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Back to School Gift for Students to Bring Home to Their Families

Every year I would struggle to come up with an idea for back to school gifts that my students could make for their families or that I could gift to them. Some of the obstacles I faced included time, cost, and level of difficulty. Many of my students came from non-traditional homes, so they would need to produce more than one gift. It quickly adds up! This need is what birthed the Family Dinner Conversations Craft Project. It is one of my favorite teaching resources of all time and something I cherish using in my own house with my three children as it really helps us stay connected when life gets busy. Learn all about this popular back to school gift for students below!

back to school gift ideas

Back to School Gift for Students

My favorite back to school gift for students is this Family Dinner Conversations Project. Learn more about what it is, what it includes, why teachers love it, and tips for using it in your classroom.

back to school gifts for students and their families
back to school gifts for students and their families

What is the Family Dinner Conversations Resource?

The Family Dinner Conversations Resource is a fun and engaging craft project that brings students’ families closer together. Students decorate a short Pringles can or another type of container (jar, can, paper bag, mason jar, etc) to house discussion prompts that they can write or type, or use pre-made ones. When students bring it home, they can pass it around the dinner table to help facilitate thoughtful discussions among their family. It quickly becomes something your students and their families treasure!

This resource includes:

  • teacher guide that walks you step-by-step through how to implement this resource in your classroom
  • letter to families asking for donations for the project (Pringles can, gift wrap, etc.)
  • informational letter to families explaining how to use the gift
  • container labels including lid cover labels and cylinder labels
  • 20 question cards that come in multiple card template options as well as a blank template where students can write their own questions
  • additional resource extensions to use for special events and holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, end of the year, back to school, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more)
  • digital versions of the resources so students can create the activity at home or in school
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Why Teachers Love This Back to School Gift for Students

Elementary teachers love this back to school gift because it…

Saves Time

As teachers, we know we have a lot to cram into each day. While I fully support taking time from “academics” to fit in extra activities that your students will remember most, it is unfortunately not always possible to do so. This project is a quick and easy way to welcome students and their families back to school!

Minimizes Cost

I had taken on projects with students in prior years that ended up costing me more money than I had originally anticipated. When you have 20-30 students, it quickly adds up. You can use this project year after year even if you switch grade levels.

Small Level of Difficulty

Even before Pinterest, I took on projects that seemed simple, but, in reality, left me pulling my (glitter-sprinkled) hair out. This project is quick and easy and doesn’t require a lot of teacher-support.

Easy for Students to Reproduce

Many of my students came from non-traditional homes. As a result, they needed to produce more than one gift so they could give something to their parents and/or guardians. This project is simple so it’s easy for students to create more than one if needed.

Meets Diverse Needs

This resource comes with many different options (e.g. differentiated writing paper) so all of your students can participate in the learning experience no matter their writing ability.

back to school gifts for students and their families
back to school gifts for students and their families

3 Tips for How to Use this Resource in Your Classroom

Below are 3 tips for how to use this resource in your elementary classroom.

1. Make a Packet

I found it best to make copies and staple them together into packets for each student. This was helpful because it kept all the pages organized until it was time to cut them out.

2. Think about What Would Work Best for Your Students

You can have your students work on this project as time allows, or have them sit and do it in one session. Think about what would work best for your group of students.

3. Request Donations

This resource includes a donation request letter that you can send home to your students’ families. It makes it quick and easy to get a collection of containers, bows, wrapping paper, and ribbons.

back to school gifts for students and their families
back to school gifts for students and their families

Related Back to School Activities

Below are some other popular back to school activities you might be interested in.

back to school activity packet back to school color by code activity back to school would you rather activities
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back to school activities back to school book companion bundle back to school reading comprehension activities
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Back to School Read Alouds

Below are some popular read alouds for back to school that you might find pair well.

You're Finally Here book cover The Day You Begin book cover The Kissing Hand book cover School's First Day of School book cover First Day Jitters book cover
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The World Needs More Purple Schools book cover Our Class is a Family book cover All are Welcome book cover A Tiger Tail book cover Llama Llama Misses Mama book cover
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In closing, we hope you found this post about our popular welcome back to school activities helpful. If you did, then you may also be interested in these other posts:

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