“No one has ever become poor from giving.” – Anne Frank



My last article focused on simple and creative holiday presents that students could give their teachers.  Since we all know it is better to give than receive, here is a companion article for teachers on affordable gifts to give their students.

Every year, class sizes seem to grow and grow.  When I started teaching my preschool drama class, I only had seven students.  It wasn’t hard to go to the dollar store and spend seven dollars on an inexpensive “thinking of you” gift for each child.  But, when my class grew to eighteen, suddenly I had to think.  A dollar a student may not sound like much, but as a working educator, I was trying to save my dimes, too.

I have included one simple gift idea for each category: elementary, middle, high school, and college.  Yes, there are always bookmarks, pencils, and books.  But here are a few more suggestions for simple ways to show your students you care during the holidays.



Here is a simple gift that is also a creative way to recycle your old crayons – melt them to make new HOLIDAY CRAYONS.  Using a candy mold tray from your local craft store, old crayons are easily melted in the oven into brand new crayons.  Try mixing colors, then put finished crayons in individual bags.  You can find the complete instructions online at www.momspotted.com.


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Serve up a bowl of delicious SNOWMAN SOUP for your middle school students!  Using sandwich bags, package a hot chocolate mix, some mini marshmallows, a miniature candy cane, and some holiday candies.  Attach a cute little poem and you have a simple holiday treat.  For an added bonus, check out your local dollar store for inexpensive holiday cups.  Here is a soup example from www.etsy.com, but you can easily make this yourself.




High School

If you feel like giving your students a little something more than extra credit opportunities or a “late homework pass,” here is a cute and quick gift – a CANDY BAR REINDEER.  Simply buy your favorite candy bar in bulk (avoid peanuts and nuts just in case there are any allergies), wrap it in plain paper, and add a few decorations to turn it into a reindeer.  All of the details are on www.according-to-kelly.com.  It is not a glamorous gift, but if you have a good sense of humor you can bet it will be good for a laugh.




I received some pretty great gifts from professors when I was in college.  As an Early Childhood Education major, school supplies and children’s books were great presents.  But something I always looked forward to every year was a special gift from the college’s Geology professor – a COOKIE EXTRAVAGANZA!  Every year, this dedicated professor baked dozens and dozens of cookies and invited the entire campus (literally!) to her house to enjoy in a festive celebration.  She also had tea, coffee, and a delicious homemade cider.  The party was a drop-in and people came and went all day long.  Even if you were not enrolled in one of her classes (which I was), you were still more than welcome to join.  Talk about a special treat!


One of my favorite quotes about giving comes from the Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida, where I worked and volunteered for several years.  Henri Landwirth, the benevolent gentleman who founded the organization and village, loved this quote so much that he had it included on the tile floor leading into the Park of Dreams Pool.  Here is a photo of the floor that I found on Tumblr:



In addition to volunteers, who can relate more to this quote than teachers?  Teachers selflessly give their students passion, inspiration, dedication, and time.  They are the greatest givers in the world.  The holidays are a wonderful time to really get into the spirit of the season and give back just a bit more.  Think about giving a small token to your students as a way of thanking them for all that they have given to you.


What other gifts have you given your students in the past?  Can you think of any class gift ideas?  Post them here to help others!




Top Photo Copyright: [KidsClassroomStdntLrng]. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from http://ictclassblogub.blogspot.com

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About the Author

Dave Hoffman