Easy and Educational student gifts. And a fun way to give them out! :)

by becky on December 15, 2011

realize that this post is on Wednesday of what is for many the last week you have of school. Hopefully, if you like my idea you can save it for next year. So, the question is, what do you get your students for Christmas? In years past, I have ordered a class set of $1 Scholastic books from the book orders, but this year, none of the titles jumped out at me. Well, except for the $1 copies of Wayside School is Falling Down. But, I bought a class set of those (with bonus points, of course) to actually use as a read aloud. So, the question on my mind last weekend was, “What am I going to do now?” After much ProTeacher surfing, I decided that this year, my Goobers will be getting a fun and educational holiday gift. They will be getting their own pack of playing cards, and an instruction book with directions for 6 different games. Online youΒ can find TONS of card game ideas that relate to pretty much any math concept. I decided that I would do only 6 because then it wouldn’t be too daunting and because then I might not use up my ENTIRE color cartridge ;-). It was VERY inexpensive and easy to make. I got the cards (2 packs in one box) from the Dollar Tree, and I printed the instructions on card stock and asked my school’s lovely lunch room aide’s if they would bind the instructions together. All together for a class of 24 students, I spent around 18 dollars. (I’m counting the cost of ink AND extra pencils and candy I’m giving each student.) Final product:

And, here is what a direction page looks like:

Click on the picture above or {here} to download your own copy of the directions from Google Docs. πŸ™‚

Another idea I want to share tonight is how the students actually receive their gifts from me. I have the whole class sit in a circle in the middle of the classroom and then I read the following poem.



As they sit in the circle, they pass their gifts (all wrapped the same) to the right, then the left… depending on what I say in the poem. They LOVE it and it’s a fun way to make them pay attention! πŸ™‚

If you want a copy of the poem (and for the record, I did NOT create this poem.Β I found a version online and recreated it for my class. Click here to download a free copy from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. πŸ™‚


That’s all I have for tonight, but I CANNOT wait to share my class’s ADORABLE and super creative reindeer stories they have been working on this week. I can’t get enough! Have a great night everyone!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Kymberly Chamblee December 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I love this idea and would love to use it next year! However, I can’t get the image for the games to load. It says error. Is there any way you can email it to me? Thanks for the idea!



becky December 18, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Hi Kym! Thanks for letting me know… I reloaded it. It *should* work now. Let me know if you are still having problems downloading! πŸ™‚


Melanie Stapler December 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I love the card game and plan to give it to my students as an end of year gift. Maybe they’ll keep up their Math skills over the Summer of 2012. πŸ™‚ Thanks bunches~

Stapler’s Strategies for Sizzlin’ Second Graders!


becky December 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I’m so glad you can use them! My kids were pretty excited about them! Have a happy holiday! πŸ™‚


Bev January 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Great ideas!! I wish I had thought to do this for my kids for Christmas, but I like the idea of giving them the book for an end of the year gift! Hopefully it would keep them doing some Math over the summer!


Sandy December 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Love your site. I also give math games for Christmas. I just downloaded your ideas, you had some I didn’t.



becky December 23, 2011 at 12:36 am

Thanks, Sandy! I’ll have to check yours out! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚


Dianne December 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I’m a new follower thanks to Mary at Guided Math. Your stuff is fantastic and I really appreciate your willingness to share with all of us. Merry Christmas!
Hopelessly Devoted to Teaching


becky December 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm

You are very welcome! I’m so glad you can use them!


Sharon December 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Hello! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing!

I’d like to add a few games and was wondering what fonts you used – once I get them finished I’ll share them with you (of course!)

Thank you!


becky December 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Really? That is awesome! For the headings I used Elephants in Cherry Trees (Kevin and Amanda’s free fonts) and for the directions I used doodle tipsy. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got it from. Lettering delights, mabye? πŸ™‚


Lauren December 29, 2011 at 1:44 am

Thank you so much for sharing Becky! I just came across your blog today and love it! I already ran out and got some playing cards.

btw, I saw a very familiar face on your ELF board, and you’re a very lucky teacher to have him as your building leader!


becky January 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Hi Lauren! I’m so glad you like the card game ideas. My kids loved it. πŸ™‚ And, what a flippin small world. You are correct–we are VERY lucky to have him. He’s a breath of fresh air this year! Happy New Year! πŸ™‚


Cindi November 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I absolutley love your math card games Christmas gift!!! I usually give a book from our book club, but this year I am definitely going to give the math card games. Thanks so much for sharing. πŸ™‚


MAdkins December 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Thank you for the wonderful Christmas idea for my students! Like you, I usually buy them a book from Scholastic, but I didn’t like any of the choices this year… The playing cards are a great idea. Thanks again!!


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