Your favorite End of the Year Gift Ideas

The Question:
What do other K teachers send home at the end of the year as a ‘gift’ or do they not send any thing? Also, are there any good memory book ideas that do not involve collecting and printing out photos and things from earlier in the year?
The Answers: 
Amanda Rahe Thompson
I do a penny and a kiss!! An idea from Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the Last Day of Kindergarten
“Here’s a little gift for you
A penny and a Kiss.
The penny for success to come
The Kiss that you’ll be missed.”
Jennifer Thompson
I do the penny and a kiss also.. I have also done a memory video for my class after collecting pictures from the whole year..
Heidi Harper-Wamser
I do a handprint a month scrapbook with a few academic milestones thrown in. And I do a dvd collection of pictures throughout the year. We watched that on the last day of school…..they loved it! I put the video to Let Them Be Little.
Pam Marret Riley
I do a memory scrapbook with pictures and special art projects from each month. We also do a video.
Rebecca Waters 
Last year when I taught Kindergarten we gave beach balls with a tag attached that said, “We bad a ball in Kindergarten.” I looped to first with that class and this year I gave them a water bottle and attached a pack of Kool Aid and a crazy straw with a tag that said, Have a Krazy Kool summer.”
Carol Welte Spillman
 A memory book without photographs might include an autograph page, a self portrait, a picture they drew of you, a pic of their favorite school lunch, favorite thing to do at recess, a handwriting sample, a writing sample, etc…
Stefanie Lehner
 I send a picture of the whole class on a thank you card that says, “have a good summer”, from Walmart. $12.
Diane Henderson
I have a Memory book that is also a writing prompt as the students fill in the simple sentences with their own thoughts. My best friend was, my favorite subject was, the thing I’ll miss the most is etc. Includes an autograph page. The template is copy ready and free:
I also have candy wrappers for “Owl miss you” if you want to give them a candy bar + bookmarks, certificates and other gift ideas at this link. Just scroll down & click on what suits you. They also enjoyed the book that I gave them. (Collected with points from Scholastic.)
Cheri Dodson Smith
I send home their journal, and a self portrait that they paint using egg tempera paint….I frame the self portrait in black frames from the dollar store…always a big hit…I do save an art project a month with our favorite poems/songs/themes however, and those go home too and it includes a photo from the first week of school.
Kelli Smith 
I did wooden frames ($1 at ac moore) and printed pictures of them and me- I took a picture with each child. I also put on paper their handprint and then did my handprint (if they spread their fingers, it looks like you’re holding hands) and laminated them- on the back I put a poem I wrote about how I’ll always be there for them ad holding their hand. Finally, I copied on the copy machine a while class picture that all the kids signed.
Diane Senk
 I made an “All I Learned in Kdg.” book – print it free from my blog – I bought Dollar Store maracas and shakers for our end of the year celebration – and the kids took them home.
Alana Heller
 I send pen pal packs home. I got permission from parents to include their address and put the addresses, a poem, stationary, pencil and envelopes in a cloth bag for each student. It only cost about 50 cents/student and is neat to get a letter from them during the summer.
 For a memory book, I do a writing activity where they can write or draw their favorite things from the year (field trip, game, book, something they learned). Then I put a picture of the student on their paper and have them all copied so each student has a book with all their friends’ papers and pictures. I give them out the last day and they enjoy having their friends sign it.
Sylvia Lusk Harwell
 This year we did a lot of work with the globe, continents, the world… and so I gave them inflatable globe/beach balls. 🙂
Laurie Small Pappenfuss
We make a DVD at our school.
Keri Smith Thomas
I buy pails (usually when they are on clearance during the fall- at our local dollar general around September summer stuff is 90% off so I pay a dime each!!) I fill it with fun things for the summer- pool toys (also on clearance), sidewalk chalk, bubbles, stickers, candy, etc. The parents always chip in with fun things too to add. This year they were overflowing! We do something similar with Christmas stockings in December.
Kim ‘Dutcher’ Bebble
Jeffco schools has a great memory book in there list of kindergarten themes. Go to May and scroll to the bottom. I’m using it this year and it is adorable.
Michelle Haederer-Zurick
I do a little bag that has a sticker on it that says “Have a fun and safe summer! Blow bubbles, eat fun food, discover something new and write about it all!”. I then put a little bubbles, a small magnifying glass, some gummy snack and a pencil in the bag! I also use my bonus points and get each child a book “I Knew you Could”. Everything is mostly from the dollar store. I also have parents send in a cd if they want pictures from the year!
Brenda Smith Browning
Memory book which includes something for each month of the year (picture printed for each month, but not always in color); handwriting sample from beginning and end of the year; sketch from what the child thinks he/she looks like at the beginning (I put these away) and then repeat again in May to include along with any newspaper article copies that feature my kinders; a letter to the parents and anything else that I feel the families will value.
Lisa Garbin Cornack
 Make up a small goody bag of summer fun: bubbles, funny sunglasses, crazy straws, pixie sticks, glo sticks…what ever fun stuff I can gather at the dollar store:) Our fairies leave the penny and a kiss. As to end of year book…Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Look Who Used to be in Our Room. Each child at end of this year draws a pic of him/herself and writes and illustrates about his/her favorite thing from the year. Compile into a book for this year’s children to take home but original remains to be read to next year’s class.
Dale Blaess 
I have for the past 14 years sent home a memory book of photos throughout the year. This year I’m going to send home a CD of all their photos to music. It will be less expensive and they’ll have a copy of all the photos. I asked a few of my returning parents how they felt about it and they liked it.
Ritta Halasz Yar 
Last year I bought an empty disc for my camera and I started the first day of school in front of the classroom taking pictures; I continued throughout the year. Every event, special occassion, reading celebration, holiday, birthday, etc. the last picture I have is graduation practce. I download a disc for each student; put it in a cd/dvd jacket with a class picture on the cover and give to the families as a graduation gift. (No more year end photo copy albums.) Less work… I make envelopes out of construction paper and send home summer work, old work, their Diploma, and a small Dollar store gift from me. Off they go…ecstatic! Everyone is happy…:)
Erin Ebeck 
I do a beach ball with all of the kid’s signatures. I buy cheap beach balls at the $ store or oriental trading and all of the kids write their name in permanent marker on their classmates beach balls. The permanent marker doesn’t come off so they can take it to the pool and play with their friends all summer. I also make a movie of pictures I took throughout the year and put it on a CD for each of the kids.
Lisa Winstanley 
My gift to my students is a pillowcase with each child’s hand print on it. We take a group picture usually on the playground.I use one of the ironon transfers with the picture and poem. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I count my friends instead of sheep and remember my time in Kindergarten at (name of school and the year)”. This year a parent suggested that I put my name before the word kindergarten. I had several parents really like that idea.
Doedee Vann 
The penny and a kiss is from Miss Bindergarten gets ready for the last day of kindergarten….I do this, too!
Margaret Wilkins 
I give the parents and kids a frame with two or three pictures in it. I also give them a little graduation toy.I get them from Oriental Trading.  I also make a dvd that I show at graduation.
Janet Harris 
I sent the book “I knew you could”. Got them for .99 cents at Scholastic (used my points). Put one of the pictures I took of them inside the cover with a little note of how I know they can do anything and how proud I am of each one. Read it to them today and started crying by the third page.
Janice Barge Yackovich 
Stopped making Memory Books when class size went up to 33 kids. Now I make them a DVD of pictures I’ve taken throughout the year. The music on it are fave songs of the year. For example, February slides are played with Four Hugs a Day.
Jeanette Smith Dobbs 
Janice, so you don’t save their work to put into a collection for Open House? Do you just send work home immediately or when it comes off the wall. Hmmmm. I’ll think about this one. Sounds like less work.
Shannon Anaya Magana 
I send a pail and shovel with tissue and a beach ball inside and my tags say “Have a Ball this summer!”
Erin Harkin
 I send a sand bucket with a summer journal I make, a book, box of crayons, pencil, and a magnet that I make of a class group shot that I print in thumbnail size on card stock, laminate, and put a magnet on the back.
Janice Barge Yackovich 
Jeantte, I used to make elaborate Memory Books, but I found with 30+ students, it took too much time and $ away from my family. I do make an Art Portfolio which has different art projects we’ve done throughout the year. I also do a handprint book. It has one handprint per month on 9″ x 12″ construction paper, poem and student writing about the handprint. I am going to so a modified version for TK. Remind me to bring it to one of our meetings.

6 thoughts on “Your favorite End of the Year Gift Ideas

  1. I print off a little poem along with a photo of them on a bookmark. Laminate it and give it to them with a book.

  2. I have the children make compliment books for each other. For the last month or so of school, we pick one child to write about. Each child writes and draws a picture about things they like and or have done with that particular child. I bind the books together and give them out at graduation.
    I also try to buy a book for each child as part of their graduation gift. This year we got The Night Before First Grade.

  3. I did something different this year. I took a photograph of each child against a brick wall and then had them tell me all the things they loved. Then in Photoshop Elements I wrote all the things they loved into the photograph and printed them at an online website. They were a smash, parents loved them and even asked for more copies for family members. They turned out really cute 🙂

  4. My class is known as The Monkeys, so for a year end gift, I buy tshirts and paint a simple monkey face on the front. They seem to get a kick out of them. I still see those monkey faces on kids I had years ago!

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