

Source: I Love My Kids

Staying with the pencil theme, this is one that is oh-so fun if you allow the occasional chocolate or candy in your classroom. 

32. Take One Posters 

Here’s another printable from WeAreTeachers. We have four options, including compliments, positive thoughts, kindness, and jokes. Print them all for free right here. 

33. Emoji Bookmarks 

Yes, more bookmarks! They’re such a good gift idea, and these are super cute. Get a set of 75 right here.

34. DIY Ornaments 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

SOURCE: Step Into 2nd Grade

These are ornaments you can make for your students. Or you can have them help you make them. For precut wood slices, Amazon has you covered

35. Scrabble Names 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Source: Unknown 

This could be an ornament or just a nameplate students can use anywhere. If you need bulk Scrabble letters, good news! They’re available on Amazon. Get 1,000 letters for $30.

36. Punch Balloons 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Your money will go far when you give your students a gift like punch balloons. Even better, let students blow them up and use them for a designated time frame in class. (Preferably at the end of class, so then you can send them home at the end of the day!) Here’s a set of 30 for about $9.

37. LEGO-inspired Jars 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Source: All Things with Purpose

Start asking your friends with babies to save their baby food jars. These little jars are total gems. Learn how to make them from All Things with Purpose by clicking the link above. They can hold little treats or just be a gift by themselves! 

38. Miniature Game Tins 

Learning with Altoids Tins

They're oh-so cute and could fit in a pocket!

Posted by WeAreTeachers on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Save up those tins or just buy in bulk on Amazon. You can create the games we did here with these free printables

39. Healthy Snacks

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

SOURCE: NoBiggie.net

You can find dozens and dozens of cute and adorable snack ideas on Pinterest, and your students will love them all. This is one of our favorite winter treats—and a healthy snack option.

40. Thank-You Notes 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

We know that a simple thank-you note is often the best holiday gift for teachers. Well the same is true for kids, too! Knowing that their teacher sees them for who they are can make all the difference for some kids. Here are some printable thank-you cards to save and print for free, including the one above. 

41. Motivational Stress Balls 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

These are a bit pricier than other stress balls we’ve found on Amazon, but they’re so great. They give a lovely message of encouragement, and the reviews say they are really sturdy. These would make a great gift for a small group. Get them on Amazon.

42. Dough-lightful Treats

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Small cans of play-dough are extra cute with this free printable tag!

43. Snowman Bath Bombs 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Source: Happiness Is Homemade

Bath bombs are everywhere these days, and they are lots of fun to make on your own. These would make great gifts for students or fellow teachers. Learn how to make these from Happiness Is Homemade. 

44.  Candy Cane Mice 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Source: Southern Plate

These little mice have been around for a long time, and they’re such a cute and simple gift. Felt, glue, googly eyes, and candy canes—it doesn’t get any easier than that.

45. Holiday Straws 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

You can find adorable holiday straws all over Amazon. Here are snowflake straws, wrapping paper straws, and candy cane straws. You can either give these by themselves or add a package of hot chocolate or something else simple. It’s such an inexpensive and cute gift idea. 

46. Treat Rolls 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Source: One Creative Mommy

No matter what you’re giving to students, this is such a clever way to package it. A great idea from One Creative Mommy. Go to her site to see how she made them. 

47. Mini Notepads 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

You can get 60 notepads with one purchase when you go with these on Amazon. There are also many other notepad options on Amazon. We just loved these and how colorful they are. Get them here.

48. Superhero Slap Bracelets 

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

There are lots of slap bracelet options on Amazon, but these might be our favorite. You can get 38 of them for a really affordable price. Get them on Amazon.

49. Blank Miniature Books

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students

Have your students write their own stories. Or write a story for each of them with these colorful mini books. You get 55 books when you order in bulk. Get them on Amazon

50. Slime Putty Dino Eggs

50 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students


Here’s one more that we know will be a favorite with your students. It’s a mix of putty and slime, and the colors are great. Get 24 in this deal. Find them on Amazon

Do you have easy and inexpensive gift ideas for students? Share your favorites with us in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our dollar store gifts

50 Holiday Gift Ideas for Students That Won’t Break the Bank

Posted by Stacy Tornio

Stacy Tornio is a senior editor with WeAreTeachers. Nearly everyone in her family is a teacher. So she decided to be rebellious and write about teachers instead.

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