4 Student Gifts that Won’t Break the Bank

After 19 trips to Target, 11 to the Dollar Tree, and 3 checkouts during the TpT sale, I am about to pull a Michael Scott and declare bankruptcy. But seriously, why is being a teacher so expensive? It doesn’t have to be this way! You can still treat your students without taking out a loan. Here are 4 student gifts that won’t break the bank.
I was really thinking that any type of student gift for the first day of school was not happening. #lazybroketeacher But I still appreciate a pretty little gift with a punny tag.  So, instead of buying something extra or more candy or a piece of  junk that will end up in the trash, my advice to you is:
Disguise something you were going to give kids anyway and
slap a tag on it so it magically transforms into a present.
This may not be new news to you.  But they say no news is good news, right?  I have rounded up some of my favorite ways to turn regular ole school supplies into gifts with just a cute tag and ribbon you have laying around.  Or if you don’t have ribbon, use washi tape.  Or just regular tape.  (Do these kids even notice how it’s attached?!)


First up is an option for student crayon boxes. This tag was intended for use as a “New Year’s” gift.  Which had me like “People are giving student gifts for New Year’s?”

But it would work just the same for a new school year.  It is a sweet little poem from Happy Teacher Happy Kids.  It does require your students to know how to read to get the full effect.  You could even use it as a formative assessment.  (ha!)
Or just read it to them.

She even printed these on labels so she could just peel and stick.  So smart.  Don’t want to use all that ink? She has a printer-friendly option where students TRACE the words in the poem!

Get all the directions and the printables here.


Every student will obviously need a pencil. Unless you are going paperless.  (In that case, I don’t really have a gift idea for you because I cannot even wrap my head around it.  I am seriously amazed by it but it is beyond my comprehension.)  Turn pencils into presents with this simple yet adorable gift tag (FREE!) by A Cupcake for the Teacher.
She even suggests using a dab of hot glue instead of ribbon or tape! Cheap and genius!!


When I set out to look for some eraser gift tags, I thought “We are going to make A LOT of mistakes this year.” (HA!) But then I stumbled upon this amazing idea from Aesthetic Outburst.
No printable tag necessary! But you will need an X-ACTO knife to cut a slice in each eraser.  I couldn’t find her original blog post with directions but I am going to use some inferencing skills.
You will need:
-graph paper cut with a 1.5 inch width
-Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers (12 for $5 —>here)
-X-ACTO knife
-gold star stickers
-your class list (this may be the hardest to acquire ha!)
Write names on the graph paper and attach a gold star.  Cut 1.5ish slices into erasers.  Stick in graph paper name tags.  Voila! The stinkin’ cutest name tags ever!


Highlighters are one of my favorite school supplies.  Kids LOVE them and you can find quality, inexpensive ones from the Dollar Tree.  I purchased a whole bunch last summer for my demo lesson I taught to the principals, teachers, and admin in my interview.
I let my kids use them A LOT during guided reading and when they are completing a comprehension passage and whenever I need to up the engagement of a lesson I just yell “GET THE HIGHLIGHTERS!” and everyone is instantly more into whatever it is we are doing.
Hope you found something useful!
Or maybe you really don’t have time for any of this with all the P.D. and classroom set up!
Whatever the case, I am not judging ; )
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