If you know someone graduating this season, you’ll likely be looking for the top graduation gift ideas. Though a heartfelt, “congrats” or “job well done” can go a long way, it’s also nice to pick out or create something special for a recent grad to let them know the significance of their accomplishment and how proud you. Whether it’s graduation wall art or a personalized photo book, finding (or creating!) the best graduation gift can be fun. But the sea of choices can also make the effort somewhat overwhelming. Don’t stress. We have created a list of the top graduation gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift for your grads.
Graduation Gift Ideas and Tips
Gift Giving Guidelines:
- Consider the graduate’s future plans.
- Gifts need not be expensive or fancy. Perhaps a simple gift of quality time spent with them would be most appreciated.
- Keep the graduate’s personality, interests, passions and hobbies in mind. If you are unsure of these, then ask someone close to the graduate.
- Plan ahead of time. Waiting for the last minute means you’ll be forced to grab anything that comes your way.
Gifts for the High School Graduate
High school is complete and your graduate is moving on to bigger and better things. If you are looking for an outstanding gift that they will always remember, consider these ideas:
- Shower Gift Basket: A shower gift basket would make a perfect gift for a high school graduate heading off to college. Most college students will be living in a dorm and sharing a community bathroom. A small gift basket or crate can be filled with all the things they will need or want to have with them each day, like shampoo, conditioner, towels, washcloths, loofahs, razors, etc. Keep in mind that the basket or crate should be small enough to fit on a narrow bench and should have a handle or string so that it can be hung on a hook.
- Moving Away from Home Basket: If your graduate is leaving home for the first time, it would be great to make a funny and memorable gift basket for them. Include some special items in a basket or plastic storage tub and write descriptive notes on each one. Here are some examples:
1. Tylenol- To remedy late nights and early mornings
2. Granola Bars- Late night study snack
3. Popcorn or Ramen Noodles- Because college kids need easy to cook food
4. Detergent Packets and Quarters- First load of laundry on me
5. Bubbles- To stay grounded and remain a kid at heart
6. Custom Stamps and Personalized Stationery- When you are lonely write me
- Dry erase board – College students living in a dorm enjoy putting dry erase boards on their room door. This allows friends to leave messages in his/her absence. You can purchase these boards and markers from any office supply stores or department stores. To add that personal touch to your gift, consider writing his name and/or college name on the board using a permanent marker.
- College Preparation Books– Most new college students are anxious about what college life will be like and what to expect. Consider giving them a book or two to help get them prepared. Here are some great options:
- Confessions of a College Freshman (ISBN: 1589196600)
- Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College (ISBN: 0811842304)
- 101 Things A College Girl Should Know (ISBN: 0836210905)
- Personalized Gifts: Consider getting a personalized pillow, customized mug, purse, pen, or key
chain personalized with their name, college name or initials.
- College Paraphernalia: If you know the college your graduate is attending, you could look for an online source for monogrammed baseball caps, t-shirts, sweat shirts and bags.
College Graduation Gift Ideas
After completing so many years of school, a college graduate is finally ready to face the challenges of the real world. A thoughtful and creative gift will certainly be appreciated by any recent college graduate, whether graduating from undergraduate or graduate programs.
- Family Graduation Photobook: Collect graduation pictures of the graduate’s grandparents, parents and other family members and put them together in a photobook. Ideally these would be photos taken at their graduation time, but they could also be photos taken at around the same age. You could also include recent photographs for comparison. If you want to take it a step further, consider adding inspirational quotes, letters of support and photos of other keepsake items.
- Electronic Accessories: We live in the world of electronic aids so any college graduate would appreciate these types of gifts. A sleek silver USB drive key chain or pocket digital camera would make a perfect gift. iPod or iPad cases, noise cancelling headphones for a bus ride commute, or a even an eReader like a Kindle. If these gifts are outside your budget, consider going in on them with other family members or getting a gift certificate to contribute toward the cost.
Other Thoughtful Graduation Gift Ideas
- Framed Print: To show your graduate how proud you are, consider getting their graduation photo added to a personalized framed print. This will certainly make a memorable gift. The young graduate will feel great having them protected and ready to hang.
- Laundry Gift Basket: This is a great idea for anyone venturing out on their own. For this gift you can use a giant laundry bag or laundry basket and tie a bow to its handles. In the inside, include all the laundry essentials they will need, like laundry detergent, fabric softer, stain remover, towels, roll of quarters, a mesh laundry bag, iron and mini ironing board, etc. You can also include a step-by-step instruction book for a newbie on how to do laundry, remove stains, etc.
- Need Yummy Cookies: If your gift recipient loves the cookies you make and is going to be away from home, then hand out “Need Yummy Cookies” postcards. Address the postcards to yourself (the gift giver) and leave space for the recipient to write his/her address, so that you know where to send the cookies. When you receive these postcards be prepared to bake the cookies and mail them off at the post office.
Remember that giving money or gift cards is always an option and is incredibly useful. If you choose to give money or a gift card, go the extra mile and make a special card or letter to go along with the gift. That extra step can go a long way to make the gift seem more personal and thoughtful. Good luck with your graduation gift ideas!