The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s traditional to exchange gifts. The question is, when you’re a teacher on a budget, what can you get your students that they’ll love and you can afford?
The solution is DIY. When you make it yourself, you save money, and it’s more meaningful. Below are several fun ideas for presents you can give your students that won’t cost a bundle, will make them happy, and will be a joy for you to put together.
Most kids love art. Foster this love with fun DIY art kits that kids can take home and use during the winter holidays. Buy crayons in bulk to save money, then toss in paper scraps, glue sticks, stickers, pipe cleaners, glitter and whatever else looks fun. Try recycling centers for quirky extras.
This is easier than it sounds. You can buy glass bulbs from discount suppliers, then decorate them yourself with puffy paint or glitter glue. Making a bulb with each child’s name on it is a fun way to make your students feel special. Of course, don’t forget that kids love to make art projects themselves too!
Themed Treats and Books
Around the holidays, common school day reads include The Gingerbread Man, The Polar Express and the How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Make your present extra special by attaching themed cookies: a gingerbread man, a little train car, or a Grinch, respectively.
These are simple to make and kids love them. Head to your nearest fabric store and ask for fleece in widths of 8-12 inches. Cut strips along each end roughly 1 inch wide and 4 inches deep. Then knot the strips at the base of the cut to create a classic fringe.
Game Instruction Kits
By second, third and fourth grades, kids are usually getting into card games. You can make their winter fun by giving each student a deck of cards, then printing instructions for various games on sheets of brightly colored paper. Perhaps present them in brightly colored gift bags.
Looking for something that will please parents too? A CD of photos from the first half of the year can’t go wrong. Sort photos into folders for each child, then burn them to a disc and send them home with kids on the last day of school. Just to make sure they feel included, you can attach something for them – say, a sketchpad.
This year, make giving amazing gifts easy by doing it yourself, and buying a few well-chosen items in bulk.