6 Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Students

Tara Dusko, TeacherVision Advisory Board Member
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LAST UPDATED: July 11, 2020
It’s time for holiday shopping, and you’re trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. If you choose to buy gifts for your students, it can be hard to find things they will like that also fit into your budget.
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6 Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas

With 25 or more students in your class, buying gifts for your students can get really expensive. Here are 6 inexpensive Christmas gifts for your students.

Gift Idea #1:  A New Book

Keep your students reading over holiday break with a new book. If you’ve been reading a series that your students really like, get each of them a book in that series. If there’s a particular author your class enjoys, choose a book by that author to give them. You can even write a little note inside the front cover to make it even more special. 

I know books can be expensive, but there are some ways to get them for less money. Scholastic often has dollar deals on their books. You can even use your bonus points to get them for free. When they have books I know my students will like, I stock up on them for the next Christmas. 

Book sales at libraries and yard sales are also great places to get inexpensive books. Just check to make sure they are in great condition before buying them for your students. 

One year when I didn’t have much money to spend on gifts for my students, I went through my classroom library and chose books to give them. I selected books that I had multiple copies of and ones I knew I could easily replace with book fair money. I put all the books on the table in my classroom, and each student was allowed to choose one. They loved choosing their gifts, and many of them came back after holiday break and told me all about what happened in their books.

Take a look at these Top 10 Christmas Stories and Poems to help you chose your perfect books.

Gift Idea #2:  The Trending Toy

Each year, it seems like there is a new toy that all the students love. While these toys may drive you crazy when your students bring them to school, you know they will love receiving them as gifts. Plus, you can usually buy them in bulk for an inexpensive price so you have enough for all your students. 

A few years ago when fidget spinners were the craze, I got each of my students a miniature one. I got a class set of 30 of them for under $20 on Amazon. When my students opened them, they were so excited. 

This year, pop it fidget toys are very popular. You can get a set of 20 holiday pop-its on Amazon for a fairly inexpensive price. 

Gift Idea #3:  Art Supplies

If your students love drawing and coloring, some art supplies would be the perfect Christmas gift. At the dollar store, you can often find packs of coloring books, crayons, and colored pencils for just a dollar. Just like with books, art supplies give your students something to do over holiday break. 

Why not print them off some educational Christmas Art Activities to go with their supplies.

Gift Idea #4:  Homemade Gifts with Your Cricut

If you have a Cricut machine, you can make lots of fun homemade gifts for your students. Your students will love receiving special bookmarks with their names on them. You can find videos online that show you the steps for how to make them. All you need is some cardstock, so this is a very inexpensive gift idea.
Last year, my son’s teacher made the students personalized water bottles as their Christmas gifts. She bought some inexpensive water bottles and used her Cricut to put their names on them. My son loves his water bottle and still uses it. 

Gift Idea #5:  Classroom Reward Tickets

If you’re looking for a free way to give your students gifts, make them a ticket book with some classroom rewards. For example, you could give them a ticket that allows them to bring a stuffed animal to school for a day. Another coupon could allow them to choose their seat for the day or have lunch with you. These rewards don’t require you to spend any money, but your students will have so much fun choosing when to use their coupons.

You can use this template to make “gift certificates” for your students. 

Gift Idea #6: Ask for Donations

If you’re really low on money this year or you want to get the community involved in your gift-giving, ask for donations for your students’ Christmas gifts. You can post on Facebook or ask your friends and family members to donate gifts for your students. 

Recently, I’ve seen posts on Facebook asking for donations of books or board games for students. If you’re interested in doing this, here is some sample text you can post to ask for board game donations. 

Christmas break is quickly approaching, and I have ____ (number of) students in my _____ grade classroom this year. I would love your help with a special winter project for my sweet students!
I would love to have friends and family sponsor a student with a BOARD GAME or some type of GAME (Don’t Spill the Beans, UNO, Trouble, Operation, Connect 4, Twister, etc.)! Most of these games are $5-$10 right now in stores! 
Many students are constantly on technology. With a long break approaching, I would love to send them home with a fun game they can play with their friends and family. We, as adults, remember the fun times that we spent playing board games as kids. I want my students to have those experiences, too!  I would love it if my students could walk into our classroom on their last day before break and feel the love! 
If you would like to help, I would like to have all items by ______________! I can meet you (if you are local) to pick up the game or it can be dropped off at school or my house. You can also ship it to my house by using Amazon. Let me know and I will message you my address.  I will wrap the game and have it on their desk the day before we leave for break! PLEASE DO NOT FEEL OBLIGATED TO GIVE.
Thank you so much for supporting our future and my class! 

Bonus Tip: Take Advantage of After Christmas Sales

It’s too late for this year, but another great way to save money on your students’ Christmas gifts is to shop for them a year ahead of time. When stores put everything on sale after Christmas, look for items your students will like next year. Stock up on the discounted goodies, and put them somewhere safe until you need them. That way, you don’t have to stress about what to get your students next year. 

While it’s not a requirement to get your students Christmas gifts, it is a nice gesture. My students are always so grateful to get something from me before holiday break, even if it’s just something small. Whether you buy something at the store for them or make them something yourself, they will love seeing that you thought of them at this special time of the year.

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