Although summer is pretty amazing, there’s something really special about meeting new students for the first time. All of the excitement and curiosity on their faces is simply precious. Plus, it’s the perfect time to start building the school-to-home bond with families!
I think it’s fair to say that most schools do some sort of Meet the Teacher or Back-to-School Night. No matter what you call it, coming in to see the classroom and new teacher each year is a big deal in students’ lives.
Just meeting their teacher and unloading some school supplies is exciting enough for our students. I also like to include a special little inexpensive gift to welcome them to my classroom. This is completely optional – student gifts have no weight in determining how amazing you are as a teacher! I cannot stress that enough. If you do choose to give student gifts, however, here are nine ideas for you PLUS information about how you can get printable and editable gift tags!
Before I dive in, please note that these are non-food ideas. There are so many different allergies and intolerances and the very last thing I want to do is to accidentally give my new students something that’s dangerous to them or a family member. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
As reluctant as I was to actually buy these at first, I have to say that they’re actually pretty cool. My own kids have them now and even though I don’t 100% “get it”, I can appreciate the novelty and simple fun they provide!
I found these small keychain-sized poppers on Amazon and they’re a really fun option for student gifts! They’re small and relatively cheap, plus they’re really popular now and your students are guaranteed to love them!
Foam Finger Rockets
Something about any toy that flies makes kids of all ages happy! These foam rockets are no exception. They come in different colors and sizes, but these are the ones I like best.
The finger loop on the end makes turning these into student gifts a breeze! (Pun intended.)
I used to do crazy straws as end-of-the-year gifts (a.k.a. “Have a crazy cool summer!”) but they really work at any time. My own kids are always begging for crazy straws and these packs of six straws are my favorite.
Sunglasses and Shades
Remember when stunner shades made a massive reappearance in the 2000’s? Or am I just dating myself?
Either way, plastic sunglasses are cheap in bulk, come in fun colors and styles, and are a guaranteed hit. Click here and here for a couple options from Amazon.
Any type of art supply (crayons, colored pencils, etc.) is a simple and relevant student gift. I stumbled upon these mini watercolor palettes and my heart seriously melted. How CUTE are they?
My kids go through bubbles like it’s their job every summer and by fall, we need them replenished. Help your students out by sending them home with a bubble wand or bottle of bubbles. 🙂
I got these bubble wands from Target, but here are some similar bubble wands from Amazon.
What kid doesn’t love getting a bouncy ball? They make inexpensive and fun student gifts!
Safety Note: Here are some large-sized bouncy balls that are a lower choking risk. So many of my students have younger siblings and I’m sure yours do as well. Send home things that aren’t going to be dangerous or stressful for families!
Love it or hate it, slime is here to stay. There are so many options to buy, so make sure you find a brand that is non-toxic. I like this Play-Doh slime pack!
Playdough is a childhood staple. It promotes creativity, works fine motor skills, and is all-around fun! It’s an easy student gift, too. Here’s a pack of 2 oz. jars or grab a party-sized pack!
How do I prepare gifts for my students?
The beginning of the school year is so busy and it’s hard to add one more thing to your to-do list. Fortunately, pre-made printable tags make it really easy. These are also editable so you can type your name!
All you need to do is purchase your gifts, print and cut out the tags, and use either tape or ribbon to attach the tags. If you’re using ribbon or string, just punch a hole in the corner of each tag with a single hole punch.
What are your thoughts on student gifts?
I want to know: are you planning to do a small back-to-school gift for your students? If so, leave me a comment below!
Where can I get the printable tags?
The printable tags shown in the photos are available here.
If you end up using them, tag me on Instagram (@kroltgen) so I can see!
This post contains affiliate links. Katie Roltgen Teaching is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Click here for more information.