science gifts for middle school

Science Gifts and Prizes for Middle School

Science Gifts and Prizes for Middle School

A lot of teachers in my school use candy as a little holiday gift or a reward to their students, but I steer away from candy as a gift. I have nothing against candy… it’s just that I like to keep things science-y! I also feel that a science-themed gift will be remembered much more than a Jolly Rancher. Science gifts for middle school are unique to my class and add to my goal of showing kids that science is fun.

However, I generally have over 100 students at any given time. And… I have a budget. I’ve found different ways to give my students science-themed Christmas gifts and rewards – but importantly – without spending a lot of money.

These science classroom gifts and rewards are longer-lasting than candy, unique to science class, and fun!

I’ve compiled a list below of some tokens that I’ve used, as well as a few I am excited to try in the future. This list includes a variety of options for a variety of ages.

I hope that you find something to give your students that fits your style, your students’ interests, and your budget!

Science Gifts For Middle School

Snowflake Ornaments: I got this idea from one of my readers, Susan, and I think it’s such a good one! Have students paint their own snowflake ornament. You could even personalize it with a quick “To and From” written in Sharpie. I like this set because it comes with 100 (I have that many students) and also because the designs are all different and unique.

This would be fun to pair with a science lesson on snowflakes! And this activity would pair perfectly with my Snow Fun Facts Article and Questions! Grab it HERE!

Science Stickers: Yes, kids still love stickers! Gone are the days of keeping a sticker book (anyone else remember oil stickers in 1984?), but kids today love to put stickers on their water bottles (you know, the ones clanking on the floor all class long!) and everywhere else. At under a dime each, these are a perfect science gift for students.

science prizes
Science Stickers

Test Tube Candy Holders: I’m not a fan of giving kids candy, but if I did, I would definitely do it like this! An added bonus is that each plastic test tube only fits small candies, so you can buy the candy unwrapped in bulk (think huge bags of Skittles or M&M’s), making the whole thing cheaper.

science gift for students
Test Tube Candy Holders

Themed Pencils: Kids still love different pencils, too. There’s a million to choose from, but space themes are always big with my students! If I were in my anatomy unit, I would consider these writing bones!

Shark Teeth: When you buy shark teeth in bulk (like a pound at a time), they work out to be a very inexpensive token. My students LOVE to sift through them to find just the right one. Personally, I haven’t given shark teeth as a holiday present or a prize, specifically. Instead, I let every student pick one after my fossils quiz. They’re cheap enough that I can give out 100 at a time and not break the bank!

science gifts for middle school
Bulk Shark Teeth

Mystery Geodes: How fun is this idea?! What kid wouldn’t want to smash open a rock to discover crystals inside? Even buying in bulk, these are on the more expensive end of science classroom prizes, but they literally have more bang for your buck – the thrill of the mystery and the keepsake crystals.

science gifts for middle school
Mystery Geodes

Color Your Own Bookmarks: At just about 10 cents each, these bookmarks are a very economical option. They have a space science theme, but are more interesting than a regular bookmark because they have the added fun factor that the students can color them themselves.

science class prizes
Space Bookmarks

Polished Gemstones: I have given away polished gemstones as prizes for many, many years, and they have always been a popular choice. Kids love to search for their favorite. Lately, with the popularity of crystals increasing, these are becoming an even more popular gift with my students. Buying polished gemstones by the pound makes them a reasonably economical choice.

science class rewards
Polished Gemstones

Tornado in a Bottle Connector: These small plastic tubes attach to plastic bottles and allow kids to make a “tornado” in a bottle. Students use the connector (the part you give them) to connect two bottles – one 3/4 full and one empty. When the bottles are then swirled 3-4 times, a vortex appears. Be sure to show them how to use it!

gifts for a science teacher to give
Tornado in a Bottle Connector

Bug Viewing Boxes: These are great because they satisfy kids’ natural curiosity. And they aren’t limited to bugs. Kids can also use these boxes to look at anything from coins to small rocks to food.

science gifts for kids in bulk
Bug Viewing Boxes

Galaxy Slime: Slime did have its heyday about 6 years ago, but if you think back before that, Silly Putty has been a thing since 1950! So, squishy, weird, tactile stuff will always be a hit with kids.

science gift for kids
Galaxy Slime

Sun Paper: This is a fabulous option for students who love art. When an object is placed on sun paper and then put in the sun, the paper turns blue everywhere except where the object is. The prints really are beautiful. Please note that when you buy sun paper in bulk, they come in one package that protects them from light. You would need to put a few in an envelope to make one prize or gift per student.

what to give your science students for christmas
Sun Paper

Science Tattoos: This is a VERY economical idea! At just 10 cents each, you could spend about $10 for 100 kids. Yes, you may get some side-eye from other teachers. (But when has that stopped you before?!) The designs are pretty clever, too.

Bonus Ideas

The following are gifts and prizes that would be fun in a science classroom, but aren’t entirely science-y.

Mini Rubik’s Cubes and Snake Puzzles: OK, so maybe they aren’t totally science-y, but Rubik’s cubes are still as addicting as when they were first introduced decades ago. These serve as both a brain-teaser and a fidget gadget. They’re just… fun!

Wire Puzzle Toys: At more than 50 cents each, these are on the more expensive side of the student gift spectrum, but they are probably also the most long-lasting. These brain teasers are wire pieces that are twisted together. To unlock them, you need to maneuver the pieces until they are separated. These are fun because they’re all different. So, after a student has figured out their own puzzle, they can trade with classmates and try new puzzles.

science gifts for middle school
Wire Puzzle Toys

6-Color Pens: This one isn’t science-themed at all, but my 7th grader niece told me that no science gifts for middle school list would be complete without them! These pens have 6 colors each. Enough said.

what to give your science students for christmas
6-Color Pens (Pack of 48)

More Holiday Fun

You may also be interested in my blog post about a fun holiday game you can play in class this winter season!

And if you are looking for higher-end science gifts, like those you might give to just one student or to a science teacher, check out my blog on science gifts for adults HERE.

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