20 Budget Friendly Gift Ideas for Students


Looking for the perfect gift ideas for students? Even though giving gifts is not necessary, it’s a nice thing to do that shows your students you care about them. Plus, they’re always super excited to open a gift from their teacher! 

Knowing what to get for your whole class can be tricky, and has the potential to become expensive quickly. But, that’s not always the case! I’ve put together a list of budget-friendly gift ideas that your elementary students will love!

Short on time? Click the button below to view the full list (plus bonus gift ideas) on Amazon.

For the Creative Class

Blank books

Have a creative class? Blank books are a hit because it lets students express their creativity and become their own authors. There are blank book sets for primary grades with lines and for all ages without lines. 

Scented Pencils

Scented pencils are a fun gift to go along with blank books, or give as standalone gifts! It’s not everyday that students are given the opportunity to write with a scented pencil, so this is a novelty they’ll appreciate! There are tons of scented sets to choose from, like varieties of fruits and even winter holiday scents.

Blank Puzzles

Art meets puzzle solving with these DIY puzzles! The creative possibilities are endless in how your students could design their puzzle. It could turn into a fun family moment when the student has their family members or friends put together the puzzle to reveal what they designed.

Paint set

Encourage your class of artists to paint and create over the break with a personal paint set. This is a great way to foster creativity and give a gift that can be used repeatedly.

Scratch notes

Another fun and creative gift is scratch notes. Students will love seeing the colors show through as they write on the black surface. There are many options, but the holiday ornaments are perfect as a seasonal gift that students can even hang on their Christmas tree!

For the Hands-On Class

Sensory fidget toys

Fidgets serve many purposes in the classroom, such as helping students with sensory needs and giving students something to do with their hands while their brains focus. Even adults gravitate towards fidgets at work. With so many options, try to choose something you know your students like, (such as the viral Pop-its) or introduce them to something new, like kinetic sand.

Magnetic boards

Letter practice, dexterity, and drawing–that’s what comes to mind when I think of magnetic boards. This is a gift that is sneakily educational, and mostly just fun! You may even want to consider adding these to your small group lesson plans for that exact reason.


This gift could spark the gardener in your students and set them on the path to loving plants! Plants offer many benefits, one of the most important is that students gain a sense of responsibility for another living thing. Students can decorate the pots, all you’ll need to do is provide some seeds or small succulents. This is a project they can work on before break, or send the whole kit home as a gift for the family to do during break.

Squeezable Globes

Teachers gonna teach, right?! Here’s a fun fidget toy that packs an educational punch. These squeezable globe balls can spark conversations about different places in the world, and give students a better idea of where continents are located. They’ll also be able to locate themselves on the map of the world, all while de-stressing and playing. Perfect for students interested in social studies!

For the Class of Thinkers

Brain games

What’s that? A way to avoid screen time? Awesome! Brain games give students a way to put their hands and minds to work. It’s a great option for students who like a challenge and enjoy problem solving. You may even get parents and siblings involved in the games, too!


This is a gift for students who like to use their thinking caps. Puzzles can be a great way to get the family involved, too! Everyone loves a puzzle, and this is another great gift option to help students keep busy over some of their break from school.

Activity books

Give students something to keep them busy during the break. Most students don’t have elaborate plans, and will appreciate these activity books to keep them engaged and interested during the break from school.

Rubik’s Cube

You’d be surprised how quickly a Rubik’s Cube can unite your students. This is a great way to get their hands and minds working and thinking. They may even pick it up as a new hobby!

For the Class of Readers


Scholastic Book Clubs is a great place to find affordable books in bulk to give to your students. It’s free to create an account, and there are many benefits throughout the year, especially their $1 book deals. Check it out now and see what’s being offered that could make great gifts for your students!


Pair the book with a fun bookmark to encourage your readers to read! There are tons of options to choose from, like coloring bookmarks, activity bookmarks, and inspirational quotes. This is a gift students can use over and over each time they read a new book!

Book Page Holders

These page holders make it so that you can hold your book open with just your thumb. They’re small enough for student fingers and will be a thoughtful gift for those kiddos who can never put their books down!

Page Pointers

Help students remember the exact spot they left off on in their book. Using a page pointer, their place will always be held exactly right where they left it. These are also great to incorporate into your small group lesson plans to identify evidence or an important event in the text!

Gifts for All Types

Class coupons

Give the gift of class coupons! Create a coupon for something your students enjoy, ask for, or have earned. Some ideas include: no homework, lunch in the classroom, movie day, extra recess, free time, dance party, popcorn/pizza party, etc. You know your students best, use this as an opportunity to surprise them with something you know they’ll appreciate. 

Give the gift of Experiences

Local vendors will often support teachers and students with coupons or free tickets. Most of the time, all you have to do is ask! Consider places nearby school that your students would enjoy visiting, or restaurants you know they love. Some ideas include movie theaters, museums, restaurants, ice cream shops, pottery painting, theme parks, etc.

Team bracelets

A great way to spread class community is to unite students with team bracelets. This makes a great holiday gift, or keep it in mind for the end of the year! There are many different options for kid bracelets. You know your students best, choose ones that fit their personalities.

I hope you found some useful gift ideas to give your students! Leave a comment to let me know, and check out this blog post with 11 no-prep reading, writing and math activities for winter.

Thinking of having a holiday party? Check out this post for activities to do with your students in December!

I hope you found some great gift ideas for your students! The best part is, these gifts aren’t holiday specific, so you can give them to your students at anytime. They’d also make great end of the year presents!

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