Ahh, the end of the school year…all the bittersweet emotions. Everything from that feeling of relief (Whew! We made it!) to those last day blues (I’m truly going to miss my kids). Many teachers love to provide student gifts for end of year. Gifts are definitely not something you should not feel pressured to do, because the gift of your teaching and presence in your students’ lives is more than gift enough.
But if you’re someone who does like to give out gifts to your kids- that’s wonderful too! If you’ve ever read about or heard of the Five Love Languages, then you know that there are five most common ways that many people show love or experience love. And one of those ways that some people express their love for others is by giving gifts.
Is gift-giving one of your love languages? If so, you might like these 5 ideas of student gifts for end of year. Each of them go along with a picture book, which could be read to your class prior to handing out the gifts. Reading aloud is definitely a love language for teachers too!
Our Class is a Family Bracelets
Do you plan to read or re-read the book Our Class is a Family to your students during the end of the school year? It’s often used as a back to school read aloud, but can take on a newfound meaning after your class has spent the school year together!
After reading the book and reflecting back on your class memories, you could bid farewell to you kiddos with these Our Class is a Family bracelets for the end of the year.
The kids can wear their matching bracelets on the last day of school. And whenever they look down at their wrist, it’ll serve as a reminder of the special time your classroom family has had together.
You could make your own bracelets, or if you’re all about saving time- the same ones pictures above come pre-packaged and ready to hand out. Each individual package includes 1 beaded grade-level bracelet, the Our Class is a Family tag, and plastic gift wrap.
Shipping is free, and all packages are shipped by the maker of the bracelets, Emily Budz. Emily is an incredible kindergarten teacher I’ve partnered with, who also makes our Class Family bracelets for back to school time.
Simply choose ones to match your grade level (Pre-K, TK, and grades K-5 are available).
Teachers are an important part of the class family too, and so teacher bracelets are also available! They match with the student bracelets (saying the grade level) but are just longer in length.
Want to grab these bracelets to give as student gifts for end of year?
Keepsake Gifts That Students Can Sign
Just like the bracelets I shared above, these print-your-own bookmarks also go along with the book Our Class is a Family.
You can make these as simple or as fancy as you’d like. Dress it up with a tassel or ribbons, or just print as is and you’re good to go.
Student gifts for end of year are often most meaningful when they are personalized, and one way to do that is by having all the kids add their signatures.
You could have all the kids in your class sign the back of each bookmark! Here’s a photo that a teacher took of one of her student’s bookmarks, and shared with me:
It definitely makes for a sweet little keepsake from the whole class- and as a bonus, it also encourages reading over the summer. Win, win!
It’s a super easy and low-prep gift that’s also super easy on the wallet. The template for these printable bookmarks are only $1 in my website shop or on TPT, or you can get it absolutely free via email.
And if not bookmarks, there are many other end of year gifts for students that can be signed by the class too! Grab some Sharpies and have your kiddos sign:
- Plastic beach balls
- Beach pails/buckets
- Notebooks or journals
There are a ton of possibilities! No matter what the actual gift is, it will be instantly made more special when signed by everyone in the class.
Letter from Your Teacher Mailbox
Gifts can also be something that your students have a hand in helping to create. Here’s an idea that pairs with another picture book for the end of the school year- A Letter From Your Teacher: On the Last Day of School.
If you want student gifts for end of year that also double as a simple yet powerful writing activity, you might like more details about the mailbox activity pictured above.
Students get to decorate their own mailboxes.
Then, students write a “letter” (a short note, similar to a yearbook signing) to each person in the class.
Students can pass out their letters to each other on the last day of school, and then take them home in their mailboxes as a special memento!
And here’s where the gift from you comes in- you could also put a special “letter from your teacher” (just like the book says) in each of their mailboxes too. While knick-knacks and store bought gifts are absolutely thoughtful of course, words from their teacher (that they can save, and go back to reread or look back on) are priceless, in my opinion. It’s a chance to wish each student well, and express any sentiments you want to leave them with.
The Invisible String
Here’s an additional gift idea that students can have a hand in helping to make. It ties in with the book The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vriehoff.
If you’re unfamiliar with the book, its main message is that we are still connected with the people we love and care about, even when not actually together. There is an invisible string that keeps us bonded with one another.
After reading aloud the book, you can share this gift/activity with students.
After reading the message pictured above, students assemble the string of hearts to display at home wherever they wish. It can continue to serve as a visual reminder of how they are still connected with their teacher and classmates, even after the school year is over.
Last Day Blues
The last day of school doesn’t have to be blue! Last Day Blues is a classic book for the end of the school year.
The very last page of the book has a celebratory tone. After you finish the read aloud, you could give out celebratory trinkets to your class!
There are many different affordable knickknacks that make for great student gifts for end of year. Low-cost trinkets can typically be found in bulk at party stores, the Dollar Spot section at Target, or websites like Oriental Trading company. No fancy wrapping is required. Simply pair each one with a paper tag (typically with a message that has a play on words) to make a thoughtful present that your students will love.
Here are a few ideas:
- Plastic sunglasses with a tag that says, “You shined bright this year”
- Ink pens with a tag that says, “You hap-PEN to be an INK-credible student! Thanks for an awesome year!”
- Bubble wands with a tag that says, “Hope your summer is bubbles of fun!”
- Candy with a tag that says, “Have a sweet summer!”
If you had a specific class theme this year, you could also use a trinket that goes with the theme. For example, if your class had a rainbow theme, you might give out rainbow stickers or keychains.
Students will enjoy getting to celebrate as they walk out the door on the last day of school with their treasured little trinkets in hand!
The Gift of Reading
In addition to the 5 gift ideas I shared that pair with the read alouds, the books themselves make for excellent student gifts too! Not that I even need to explain (you’re most likely a teacher, after all!) but books help nurture a love of reading. And in a magical way, books can express messages that we ourselves don’t always have the words for.
In particular, A Letter From Your Teacher: On the Last Day of School and Our Class is a Family do just that.
In A Letter From Your Teacher: On the Last Day of School, the letter expresses how proud their teacher is of them, and how much they will be missed. It also assures student that they are always welcome to come back to visit, and that their teacher is cheering them on for all of the exciting things to come in the future.
Our Class is a Family reminds students that they will always be a part of a special family, even after the school year is over.
Either book can help provide a heartfelt send-off to each of your kiddos on the last day.
You could hand out the books as is, or here are just a couple of ways you could make them extra special:
- Write a personalized note to the student on the inside cover
- Have the whole class sign the inside cover.
- This teacher also had the brilliant idea of gifting a copy each year to herself too, personalized with artwork and signed by that year’s class:
Did you know that you can get a class set of books at a special discounted bulk price? You can find all of the bulk pricing information for either title below:
Gift that keeps on giving
Giving student gifts for end of year is just one extra way to make your class feel loved. And an additional way to celebrate the milestone of completing another year of school. It gives all those warm and fuzzy feelings, sending your students off into summer on a happy, positive note.
Do you have any favorite end of the year gifts that you like to give your students? Gift other teachers with your ideas- share in the comments below!