Whenever I play review games before a test, I always have some sort of prize students can win. There is a LOT more buy in when there is a prize at stake, even if it's only worth a few cents! Here are a list of prize ideas your students will love that won't break the bank. (Note: some links are Amazon affiliate links).
1. CANDY. My go-to prize is a jolly rancher. I can buy a large bag at the grocery store for around $8 that lasts quite a long time. You'd be surprised the lengths students will go to in order to win a jolly rancher! Dum-Dums and Lifesaver mints are also very affordable options.
2. SCHOOL SUPPLIES. I stock up on mechanical pencils during back-to-school season when they are really cheap. Students also love colorful pens and fun shaped erasers.
3. HOMEWORK PASS. I'm not a teacher that assigns much homework, but if you do, consider giving out homework passes. Dollar stores tend to carry stacks of homework passes you can fill in.
4. STICKERS. These science-themed vinyl stickers are super fun! Students can stick them on water bottles and notebooks.
5. CHOOSE YOUR SEAT. I'm a little type-A, so I always use seating charts. Yes, even for high school. But you could use a free-seat-day as a reward. I tell students they can sit wherever, but I get to veto if they end up talking to their friends instead of working.
6. PINS. At my school students are required to wear an ID, and most wear it attached to a lanyard. Pins are a fun way to dress up their lanyard. Here are some science pins they could win as a prize!
7. BRAIN TEASERS. Metal puzzle brain teasers are something students really enjoy playing with. I've also seen them at the dollar store, along with some other fun puzzles and games that won't break the bank.
8. COUPONS. Try hitting up your local Circle K or gas station and ask if they have any coupons they could donate. Circle K has given me "polar pop" coupons I could use as student rewards.
What other items do you like to give out as rewards? Drop me a comment!