Teachers Share their Top 10 End of Year Gifts Ideas for Little Learners

 As a former teacher myself, I know all too well how short teachers are on time, especially during the end of year flurry before bidding our little learners farewell *cue the tears* and sending them off on their merry way to enjoy their break.

It can be nice to treat your students to a little gift on the last day of school to celebrate all you have learned together and spread some festive cheer. And no, we’re not suggesting you make 26 different ceramic animals each representing your students' personalities as end of year gifts because, honestly, #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat.

Here are my and the MJLL community’s recommendations for inexpensive and easy end of year gifts for students.

My top 3 cheap and cheerful student gift ideas

Bubble wands

I’ve never met a little one that wasn’t obsessed with blowing, watching, chasing and popping bubbles. So one of my favourite gifts for students of all ages is a bubble wand. You can get a range of different colors, styles and sizes from the big department stores for 50c (like Kmart, BIG W and Woolies).  

Then, all you need to do is grab some ribbon and print off my super cute editable ‘You blew me away’ gift tags to personalize your bubble wands and your end of year gifting is sorted.

Tip: I suggest gifting bubble wands to your students at the end of the day and outside the classroom, to avoid a slippery soapy mess on your classroom floor. Naturally, the kiddies will want to start making bubbles the instant the wand hits their hand.

Bubble wand

Use my cute ‘You blew me away’ gift tags to make the perfect affordable personalized bubble wand student gift.

Bookmarks

Keep fostering a love of reading and their growth mindsets even when you’re no longer their teacher by giving your students a personalized growth mindset quote bookmark. 

Download my growth mindset bookmarks for FREE.

Idea: Print your bookmarks on colorful firm card stock and add a personalized note on the back for that special extra touch. Or as a creative end of year classroom activity, have your class color in their bookmark design before you laminate their work of art to keep. 

Rainbow book marks with growth mindset phrases

My growth mindset bookmarks are the perfect way to remind your little learners of their connection to reading.

Memory books

Creating memory books with your students is a beautiful way to document, reflect on and celebrate all you have accomplished together over the past year. And they won’t break the bank! All you need is blank exercise books (like these 15c exercise books from Officeworks) and some fun adhesive book cover rolls to cover the memory books (I love this contact paper from BIG W for $1).    

Have students write down or draw their top 3 favorite memories from your time together. If you’ve been taking pictures throughout the year print off the images at Officeworks (15c each) and bring in magazines for your kids to make image collages of their school year highlights in their memory book. It’s a great gift for kids that love getting creative and looking back on memories! 

The MJLL community’s student gifting go-tos 

A little while back I put this question to the MJLL community: ‘What are you gifting your students this year?’. And you did not let me down! Here are just some of the thoughtful, meaningful and oh-so-sweet gift ideas I’d like to highlight from the always smart and creative MJLL teachers' brains trust.

Adopt a class pet

"I do a virtual adoption of an endangered animal (like a sea turtle or a polar bear)! Some organizations allow you to track an individual animal, and check it’s location on a virtual map. It becomes our “class pet” and we check each day to see where our animal is. I usually also do a virtual adoption through WWF and they send a little stuffie of your animal. The stuffie gives the kids something to unwrap, and it lives in our classroom in place of our “real” animal. I like that it’s a gift that becomes part of our class culture.” – @katherinerszbet

Polar bears in Antarctica

Adopt a polar bear as your classroom pet through the WWF.

Goodie bags

“As a team, we buy little fillers throughout the year when we spot a bargain - fidgets, putty, craft supplies, books, water bottles, bubbles - basically whatever we find that’s affordable and cute. Then we give each child one of everything with a candy cane or lolly and make a cute gift bag. It’s amazing what you can find throughout the year that is cute and cost effective!” – @__littleohana

Holiday reading

“I used to do a Dr Suess book for each student with a personalized book mark. As a team we would buy the box sets and then divide them out to make it cost effective. The kids loved them.” – @zjlelli

“I like to buy the $1 books from scholastic and throw in something a little extra like a candy cane or hot chocolate and a sweet note!” – @mszbikowski

Plant a tree

My work besite has done this for years and she got me into it last year, and it works for kiddos of all ages! We spend time talking about deforestation and then have the students pick an area in the world that needs a tree from @onetreeplanted and donate a tree in their name! It is ONLY $1 per donation and we print their personalized certificates with a personal message and a little bag of seeds because we “loved watching them grow” this year! The kids loved seeing their impact on the world! Can’t wait to do it again this year! 🙌❤️” – @lindsey.conroy

Hot chocolate bar + keepsake mug

“The kiddos get to decorate a hot chocolate mug! I doodle their name on a paper insert that they color. Then we watch a holiday movie while they come to the hot chocolate bar with all kinds of toppings. They love watching me make whatever fun combo they ask for! When they finish I clean out the mugs and fill them with candy to take home. Relatively cheap because I get the supplies in bulk and they love it!” – @jennydieselcallis

Loaded hot chocolate with sprinkles

Celebrate the end of term with a hot chocolate bar. Stock up on mini marshmallows, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, lollies, sprinkles, cookies and candy canes to decorate!

Book bags

“I get calico bags, we then spend the last few art lessons designing them and painting them, then they can take all their books home in it. I also give a book (bought cheap over the year from scholastic) with a message and a few sweets.” –@miss_geraldinej

Say it with a selfie 

“I take a selfie with kids and  write a personalized letter on the back. Simple, free and full of love! I have parents and students tell me they still have their photo more than 5+ years later 🥰” – @play.with.may_

At the end of the day, if your gift is meaningful and special, no matter how small a token, I know your kids will appreciate the thought and effort you’ve put into it.

Now that the kids’ prezzies are sorted, here are some ideas for gifts for your teacher pals or to drop a hint for yourself!

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