I am not a huge fan of gift cards when it comes to my students. I understand that they are more convenient to add funds too and using them prevents the students from spending their money on things other than what it was intended for. The problem with gift cards, in my opinion, is that's keeping the kids from learning the real concept of money. Most of the time they have no idea how much is even on the card. They just use it until someone tells them it's no good anymore. Nothing like waiting in line for 10 minutes at Target with a student who is waiting to purchase his lunch with a gift card he has with zero balance, right?
I try to encourage my parents throughout the year to send cash with the students when we go on our outings. No better way to teach kids about money, making purchases, and getting change than letting them actually do it themselves!
I did go ahead and put together a worksheet on using gift cards. I know we will continue to see them throughout the school year so we might as well be prepared.