The BEST list of high school/college graduation gift ideas for guys and girls I’ve seen. And…you don’t have to click through an annoying slide show to see everything!
List below is updated for 2020 and
for an even MORE extensive list of vetted ideas, click here!
These are in no particular order and I haven’t taken time to separate by gender, so scan the list and see if anything jumps out at you. I’ve covered the price range from modest to obscene; I’m guessing you’re planning on spending somewhere in between :).
(And a little reality check: in talking with high schoolers, those little inspirational books specifically for graduates didn’t make anyone’s list….)
- If you know the graduate’s style, jewelry is a fun option. Classic pearl studs or a piece of jewelry that carries inspiration and meaning are popular among some. There’s a pretty faith-based line of jewelry at DaySpring, too. (I LOVE this tiny, simple pendant!)
- fitness tracker.
- Patagonia Synchillas are in; probably the style you like the least is the one they’ll most prefer (voice of experience 🙂 ).
- Cordless Screwdriver
- Quality umbrella
- Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock. (My daughter received one, and though it’s not something she’d ever think to ask for, it might just be her favorite gift of them all. Which is saying something!!)
- Melamine plate, bowl & plastic tumbler for eating a thousand packs of Ramen noodles :).
- Laundry Hamper (they have the cutest ones at Charming Charlie’s and they’re affordable, too)
- Digital camera for a kid who might want more than a cell phone can offer.
- Back-of-door full length mirror
- Bedrest (husband) pillow. A must-have for comfort-studying :).
- A deck of restaurant gift cards in their college town.
- Twin size feather bed or thick Mattress Topper; institutional beds can use the help!
- iPad, Fire or a Kindle (the price has really come down!) :).
- Laptop sleeve. Most students will need a laptop on their way to higher education; a good protector is necessity. Talk to their parents to make sure you purchase the correct size.
- University stadium blanket
- Stadium seats or foldable chairs.
- Sports watches are a fun option and you don’t have to get an Apple Watch to get a good one.
- A quality bookbag (my kids prefer a Patagonia pack. They’ve never ripped.
- An adventure–sky diving, hang gliding, etc., if it’s offered in your area
- College license plate
- Portable fan (best white noise of all time)
- Bulletin board and thumbtacks or a FUN letter board great way to leave notes and statuses for roomies and visitors)
- Pocket knife (I’d vote for a Swiss Army Knife over a Leatherman tool but those are good, too)
- Luggage! A set of luggage is something they’ll use for years, whether or not college is in their future; look for sets they can add to (hard size seems to be edging out soft these days), and chose a bright color that’s easy to spot in a crowd.
- A doc in a box! Or go beyond a traditional first aid kit and include a container full of assorted sized band-aids, Neosporin, rubbing alcohol, Benedryl cream, tweezers, scissors, gauze, tape, Advil, Tylenol, cold remedies, Pepto Bismol, etc. Anything their mama would have in her medicine cabinet!!
- Cooler with wheels. Great for tailgaiting, road trips and camping–bet they’ll be one of the few with one of these.
- Over-sized beach towel.
What have I left off? DO shout out YOUR best suggestions!!
** Affiliate links used for some items. If you click through and buy anything you’ll be contributing pennies to my coffee fund–thank you!! **