High School Graduation Gift Ideas

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High school graduation is a time for reflection.  While it might seem like just yesterday that they were headed off for their first day of kindergarten, time has moved on and they are now ready for graduation.  This is a day that has many parents beaming.  Rightfully so, as graduation day marks the culmination of many years of personal growth.  While some families will host massive parties, inviting large swaths of the graduating class, others are a bit more low key.  A graduation celebration need not be elaborate.  It can simply be a family dinner at home or at a nice restaurant with everyone gushing about the graduate’s achievement.  Of course, this is also and occasion for a few high school graduation gifts.  Some recent graduates will receive new cars or other flashy items.  Others will receive something practical that they can use in the next phase of their life.  While there are a limitless number of options, here are a few high school graduation gift ideas to help get you started.


What lies ahead?

When thinking through high school graduation gift ideas, it is important to consider just what lies ahead for the new graduate.  Are they headed off to college?  Perhaps getting a full time job?  Will they be living in an apartment or in a dorm room?

high school graduation gift ideas: laptop


College students are entering a whole new world, and there are plenty of things that will be helpful to them in this new journey.  For starters, laptops make great gifts as they will be helpful to the student’s academic endeavors.  This might also be a good time to give them a new mobile phone so that they are always able to call home or email or text or message on Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter or whatever the kids are doing these days.

A full time job

For high school graduates that are headed straight into the work force, why not get them something that they can use on the job?  This might mean new clothes to give them a more professional look.  Or, perhaps an audiobook or an audible subscription that they can listen to on their commute?  One big change when entering the workforce is that a lot of people are less physically active than they were in school.  With the end of school organized sports and PE class, perhaps they can use a gym membership or some athletic gear to encourage an occasional jog.

high school graduation gift ideas: coffee table
high school graduation gift ideas: laundry basket

An apartment or a dorm room

If they are moving into a new apartment, then they will probably need some new furniture.  A futon an be a great, versatile piece that is good for lounging or the occasional overnight guest.  Basic staples like coffee tables and chairs will also be appreciated.  Then, perhaps a very small set of pots and pans for those days when pizza isn’t the only item on the menu.  Oh, and no home is complete without a TV mounted on the wall these days.

For someone moving into a dorm room, many of the items above aren’t necessary, but there are still a few basic necessities that they will need like bedding or a laundry basket.  While these might sound a bit less exciting, they are necessities after all.  So, why not package them up as a gift?

A little bit of independence and a lot of responsibility

high school graduation gift ideas: vacuum

A funny thing happens when someone graduates from high school, and moves out on their own.  All of a sudden, they are not subject to the rules that their parents have always imposed.  They no longer need to come home by curfew or clean up their room.  And if they sleep through half of their Saturday, it’s no ones business but their own.  On the other hand, they might find that they have a lot of new responsibilities as well.  Those bed sheets and clothes aren’t going to clean themselves, so learning to do laundry is a must.  There is also no longer a refrigerator that magically fills itself up with fresh food and drinks.  While parents no longer assign chores, the real world does.  There are all kinds of things they will need in order to clean the bathroom, floors, and counter tops.  They might also benefit from a good vacuum cleaner.  Of course, most high school kids wouldn’t be too excited to receive these as gifts.  So, save them for somewhere down the line.  You might be surprised to see the look of appreciation on their face when you bring some of these things over one day when you are stopping by for a visit.

Hopefully some of these high school graduation gift ideas are useful as you celebrate this major milestone.  Onward and upward as they say.

By the way, if you’re interested, here is our post on high school graduation gift etiquette and our list of graduation gift ideas for your sister.