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Do Classroom Gifts Help Students?

Many teachers like to reward their students for all their hard work during the year with a gift. Do these end-of-year gifts have a positive effect? And what kind of gifts are suitable? A gift is a wonderful thing to receive, more so if it acknowledges the hard work someone has put or as a thank you for doing something.

Should You Be Giving Your Students Gifts?

Many students say thank you to their teachers with a small gift at the end of the summer term.

Teachers also take the opportunity of end-of-the-year celebrations to wish their students well with a small gift.

There are some who like this approach as there are many who disagree with teachers with children gifts, suggesting that some gifts can be misconstrued. There are also stories of when teacher gifts completely miss the mark.

Thought, not financial value

It seems that the gifts from teacher to students that do hit the mark are those that have value in the sense of thought, time and individuality, rather than those considered financially valuable.

With this in mind, we take a look at some thoughtful gift ideas.


Is there a child who doesn’t misplace their pens, pencils and notebooks?! With this in mind, many teachers opt to gift stationery items to their students.

As well as party bag fillers such as stationery, adding a personal message for each child is more than worth it when you see the smiles on their faces.

Great for primary school aged children, add a colouring book to encourage a quiet moment during the summer holidays.


Encouraging children to read, to write and to reflect are three essential ingredients in being able to understand our feelings and how to process them.

For older school children, a journal is a great way of encouraging them to reflect on their feelings but also to note down ideas, things that happen and so on.

An affordable gift, a journal for each student with a personalised note from the teacher to student, along with pens for notes and doodles, is an ideal parting gift.


French philosopher Voltaire wasn’t without his critics but he once said let us read and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm in the world.

Reading is an essential skill and one that can transform us from reality to a whole new world of imagination.

But some children view reading with suspicion or are turned off by their ‘slow’ capabilities compared to children who seem to carve through the reading schemes in class.

A handmade bookmark, complete with inspirational quote, their name and a personal message is a great idea to encourage reading. There are shop-bought ones that can be modified or you could make your own with card and a laminator.

Punch a hole in the top and add a coloured ribbon – find out their favourite football and match the colour, for example – and you have a sweet gift your students will love.

Kid-essential summer toys

With summer on the doorstep, you want to encourage your students to do many things. Learning to relax and switch off is one of them

The advent of the digital age means that gaming and social media sharing is top of many children’s agenda but encouraging them to partake in physical activity is something you can do with a kid essential summer toy.

Inexpensive, these gifts can be a great way of encouraging bouts of physical activity. From balls with ideas of games to play to skipping ropes and a set of skittles, a small token of this kind is perfect.

Why not encourage them to meet up during the holidays and explore new games together?

Drinks bottles

In recent months, we have become more aware of the problems with plastic, especially one-use plastic items, such as bottled drinks.

Encouraging ‘the next generation’ to be more environmentally responsible and aware is something many teachers and parents are doing.

As well as being a useful gift, a drinks bottle complete with personalised gift tags reminds them to question the use of plastic and helps them stay cool during the summer heatwave.

Better still, they can use when they return to school in September!

What about sweet treats?

We live in a changing world with shifting attitudes. Healthy discussion is the way to move things forward and so the discussion rumbling in recent years about child obesity in the UK, healthy eating, poor food choices and so on mean that for teachers, school policy dictates no sweets and no cake.

But with cake, for example, still being seen as an integral part of a celebration, would a party bag with a slice of the classroom ‘well done!’ cake really hurt?