For Your Classroom · Review

Cheap Rewards for High School Students: Motivation on a Budget

High school and middle school students can be a challenging age group to motivate and reward. It can be difficult to find prizes that will appeal to them, and even more challenging to find ones that are affordable. However, it is important to remember that rewards don’t have to be expensive to be effective. In fact, cheap rewards can be just as motivating for teens as more costly ones.

I had lots of fun searching Amazon for packs of affordable prize items you can give to your students. Here are some ideas I found. The pictures are linked to what’s currently available.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this blog are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or are certain will add value to my readers. Thank you for supporting my blog!

As always, you know your classroom culture best. Some of these ideas would be hits and some might be duds, depending on your students. Try out the ones that you think would be best received. 


Cheap rewards for older students (around $1 or under):

Fun socks

Kooky pencil sharpeners

Unique bookmarks

Sensory stickers

Decorative locker magnets

Mini notebooks

Silly sticky toys

Colored pens

Goofy tchotchkes

Colorful keychains

Stylish bracelets

cheap rewards for teens

Fidget items

Collectible stickers

Funky erasers

Funny pencils

Slime or Play-doh

What’s even better than cheap rewards? Free rewards, of course. Here’s a few free prize ideas that your middle school or high school students might enjoy working towards.

Free rewards for older students:

A shout-out on the school’s social media

A free period for homework or studying

Field trip opportunity

Design a project or activity for the class

Pick the teacher’s outfit for a day

Bring a blanket or snack to class

Of course now you’re going to need some awesome review games to go with these fun prizes for your high school students. Drop your email below and I’ll send you my free e-book packed with review games!


Ultimately, the key to cheap rewards is creativity. With a little bit of thought, it’s possible to find rewards that are both appealing and budget-friendly.

So next time you’re looking for ways to motivate your high school students, don’t think that you need to break the bank to do it. Cheap rewards can be just as effective as more expensive ones.

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