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Top End-of-Year Gifts for Students

Janelle Cox

As the school year finally comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about end-of-year gifts for students. Today, with social media, you will find an endless amount of ideas. Here we will take a look at a few of the best end-of-year gifts for students. Many of these ideas are very inexpensive and easy to make. You will be sure to find something that will work for you, or at least inspire you to create some memorable end-of-year gifts for students.

Summer Writing Journal

A great way to get your students from getting that dreaded summer brain drain, or as some of you call it “summer slide,” is to give your students a journal. You can buy journals and pencils in bulk which will save you a lot of money. Inside the journal, write a short personal message to each student with encouraging and inspiring words. You can even add a few summer writing prompts to help get them started. For an added gesture, give each of your students a self-addressed stamped postcard so they write to you and tell you all about their summer adventures.

Word Cloud

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This end-of-year gift is the best personalized gift a student can get. Have each student write one word that describes each student. Make sure that they use “nice” words, and not generic words like great, awesome, cool, etc. Collect the lists and create a document for each student with all of the descriptive words about that student on it. Then, create a word cloud about each student. You can do this on or on a word document. Next, print out and frame. Here is an example of a word cloud.


Does your school participate in the Scholastic reading program? If they do then it’s time to cash in on all of those free books. If not, then you can go to a garage sale or your local Dollar Store to purchase inexpensive books for each student. Pair the books with a book mark or gummy worms and you’ve got yourself a great end-of-year gift for students. What a great way to encourage students to read all summer long!

Beach Balls

Beach balls are an inexpensive way to send your students into the summer. You can find them at the Dollar Store or in the dollar section at your local department store, like Target or Walmart. There are two ways you can use this gift idea, here is the first. Purchase the beach ball (do not inflate) and attach a note saying “Hope you Have a Ball this Summer.” The second way is to inflate the ball and have an autograph party. Allow students to get autographs from the peers, other teachers, or whomever they want. It’s a great end of the year activity, and not to mention they get an amazing keepsake to remember the year!

A Bucket Full of Fun

You know those end-of-year summer packets that you put together for your students? Why not turn those into a student gift? Purchase a sand bucket (you can get these at the Dollar Store too) and place the summer packet inside the bucket. You can add pencils, chalk, crayons, glue, journals, pictures, bubbles, books, treats, or whatever else you want to the bucket. For an extra added touch create a summer bucket list worksheet where students can fill out their goals for the summer.

Treat to Eat

Instead of having students bring in snacks on the last day of school, make their snack a gift from you. Here are a few creative treats to eat that make for a great snack.

  • Pop some popcorn, place in a baggie and attach a note saying “Thanks for a Poppin’ School Year!” Or “You are one Pop-ular Student!”
  • Place Swedish fish into a baggie and attach a note saying “Congratulations! You have Oh-Fish-Ally Finished the School Year!” Or “Congratulations! You Are Oh-Fish-Ally a ____ Grader!”
  • Place marshmallows, graham crackers and a chocolate bar into a baggie and attach a note saying “You Made it! I Hope You Have S’more Fun This Summer!”

Hopefully, one of these ideas will work for you, or at least inspire you to create something great for your students. Anything that you buy or create will be appreciated by your students. Cheers to the end of school!

What are you getting your students for an end-of-year gift? Do you have any creative ideas that you would like to share? Feel free to share your ideas below.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for, as well as a contributing writer to and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators

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