An affordable, non-candy, Christmas gift idea for kids at school.

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My daughter’s school has a strict no candy gift policy. Which means no candy may be passed out at class parties, added to goodie bags or even brought to school.

They’re also very picky about adding snacks in treat bags or passing them out especially if a classroom has even one child with a food allergy. So we’ve had to improvise each year with our take-home treat ideas.

Most often than not, we brainstorm while walking down Dollar Tree‘s aisles. Their offerings change each season, making our task so much easier.

Since my daughter’s classmates are always stocking up on pencils for their assignments, this gift idea will be perfect!

An affordable, non-candy, Christmas gift idea for kids at school.-Mommy Snippets

 An affordable, non-candy, Christmas gift idea for kids at school.

I picked up 2 packs of Christmas pencils, 1 pack of glittered Gingerbread men foam based cutouts and 1 pack of Christmas erasers from the dollar store for a total out of pocket cost of less than $5! 

You will also need a pair of scissors and glue dots or a hot glue gun to stick on the erasers

Affordable Christmas Gift Idea for Classroom (1)Not only is this easy for a tween to handle independently but it’s also a practical take-home that looks adorable, festive and fun!

To make the Gingerbread Men pencil holders, you will first need to cut small slits close to the arms, ensuring the slits aren’t cut too long. The easy way to do this is to lightly fold the Gingerbread Man in half and cut a 1/2 cm slit with your scissors.

You can make the slits wide apart or close together. Just make sure you leave space to stick the “buttons” on.

Affordable Christmas Gift Idea for Classroom (3)

Now slide the pencil through the slit and turn your focus on those “buttons”.

Take 2 similar designed erasers (We used blue snowflakes for the boys and candy cake ones for the girls) and stick them on with Glue Dots or a hot glue gun to ensure it sticks. (The glitter on the Gingerbread Men makes it a little hard to stick on. Hence the use of Glue Dots or a glue gun)

Affordable Christmas Gift Idea for Classroom (6)

I love that I didn’t need to help my 8 year old make her class gifts this year and that I didn’t have to spend much to have her go to school with a cute Christmas goody for her buddies!


Do your kids give Christmas gifts to classmates? What do you like to give?


  1. This is such a great idea, maybe even you could use a candy cane instead of a pencil, very cute how you used the erasers.

    1. That’s a great idea! I may do that for my son’s preschool as they’re allowed to take candy

  2. Our kids do a card exchange, but they are not allowed to bring in gifts. Or food of any kind.

  3. I think it is a good idea that the school has a strict policy on food. My grandson’s school does not, and candy treats (of course wrapped and sealed) seem to be the order of the day. I am going to forward this idea, which actually is more cost effective, allows her child to help, and won’t be consumed instantly. Thanks for the post.

  4. My daughter does give gifts. She likes to give coloring books with sticker sheets, it’s because its what she likes to receive.

  5. The holidays always are full of sweets – what a great idea to break from tradition. My kid isn’t old enough for school yet, but when he is, non-candy gifts will be a must!

  6. Such a fun idea and you can make so much for so little from a dollar store. I like sending things like this too, they get enough candy and treats!

  7. that is such a creative gift, i love it. i would have never thought to do this at all. will be passing this along.

  8. It has been a few years since my kids were young enough to have a class party. We were always able to send baked goods. I really like this idea. It is so cute and simple to make.

  9. We always do gifts for glass every year. Sometimes we buy things bust most often we give crafts. It’s a lot more meaningful.

  10. These are seriously cute! I like that they are good for everyone (no allergy issues here!) and all kids would like them.

  11. What a cute idea! We made the treat/baked good for the party as there is only 1 allowed and the other snacks are all healthy. For the gifts for teachers and the gift exchange, we did homemade. Each teacher got a special snow globe we made from little charms and baby food jars. My son and I made a piggy bank from a mason jar for his boy exchange and my daughter and I made a super cute bag from a travel pillow case. It was affordable, fun and everyone loved their gifts!

  12. I love this idea!! I had custom pencils made last year for my daughter’s classes and we love to give out little gifts like this. They last longer than candy and the kids get better use out of non-candy gifts! I love how you did them with gingerbread men cards!

  13. Wow, I love this idea so much! My girls go through so many pencils so this is wonderful!

  14. Thats an adorable craft plus they get a pencil! I know there are such nice pencils out there especially Christmas themed ones. I bet you could sttock up when they are on sale.

  15. This is a very cute yet useful idea of a treat of The kids at school. You are very creative. I admire the school for it’s no candy policy.

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