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  • Writer's pictureAndroy Bruney

10 Budget-Friendly Back-to-School Gift Ideas for Your Students

Back-to-school season is an exciting time for students and teachers alike. For teachers, it's a chance to welcome a new group of students and set the tone for the school year.

One way to make students feel special and appreciated right from the start is by giving them a small gift or token. But, as any teacher knows, budget is always a concern. That's why we've compiled a list of 10 budget-friendly back-to-school gift ideas and tokens for students .

These items are practical, fun, and sure to bring a smile to your students' faces.

Student gift tags for back to school season

Get the Back-To-School Student Gift Tag Bundle of over 50 Gift Tag Options.

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1. Inspirational Quotes Cards

Why It's a Great Choice: Everyone could use a little motivation now and then. Inspirational quotes cards are a great way to encourage students and start their day on a positive note. These inexpensive cards can be placed in lockers, on desks, or in binders as a constant reminder of their potential.

Create Your Own Motivational Keychains

You can create your own Motivational Quote Keychains as a inexpensive back to school gift for students. All you will need are a few simple items.

motivational quote cards for student inspiration for back to school season

  • My pack of 35 Motivational Quote cards: these are printable cards from my TPT store featuring quotes from various figures in society. Each student will receive a simple design and a unique quote.

  • Card Stock: print your cards on card stock to make them more durable and sturdy and for a more professional finish.

card stock

After printing and laminating your cards, use a whole punch to punch a hole in the top left corner and attach a key chain clip to your cards.

These are excellent and in expensive gifts that can be paired with other items from this list.

motivational key chain for back to school

2. Custom Notebooks or Binders

Why It's a Great Choice: Notebooks are essential for any student, and having a custom one can make note-taking a bit more exciting. Custom notebooks can be personalized with students' names, inspirational quotes, or fun designs. This need not be expensive. You can make your own custom notebooks for your students at home.

customizable notebook covers

Set Up Your Custom Notebooks

All you need are hard covered notebooks or composition notebooks, or you can even use these three ring binders .

Start with an 8.5 x 11" page in PowerPoint, Google Slides or Canva and create your design. Add student names, your name or any design you wish. You can then print these out and attach them using glue to your notebooks.

If you want to save some time you can purchase my pack of 6 back to school Customizable notebook covers. This pack has 6 designs (8.5 x 11") that can. be cuztomized in both PowerPoint and Google Slides. They can be used as interactive notebook covers, for student binders or folders.

customizable notebook covers for back to school

This personal touch can motivate students to use their notebooks more regularly.

  • Get the 17 pack of Composition Notebooks here.

  • Get the Pack of three ring binders here

  • Get My pack of back to school Notebook Covers here.

3. Fun Erasers

Why It's a Great Choice: Erasers are a school staple, but they don’t have to be boring. Fun-shaped erasers come in a variety of designs, from animals to food items, making them both practical and enjoyable. They can add a bit of whimsy to a student’s pencil case.

Here are a few of my favorite picks:

Your students will love these cute little animal erasers to add to their pencil cases.

back to school erasers

Get them here.

Add two or three to a clear plastic cellophane bag with two pencils and tie with some ribbon. Add the You're a star treat tag from my Student gift tag bundle and you're good to go!

Back to school star shaped erasers with you're a star gift tag

4. Colorful Pens or Pencils

Why It's a Great Choice: Writing tools are essential for students, but colorful pens and pencils can make writing tasks a bit more fun. These vibrant supplies can be used for note-taking, drawing, or even organizing notes by color, which can be especially helpful for visual learners.

6 in 1 ball pont pens as back to school. gift

These 6-in-1 ballpoint pens are a hit in any classroom and offer great value for your money.

Get the pack of 36 multicoloured pens here.

Pair them off with a pack of Sticky Notes or a Mini Notepad and personalize with "You're a Noteworthy Student", "Let's Start the Year of Write" or "You make Learning colorful " gift tags from the Gift Tags pack.

6 in 1 ball point pen as back to school gift


Why It's a Great Choice: For students who love to read, bookmarks are a practical gift. They help keep their place in their books and can also be a fun way to encourage more reading. Bookmarks come in a variety of designs, from inspirational quotes to favorite characters.

ce bookmarks as a back to school gift

Or these back to School Color Your own book marks which can make a fun activity for younger students during the first week of school.

color your own book marks

6. Snack Packs

Why It's a Great Choice: A small pack of healthy snacks can be a delightful surprise for students. It’s a practical gift that shows you care about their well-being.

Snack packs can be a great pick-me-up during a long school day and can help keep students' energy levels up.

healthy snack care package

You can get a pack of 50 here, offering a variety of options. However, if you prefer all your students to have the same choices , here are a few suggestions.


Popcorn makes an excellent back-to-school gift because it's a fun, tasty, and universally loved snack that can be customized to suit various tastes with flavors like buttered, caramel, and cheese. It's also a healthier option, being a low-calorie, high-fiber whole grain, and is easy to package, personalize, and transport.

corn as a back to school gift

If you prefer to pop your own corn at home (the healthier option) these can be added to food grade cellophane bags with a bit of ribbon and a gift tag for a personalized touch.

Try Mott's Assorted fruit snack family pack of 40 and wish students a "fruitful" school year.

motts family size assorted fruit snacks

Mott's Assorted Fruit Packs are a standout choice due to their trusted brand reputation, use of real fruit juice and natural flavors, and essential vitamins, particularly Vitamin C.

They offer a variety of flavors that appeal to kids, come in convenient individually packaged portions, and are often gluten-free and free from common allergens. These attributes make them a healthier, snack option that parents can trust.

Here's to a fruitful school year student gift for back to school

Mints or minty gum

Brach Soft peppermint candy is a great back-to-school gift for students. The candies are usually individually wrapped, making them easy to distribute and hygienic.

They have a long shelf life and are portable, offering a convenient treat that can be enjoyed anytime. Additionally, most peppermint candies are free from common allergens, making them a safe choice for students with dietary restrictions, and their classic taste has universal appeal, ensuring they will be well-received.

mints as a back to school gift


7. Stress Relief Toys

Why It's a Great Choice: School can be stressful, and having a small stress relief toy like a stress ball can help students manage their anxiety. These toys are discreet and can be used during tests or other stressful situations to help students stay calm.

pop it key chain toy

stress ball as a back to school gift

8. Refrigerator Magnets

Why It's a Great Choice: Fun refrigerator magnets can be used to decorate lockers or home refrigerators. They can hold up important notes or simply serve as a fun decoration. Students can express their personality with different magnet designs.

Get the variety pack of inspirational refrigerator magnets here.

Refrigerator magnets as a back to school gift

Check these out here.

Refrigerator magnets as a back to school gift

9. Plant Seeds

Pair your plant magnets with some plant seeds if you’re feeling extra. You can try the Flower Starter Kits and start a mini garden in your classroom, where each child is responsible for their own plant.

This teaches responsibility, patience, and the basics of plant care, while fostering a sense of achievement and teamwork as students watch their plants grow.

plant seeds as a back to school gift

Get the assorted pack of 12 starter kits here.

10. Hand Sanitizers

Why It's a Great Choice: Hand sanitizers are a practical gift, especially in the current health climate. Small bottles of hand sanitizer are easy to carry and use, helping students stay healthy by keeping their hands clean throughout the day.

Try the Purell Variety Pack of 8. I love these becasue they come with the wrap carriers so students can easily attach these to their back packs.

hand sanitizer as a back to school gift

You can also try these lemon scented soaps. Add them to organza bags with a cute little gift tag.

lemon soap as a back to school gift


Choosing a gift or token for your students doesn’t have to break the bank. These 10 budget-friendly options are not only affordable but also practical and thoughtful.

By giving your students a small token of appreciation, you can help set a positive tone for the school year, showing them that you care and are excited to have them in your class. Whether it’s a personalized keychain, or a fun eraser, these gifts can make a big difference in making your students feel welcome and valued.

So, as you prepare for the upcoming school year, consider adding one (or more) of these budget-friendly gifts to your back-to-school plans. Your students are sure to appreciate the gesture, and it’s a great way to start the year on a positive note. Happy teaching!

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