Monday, May 30, 2016

10 Awesome End of the Year Gifts and FREE Gift Tags

The final countdown is here. We are down to single digits of days left in the school year. While I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I feel like the these last few days are like dog years, each normal one must be multiplied by seven. So eight days feels a little like fifty-six.

At the end of the year my to do list always balloons until it is a blur of field trips, report cards, cumulative folders, summative evaluation meetings, data collection, data recording, checklists, yearbook signing, paperwork, more paperwork, room cleaning, and dealing with the piles of stuff I put in piles until I had time to deal with them (now or never). I am pretty much ready to lapse into a coma by 7 p.m. Every. Single. Night. 

In the midst of this blinding exhaustion, I also like to get my students a fun end of the year gift. In early May, I start dreaming of personalized acrostic poems for each student, a DVD I-Movie with pictures from our year, or mini-time capsule bursting with memories of all our special events. 

By the time the school year is actually winding to a close and I am so tired that no Starbucks in the world has enough caffeine to keep me awake past my (goal) bedtime of 7 and my gift ideas are scaled WAY down. By the time the last day countdown is in single digits, I am all about getting each student a fun little gift, with an adorable label, that can be assembled in less than 15 minutes, and ideally costs around $20 or less total ($1 or less per student, I am a teacher after all).

I TRY to plan in advance, but there have been years I have stopped at the grocery store on the way to school on the last day and frantically searched for something cute and fun. In an effort avoid the last minute crunch I went on a Dollar Store shopping spree and came up with 10 fun and cheap end of the year gifts. (Click on the pictures to download the gift tags for FREE, because free is AWESOME when your budget is $20 or less...)
  1. Dollar store sunglasses + a gift tag = super cute and PRACTICAL!

  2. Everybody loves Goldfish crackers and you might get bonus points with parents because they are not loaded with sugar!

  3. If your year rocked, Pop Rocks make a fun gift!

  4. A Dollar Store bucket and a cute tag make a super cute gift (and they can use the bucket to carry home any remaining items from their desks!

  5. Nothing screams school like chalk and this super cute tag makes it a fun gift!

  6. A Dollar Store kite (or glider) works well with this gift tag; it is perfect if you are a STEM classroom!

  7. Your students will GLOW with pride when they get this Glow Stick gift!

  8. Students will love a cool popsicle treat!

  9. Let the fun bubble over with this super cute gift!

  10. Nothing says summer like a beach ball!

Clearly, now that I have all these gift tags I will be super organized with my end of the year gifts for the rest of my teaching career. After all, I said it here on the internet, so it MUST be true!

Happy end of the school year!


  1. So many great ideas, thanks for sharing!!! Have a GREAT summer!!!

  2. This makes it very difficult to choose JUST one! :-) Thanks so much Alexis!!

  3. These are awesome Alexis! And nothing beats FREE!!! Thanks for sharing!!