Classroom Gift Guide

I am a teacher who likes to give gifts to her students. Please don't throw tomatoes. Or stones. We all work hard every single day to provide our students with a quality education full of engaging and meaningful experiences. Gifts are not necessary. But, sometimes, it's nice to give our students a little something extra.

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If you're a teacher who enjoys sharing holiday gifts with your students, then this post is for you. This post includes lots of ideas for student gifts.

Buuuuut, they aren't just any student gifts. They are classroom gifts! No need to buy 24 (or more) individual gifts. Invest in your classroom by purchasing something that you can give to your students now, but your students for years to come will benefit from. It's a win-win!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the ideas shared in this post. Keep reading for all the ideas, and all the specifics.

New Read Aloud Book(s)
Buy a new book (or two) to add to your read aloud collection.  My students always get so excited when I share a new book with them, and I love finding new books to keep my collection current and fresh. Shown below are the last two books that I bought for my class.  My current students get to enjoy them now, and my classes 5, 6, or even 10 years from now will also get to enjoy them.


The Little Reindeer is a sweet little story filled with Christmas magic. The illustrations are simply precious. It's the perfect book to share during the holidays.


Nerdy Birdy is a reminder that it's OK to be yourself. There's also a reminder to be kind to others while being accepting of their differences. A message that never goes out of style.

Any book of your choosing will do in this situation. :) Don't know where to begin?  Trust me, I get it. There are a ton of amazing picture books out there. I often feel overwhelmed when presented with too many (awesome) choices.  If you fall into that camp too, then you need to check out my favorites HERE.

New Classroom Library Books
Scholastic book orders are a great way to add books to your classroom library.  Scour those order forms and take advantage of your bonus points, or look for titles that fit your price range. That's one thing that is so great about Scholastic, they have lots of affordable options, so for $20 or so, you can get your hands of lots of great books like these.

I seriously have no idea why someone would make a book about vegetables in underwear, but the 8 year old in me thinks it's pretty much the best idea ever.   

Finger Flashlights
If you do not have a set of finger flashlights, you need to get some ASAP!  They are great for reading in the dark. We often turn off our classroom lights and dig out the flashlights. Reading in the dark is fun, and it keeps the students on task.  You can also use these flashlights during guided reading! Often times the sets include 100 flashlights, so I'm guessing if you let your students keep one flashlight from the set, they'd be pretty darn excited.
Building Toys (aka STEM Toys)
I keep a supply of building toys in my Fun Friday bucket.  Every Friday, my students get 30 minutes to explore and interact with these toys.  They need this after a week of working hard.  I've found some great (reasonably priced) sets on Amazon.

Brain Flakes
Brain Flakes are a huge hit with my students. I've seen them use these toys to construct people, parade floats, and everything in between. They are easy to use and don't take up much space. 

Interlocking Building Blocks
I know, they don't look like building blocks.  But they do interlock.  And, they are amazing.  My students like using these to make large flowers, UFO's, and other imaginative structures.


Bar Building Block Toy
I love this set of building toys. The name is a bit awkward, but that's what they're called on Amazon.  Now, maybe I suffer from a case of false memories, but I feel like I may have had something similar to this a kid in the 80's. Once again, these don't look like building blocks, but the bars and other shapes can be used to make all sorts of fun things.  I've seen my students make basketball hoops, robots, and houses.  They are great toy for encouraging students to be creative and take risks.

Puzzles
Puzzles are a must! What better way to teach problem solving, organization, patience, and perseverance. Your students will love using them, and if you teach your students to take care of them, you'll be able to use them for years to come.  I keep a variety of puzzles on hand for use during Fun Friday. My puzzles range from 24 to 100 pieces. I don't like to go above 100 pieces because I want them to be able to finish before they run out of time.

I usually buy the majority of my puzzles at Dollar Tree.  I mean, you can't beat the price!


I have also grabbed a few puzzles from the Target Dollar Spot.


Annnnd, I also have a few floor puzzles. I guess you could say I like puzzles. A lot.

The floor puzzles are super popular with my students! My favorite are the Melissa and Doug floor puzzles. They make quality puzzles and the price is great.  Check them out on Amazon, or check your local discount stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods. These stores frequently carry the Melissa and Doug floor puzzles.
If you're looking to share a gift with your students this year, consider giving one of these items as a classroom gift. While they may not walk away with their own personal gift, they will love using the new materials that you have shared with them.  And, since you'll be giving it to them as a gift, wrap it up!  Find a fun way to present the classroom gift. They will be excited just knowing that you've shared something new with them to enjoy for the rest of the school year.

Happy holidays!

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