It is a dilemma we teachers have every single year. What do we purchase our students for Christmas (that we can afford)? I have searched around for some of the best ideas from some amazing teachers. Here are some fabulous ideas!
1. $1.00 Books from Scholastic
Every month Scholastic offers a dollar deal in their flyer. Order several every month and you will have a great assortment by the time Christmas rolls around or just order all the same books for the whole class. You can also use your Bonus Points toward the books.
2. Scholastic $5 Book Coupons
I actually make a purchase of Scholastic $5 Book Coupons at the beginning of the school year and even though the coupons state that they are Birthday Coupons, I use them to purchase my student's Christmas books. Why? It costs me $34 to purchase 32 coupons, so each coupon basically costs $1.00, but I am able to purchase $5 books with each coupon! With my upfront purchase of $34, I can buy $160 worth of books. Mad Libs is always a fun activity at the party.
3. Coloring books and crayons
You can pick up some amazing coloring books for $1.00 or less at stores like Dollar Tree and if you purchase crayons at Back to School time, you can get some pretty amazing deals. You could also create your own coloring book and staple it together. There are 3 cute (and free) coloring sheets available on ClassDojo. Just scroll down to the Classroom Decoration Pack available on the ClassDojo Resources page and download for free.
4. Snowman Soup
Assemble items for Snowman Soup! It's like a mini hot chocolate kit for kids!
Print some free editable homework passes and give each child a candy cane!
6. Personalized Bookmarks
Print and laminate bookmarks for your students. Here is a printable bookmark freebie for you. You can edit the to and from section!
7. Pack of Gum with a Gum Pass
Gum has been banned from school since the beginning of time, so allowing your students to chew the gum you bought them during class time is almost downright scandalous! Telling them, "Don't tell the principal!" makes it that much more fun. Download the free printable and editable gum pass here.
8. Make an ornament
Purchase supplies for your class as a present and enjoy an afternoon of art with your students. You could make a Snowman Handprint Ornament.
9. Build a gingerbread house
Purchase graham crackers, white icing, mini candy canes, gum drops, colored chocolate chips (yes, there is such a thing), m&m's or Skittles, and other small candies. Let the students construct gingerbread houses with the supplies. Turn on some Christmas music and display a fireplace or Christmas tree on the projector. Have a fun afternoon together!
10. Plan a special day
Pajama day, Grinch Day, North Pole Express Day, Game Day, Frozen Theme or visit the arctic. Make it a day to look forward to and give the gift of fun!
11. Personalized Pencils
Purchase Personalized Pencils for each of your students with their own name. They receive 3 pencils in a pouch for less than a $1.00 per student. Bonus! When your students lose their pencils, you will know who it belongs to. Win-Win!
12. Fun pair of gloves or socks
You can find lots of fun and silly Christmas themed socks for $1 at stores like Dollar Tree this time of the year. $1 gloves would also make a great gift! Both of these are fun and yet practical because many of our students are in need of these items.
13. Filled Stocking
Dollar Tree always has $1 stockings available and I have also seen the mini-stockings for less than 50 cents each. You can fill them with wrapped candies, stickers, candy canes, bookmarks, a hot chocolate package, a homework pass or classroom coupon.
14. Personalized Ornament
Purchase plastic ornaments and a metallic sharpie marker. Write the student's name, grade, and year on the ornament and of course who it is from.
15. A donation in their name to a charity
Make a donation in honor of your students. Print out a certificate stating where the donation was made to and put each student's name on the certificate. St. Jude's is one great cause you could donate to.