Here you will find 50 absolutely free student rewards and incentives to use with individual students or with the entire class.
As a teacher, you understand the importance of positive reinforcement in your classroom, and one way of doing so is by using free incentives.
When you want to reward students for positive behavior, costs can add up quickly.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have free student rewards as part of your class rewards collection.
These free class rewards for students cost absolutely nothing!
50 Absolutely Free Student Rewards
The following 50 rewards are absolutely free, and students will love them! They can be used as individual rewards for students or as whole group rewards.
Sit At the Teacher’s Desk.
Allow the student to sit at the teacher’s desk for a day or other specified amount of time.
Give students a fun puzzle to complete.
For a whole class reward, divide students into two teams, and do a 1,000 puzzle-piece challenge to see which team finishes the fastest.
Have the First Choice At Something.
Whenever there’s a game or fun activity, have the student be the first to choose whichever option he or she would like.
This also applies in academic situations like being the first to read aloud or the first to share a writing piece.
Choose Classroom Helper Job.
The student chooses a favorite classroom job for a specified period of time. If there is already a student that performs that job, the two may work as a team.
Write On Mini Whiteboards.
This is arguably one of the easiest and most fun of the 50 absolutely free student rewards.
Provide students with a dry-erase marker/board, and let them draw, write, and doodle to their heart’s delight.
Sit In a Special Seat.
Got a special seat or space students that regularly compete to occupy? If so, then use it as one of your 50 absolutely free student rewards.
Give Cool Bookmarks.
Bookmarks are practical rewards that students can use again and again.
Simple yet stylish ones can be easily made in Google Documents or Word.
Did you know that chewing gum improves attentiveness, reduces anxiety, increases memory, and minimizes stress?
That’s why it makes a nice addition to your collection of free student rewards.
Ask the Administrator to Shout Out.
Ask the principal to recognize the student during morning announcements.
This is a powerful reward that requires little effort to prepare. The student will cherish the moment forever.
Teach the Class a Game.
Students love to share fun games and activities with classmates.
Because there is limited time in the school day and not much time can be given to each and every child who has something to share, designate this opportunity as a reward.
Let students teach the class a simple, fun game.
Help With the Bulletin Board.
For this reward idea, students help you design and decorate a bulletin board in the classroom or hallway.
Watch a Movie.
This list of 50 absolutely free student rewards would not be complete without a mention of watching movies.
Students never tire of this classic reward because there’s always an entertaining movie available that they will enjoy.
Teach a Magic Trick.
How fun it would be to have students teach the class some of their favorite magic tricks.
Alternatively, you could grab a magic trick book and teach the entire class a few fun tricks.
Do Homework During Class Time.
Some students will appreciate the chance to start or complete homework during school hours, so include this reward on your list.
This reward is especially beneficial to those students who have busy after-school schedules.
Participate In a Class Outdoor Game.
Head outside and involve the class in a few rounds of kickball, tetherball, soccer, or any other fun team sports that students may enjoy.
Alternatively or additionally, play childhood games such as Duck Duck Goose, Red Light Green Light, Red Rover, etc.
Host an Origami Challenge.
Provide instructions, and see how well students can complete a fun origami craft. This reward is fun and educational because it promotes critical thinking.
When the weather is nice, head outside.
After choosing a shady spot, students work on assignments with a partner or independently.
Become the Teacher’s Helper.
Offer the chance for students to win an opportunity to be like the teacher’s assistant for a day or class period.
This student could help with attendance, collecting/distributing papers, leading morning meetings, or any other task with which the teacher may like assistance.
Do an Arts and Crafts Project.
During class, there is often little time for arts and crafts. So why not include it as one of your 50 absolutely free student rewards?
Friendship bracelets, pet rocks, papel picado, origami, and mosaic art are a few projects that students may enjoy.
Eat Lunch With a Friend.
Students will be allowed to sit next to a friend from their class or from another class during lunchtime.
Schedule Extra Computer Lab Time.
Give students an extra time block in the computer lab to play their favorite online games.
Make a Flashlight Frenzy.
Turn off the lights, and move a flashlight about the classroom in a zigzag fashion. Students love it!
Have a Pajama Day.
Motivate students to bring their favorite stuffed animal, a pillow, and a blanket during a day of fun pajama-wearing.
Eat Lunch With the Principal.
Though you need to discuss with the principal this reward idea before presenting it to students, this option will be very much sought-after by students.
Be the Tech Navigator.
Students manage the projector and/or computer for the teacher during instructional time.
Eat Lunch With the Teacher.
The student will eat lunch with the teacher in the cafeteria, in the classroom, or in a special outdoor patio area in the school.
Allow the student to invite a friend, and consider offering a special sweet treat for dessert.
Schedule a Show and Tell.
Students love to share artifacts and special objects important to them.
Put some time in your lesson plans to offer show and tell as a reward to students.
Complete a Series of Fun Brain Breaks.
Take your most popular brain breaks, and add them to your list of free rewards for students.
Instead of just completing one brain break and being done, encourage students to complete a few of them consecutively.
Allow students to write with pens for the entire day.
If writing with pens is already a regular occurrence in your classroom, make the task more special by allowing students to write in pen during the math block.
Alternatively or additionally, let them write in colors such as pink, green, or orange.
Read to the Class.
Let students share a favorite read-aloud during the literacy block (or any other block you prefer). They may take turns doing so over a week’s time.
Have No Line Going to Specials.
In schools, it’s common for students to get into a straight line in order to move from one location to another.
However, if you have well-behaved students who keep relatively quiet when moving about the school, why not allow them to transition between places without lining up?
Many will appreciate the freedom.
Play a Class Game.
Bring out board games and/or classic childhood games like Twister.
Simply play a fun game or create a rotation station of games that the whole class will enjoy.
Listen to Music While Working.
Many students may actually become more productive when listening to music.
For this reward, permit students to listen to their favorite music apps while working on class assignments.
Sit With a Friend In Class.
Allow students to sit and work with a friend for one class period.
Organize a Dance Party.
This class reward takes a little dance to prepare, but it’s so much fun.
At the end of the school day, put on a student-friendly music playlist and give students the liberty to dance, socialize, and eat light snacks for an hour or so.
Honor With a Certificate of Achievement.
Simple yet effective, certificates and awards should definitely be part of your 50 absolutely free student rewards.
Print and then present to students in front of the class. Make the moment special.
Send a Kind Note or Email Home.
It gives students and parents warm fuzzies to hear or read a positive message about themselves and their child, respectively.
While this action should ideally be something you do on a regular basis, writing a longer-than-usual note or email highlighting a couple of specific good deeds will be received very well.
Make a “Praise” Call to Parents.
Instead of sending a note, why not make a phone call instead? It’s more personal, and parents will be delighted with the news.
Wear a Crown.
Treat students like royalty for the day. Make a crown out of paper, or request a few from that popular fast food chain.
A part of this reward could include allowing students to sit with their friends all day or write with a cool pen/pencil.
Cheer and Clap.
Integrate movement into your rewards by having students perform a fun classroom cheer for the students being recognized.
Give Extra Credit.
If you teach upper elementary, middle, or high school, providing extra credit points for an exam or assignment will be received well.
Drop the Lowest Grade.
While we as teachers ideally want all of our students to consistently make excellent grades, the reality is that sometimes students will perform below standards.
That’s why dropping the lowest grade during a quarter or semester is a good reward.
This reward even works well in elementary if using a traditional grading system.
Wear a Crazy Hat.
Encourage students to get creative by wearing a cool or crazy hat to school for the entire day.
Distribute a No Homework Pass.
For classrooms that routinely receive homework, offering a no-homework pass will be a much sought-after reward.
Make the prize a one-day or week-long option.
Give Extra Reward Raffle Tickets.
If you use the ticket reward system as your classroom management plan, give students a few extra tickets that they can use to “buy” more prizes.
Draw and Color.
Drawing and coloring aren’t just for younger students.
In addition to being fun, drawing/coloring boosts creativity, fine-tunes cognitive development, strengthens eye-hand coordination, and improves motor skills.
For older students, provide intricate and detailed coloring pages or drawing books.
Make a Reward Coupon Book.
As the teacher, consider creating a coupon reward book full of free rewards. Then students can redeem prizes throughout the year.
Give Extra Recess.
Schedule time in the week to give students some extra time to play outdoors.
To make this reward feel more special and exclusive, designate a timeframe when no other classes are outside.
Take Your Shoes Off.
While taking one’s shoes off in class doesn’t help one to learn or listen better, it sure is so much fun to do!
Students will get a kick out of showing off their socks or bare feet while working on assignments.
Tell Knock Knock Jokes.
Give students an opportunity to share a few of their favorite knock-knock jokes in front of the class.
Final Thoughts: 50 Absolutely Free Student Rewards
Now you’re all set to recognize and honor positive behavior using these 50 absolutely free student rewards!
Students will know that their hard work is appreciated resulting in them feeling proud and more confident.