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60 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students That Won’t Break the Bank


Looking for inexpensive gift ideas for students to celebrate the holidays, birthdays, or accomplishments? Look no further! These choices are affordable and fun, and your students are sure to love them. Some of them can even be mailed with a standard first-class stamp, so you can send them home if you prefer.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. Personalized Scratch-Off Activity Cards

This is one of our favorite inexpensive gift ideas for students. You can get a pack of 30 of these adorable scratch-off activity cards personalized with your photo for only $15. For a few dollars more, you can even customize the activities on the card.

Buy it: Scratch-Off Activity Cards at Etsy

2. Invisible Ink Pens

Student writing in notebook with invisible ink pen

Want to encourage your students to write? Gift them with these invisible ink pens with built-in black light, and they’ll be motivated to compose secret messages. You can snag them for just over a dollar each.

Buy it: Invisible Ink Pens at Amazon

3. Assorted Card Games

Card games: Go Fish, Monster Hearts, Old Maid

Give each of your students a fun card game to pass the time at home over a holiday break. This set of 24 decks comes with an assortment of games, including Old Maid, Go Fish, and Monster Hearts.

Buy it: Boredom Buster Card Games at Oriental Trading

4. Leave a Little Sparkle Crayons

Sparkle heart-shaped crayons

You can buy these inexpensive sparkly crayons from Etsy or melt your broken crayons into a DIY version.

Buy it: Sparkly Heart-Shaped Crayons at Etsy

5. Pop Fidget Key Chains

Pop it keychains

Love ’em or not, Pop-Its are still the reigning king of fidget toys. You can grab a pack of 30 on Amazon for less than a buck apiece.

Buy it: Pop Fidget Key Chains at Amazon

6. Pop Fidget Bracelet

Pop-it bracelets in assorted colors as an example of inexpensive gifts for students

How about a fidget toy that doubles as a fashion accessory? Your students will love these push-pop bracelets, and you’ll love that these inexpensive gifts for students are only about 50 cents apiece.

Buy it: Pop Fidget Bracelets at Amazon

7. Finger Flashlights

Finger flashlights

These little lights are perfect inexpensive gifts for students who love Flashlight Fridays and want to bring the fun home!

Buy it: Finger Flashlights at Amazon

8. DIY Craft Sets

DIY Craft Sets in four varieties as example of inexpensive gifts for students

These adorable craft sets come in a variety pack of 24 featuring four different themes: Secret Clubhouse, Unicorn House, Butterfly House, and Space Center.

Buy it: DIY Craft Sets at Dollar Tree

9. Fun Hand Sanitizer Bottles

Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer continues to be a must-have, so give your students a fun way to carry theirs around. Grab a set of these refillable bottles for a fun and useful gift for students.

Buy it: Refillable Hand Sanitizer Bottles at Amazon

10. Colorful Lanyards

Safety lanyards in pink, blue, yellow, green, and orange

These bright-hued lanyards include a safety breakaway mechanism, so they’re even safe for younger kids. It’s the perfect way for them to wear their school ID.

Buy it: Colorful Lanyards at Amazon

11. DIY Winter Coloring Mugs

DIY mugs with winter themes

Your students will love decorating their own winter-themed mug. Pair it with a package of hot cocoa for the perfect gift to keep them busy and cozy over winter break.

Buy it: DIY Winter Mugs at Oriental Trading; Swiss Miss Bulk Hot Cocoa Packets at Amazon

12. Bubble Wands

Bubble wand tubes in blue, green, yellow, pink, red, and purple

Bubbles are another one of those little treats that will make any kid’s day.

Buy it: Bubble Wands at Amazon

13. Hand Clappers

Colorful plastic hand clappers (Inexpensive Gifts for Students)

These are so fun to use in the classroom! Give them to each student so they can show their appreciation during presentations or book reports.

Buy it: Hand-Clappers at Dollar Tree

14. Make-a-Face Sticker Sheets

Sticker sheets with blank faces and funny eyes, nose, mouth, and accessories

One of the best things about these cute sticker pages is that you can pop them in the mail with a card or note.

Buy it: Make-a-Face Sticker Sheets at Amazon

15. Puffy Stickers

Assorted packages of puffy stickers in shapes like shells, planets, and butterflies

What student doesn’t love puffy stickers?

Buy it: Puffy Sticker Sheets at Dollar Tree

16. Motivational Laptop Stickers

Assortment of motivational laptop stickers

These laptop stickers are fun inexpensive gift ideas for students. This set of 250 motivational stickers costs less than $15.

Buy it: Motivational Laptop Stickers at Amazon

17. Light-Up Tops

Three light up tops in green, yellow and blue designs, as an example of inexpensive gift ideas for students

Sometimes it surprises adults how much fun kids have playing with classic toys. These light-up tops add some extra excitement to an old-school toy.

Buy it: Light-Up Tops at Dollar Tree

18. Cartoon Gel Ink Pens

Assorted colorful gel ink pens with novelty toppers

These adorable gel ink pens are less than a dollar each when you buy a set of 24.

Buy it: Cartoon Gel Ink Pens at Amazon

19. Mini Puzzles

Assorted wildlife puzzles, such as zebra, lion, monkey, tiger, and polar bear, as an example of inexpensive gift ideas for students

Help your students build fine motor and problem-solving skills with these adorable mini puzzles that feature an assortment of wild animals. They cost less than a dollar each.

Buy it: Wildlife Mini Puzzles at Oriental Trading

20. E-Books

Amazon.com page for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site ebook

Amazon has lots of terrific children’s e-book options for a dollar or two each, and they make it easy to send a selection to a large group.

Buy it: E-Books at Amazon

21. Reading Bookmarks

Reading Bookmarks in a variety of styles (Inexpensive Gifts for Students)

These printable (and mailable!) bookmarks are free, so all you need is a printer and some card stock.

Get them: Reading Bookmarks Printable at WeAreTeachers

22. Mini Puzzle Books

Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students: Mini puzzle books with mazes, tic-tac-toe, etc.

Puzzle books will keep kids entertained when they have some free time.

Buy it: Puzzle Books at Amazon

23. Motivational Cards

Motivational Kindness Cards with encouraging sayings

Sometimes all you need is a reminder that you’re special to make the day better. Get 100 of these motivational cards for only pennies each.

Buy it: Motivational Cards at Amazon

24. Kindness Posters

Kindness Posters hanging on a pillar between two windows (Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students)

If you’re looking for an even more inexpensive way to spread kindness, you’ll love these free printable posters!

 Get them: Printable Motivational Posters at WeAreTeachers

25. Animal Bookmarks

Cardboard bookmarks with animal heads like monkey, elephant, and pig (Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students)

These animal bookmarks are cute and a real bargain. You can get 30 animal bookmarks for a great price. These are easy to pop into the mail too!

Buy it: Animal Bookmarks at Amazon

26. Emoji Bookmarks

Plastic bookmarks with emoji faces in a plastic bag

Yes, more bookmarks! They’re such a good gift idea and so useful.

Buy it: Emoji Bookmarks at Amazon

27. Book Lover Pins

Buttons with phrases about loving to read

Reward your star readers with these cute buttons with clever slogans that any bibliophile will appreciate.

Buy it: Book Lover Pins at Etsy

28. Superhero Slap Bracelets

Superhero slap bracelets in a variety of colors

There are lots of slap bracelet options out there, but these might be our favorite. You can get 38 of them for a really affordable price.

Buy it: Superhero Slap Bracelets at Amazon

29. Earbuds

Ear buds in colors like purple, pink, orange, green, and red

Your students could probably use some new earbuds. Available in sets of 30 or 50 for a super-low price.

Buy it: Earbuds at Amazon

30. Miniature Calm-Down Jars

Animated gif of plastic jars filled with color-changing liquids (Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students)

Have you seen our calm-down jars? These are such a good experiment, and they can also make a good gift for students. You can get miniature jars to save money.

Buy it: Miniature Jars at Amazon

31. Painted Rocks

Painted Rocks

If you’ve got an artsy side, make personalized painted rocks for your students. Here are a few ideas we put together for inspiration. It’s easy with a set of perfectly smooth stones and acrylic paint pens made for rock painting.

Buy it: Smooth Stones at Amazon; Acrylic Paint Pens at Amazon

32. Stress Balls

Stress Balls in the shape of a globe

You can find lots of options for stress balls on Amazon, and these globes are some of our favorites.

Buy it: Globe Stress Balls at Amazon

33. Flying Discs

Frisbees in a variety of colors with pictures like sharks and tigers, as an example of inexpensive gift ideas for students

Here’s another great playground toy that makes a perfect student gift.

Buy it: Colorful Flying Discs at Amazon

34. DIY Fidget Sticks

Student playing with a DIY fidget stick made from popsicle stick and beads (Inexpensive Gifts for Students)

Fidget toys are always a hit with kids. Learn how to make DIY fidget sticks, plus see a list of our favorites to buy here.

35. Game Boards

Printable basic game boards with plastic markers, dice, and drawstring bag

Grab our free printable game boards and use them to create personalized games for your students. Pair them with some colorful dice and you’re ready to gift!

Get it: Printable Game Boards at WeAreTeachers

Buy it: Colorful dice at Amazon

36. Coloring Books

Coloring books with butterfly and bird themes (Inexpensive Gifts for Students)

We like these coloring books with more grown-up themes. They’re nice for older kids who still love this soothing activity.

Buy it: Coloring Books at Dollar Tree

37. Doodle Pads

Small doodle pads in a variety of colors with pen and swipe-to-erase feature

Kids can sketch away, then swipe to erase with these mini doodle pads. They’re less than a couple of bucks each when you buy in bulk.

Buy it: Doodle Pads at Amazon

38. Dig a Dozen Dino Eggs

Dinosaur eggs with excavating tools and small plastic dinosaur inside (Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students)

You know your students will get a real kick out of these dino eggs! They’re a couple of dollars each when you buy a set of 12.

Buy it: Dinosaur Eggs at Amazon

39. Children’s Books

Teacher holding book wrapped in brown paper and gold ribbon

We mentioned e-books above, but if you’d like to give traditional books, there are all sorts of ways of finding them at affordable prices. Dollar Tree sells them for a $1.25 each.

Buy it: Fun Fact Books at Dollar Tree; Classic Fairy Tales at Dollar Tree

40. DIY Bouncy Ball Kits

Set of Create Your Own Bouncy Ball Kits with molds

Whether you send these home for families to try or use them as an in-class science experiment, they’re sure to be tons of fun.

Buy it: DIY Bouncy Balls at Amazon

41. Happy Journals

Selection of kraft-covered journals with happy sayings

Give them a place to jot their happy thoughts and fun memories. These little notebooks are about a dollar each when you buy 24.

Buy it: Happy Journals at Amazon

42. Fun Sticky Notepads

Sticky note pads with inspirational sayings (Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students)

Sticky notes are incredibly useful in any classroom. Give kids their own cute pads to use when they want to send a cheery message to a friend.

Buy it: Inspirational Sticky Notes at Dollar Tree

43. Kawaii Squishies

Kawaii Squishies in a variety of colors and shapes

These are so popular with kids of all ages. Your students will love choosing one, or you can choose it for them along with a special note. Consider turning them into desk pets too!

Buy it: Kawaii Squishies at Amazon

44. Six-Color Pens

An assortment of six-color pens

What’s old is new again with these retractable pens with six colors of ink. They make great gifts, and they’re affordable when you buy in bulk.

Buy it: Colorful Retractable Pens at Amazon

45. Personalized Pencils

Teacher holding pencils personalized with a printer and clear tape

You can order personalized pencils from places like Amazon. If your budget is a little slimmer, learn how to make them yourself with a printer and clear tape. Then just buy solid-colored pencils.

Buy it: Shiny Rainbow Personalized Pencils at Amazon; Solid-Color Neon Pencils at Amazon

46. Pull-Apart Erasers

Colorful erasers in the shapes of food like doughnuts and watermelon

Pair these adorable food pull-apart erasers with your personalized pencils. Get a pack of 30 at a great price.

Buy it: Pull-Apart Erasers at Amazon

47. LEGO Brick Crayons

Recycled crayons in the shape of LEGO bricks

This is such a clever way to use up old bits of crayons. Grab this mold and make some yourself!

Buy it: LEGO crayon mold at Amazon

48. Scrabble Tile Names

Scrabble tile name badges

Make initial necklaces or create a nameplate students can use anywhere. They’re surprisingly easy to make using wood craft sticks.

Buy it: Scrabble Letter Tiles at Amazon; Wood Craft Sticks at Amazon

49. Punch Balloons

Colorful punch balloons in pink, blue, green, and more

Give kids a way to work off some of their energy after sitting at a desk for hours each day.

Buy it: Punch Balloons at Amazon

50. Globe Beach Balls

A set of six beach balls that look like globes (Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Students)

Combine a little learning with your inexpensive gift ideas for students! These inflatable globes are fun to throw around but can be used for reference too.

Buy it: Inflatable Globes at Amazon

51. Mini Building Block Sets

Building brick animals like elephant, giraffe, rhino, and more

Have you met a kid yet who doesn’t love LEGO bricks? These mini building block kits are basically the same thing, but you can get 12 of them for less than a couple of dollars apiece.

Buy it: Mini Building Block Kits at Amazon

52. Miniature Game Tins

Miniature Games made in mint tins

Save up those tins or just buy empty tins in bulk. You can create the games we did with our free printables.

Buy it: Mini Tins at Amazon

Get it: Printable Games at WeAreTeachers

53. Mini Notepads

Mini notepads with LEGO brick themed covers

Colorful mini notepads make a practical, simple gift for kids of all ages.

Buy it: Mini Building Block Notebooks at Amazon

54. Bendable Pencils

Flexible pencils tied in knots, as an example of inexpensive gift ideas for students

These flexible pencils will wow your students for less than a quarter each. They’ll get a kick out of bending them into fun shapes.

Buy it: Colorful Bendable Pencils at Amazon

55. Plastic Bendy Tubes

Plastic bendy tubes in assorted colors

Kids love playing with these plastic bendy tubes. You can get packs of two for just over a dollar a piece when you buy in bulk.

Buy it: Plastic Bendy Tubes at Dollar Tree

56. Mini Puzzle Cubes

Hands solving Rubix Cube style puzzle cube, as an example of inexpensive gift ideas for students

Challenge your students to solve this Rubik’s Cube–style puzzle. They’ll have fun while building dexterity and problem-solving skills. Buy in bulk and they’re less than a dollar each.

Buy it: Puzzle Cubes at Amazon

57. Slime Putty Unicorn Galaxy Eggs

Galaxy slime putty in clear plastic eggs

These vivid putty and slime eggs are surefire inexpensive gift ideas for students.

Buy it: Slime-Filled Eggs at Amazon

58. Mini Rainbow Springs

Mini Rainbow Springs

There’s something irresistible about spring toys. Pick up a bulk pack for pennies each.

Buy it: Mini Rainbow Springs at Amazon

59. Magic Speed Cubes

Various configurations made with Magic Speed Cubes, as an example of inexpensive gift ideas for students

Students use their imaginations to turn these magic speed cubes into snakes, dogs, and more fun shapes.

Buy it: Magic Speed Cubes at Amazon

60. Thank-You Notes

Thank You cards in a variety of colors

Knowing that their teacher sees them for who they are can make all the difference for some kids. You can write thank-you notes on any kind of paper or grab a set of greeting cards.

Buy it: Thank-You Cards at Amazon

What’s your go-to when you need inexpensive gift ideas for students? Come share on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our list of inexpensive classroom rewards you can get at Dollar Tree.





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