Graduates of any age deserve a special gift -- one that will commemorate their achievement and make them feel important on their big day. Depending on the level of graduation, the gifts will vary. Below are some ideas to get you started.
Young children are just as excited to graduate, if not more so, than their older counterparts. This is the age when they're excited to learn and eager to grow up. Encourage this excitement by giving gifts that stimulate learning. Look for age-appropriate books, arts and crafts supplies, flash cards, and games or puzzles that teach particular skills.
Consider framing a special piece of artwork completed during the year, or put together a scrapbook with pictures, art, certificates, and progress reports. If a diploma or graduation certificate was awarded, frame this as well.
Elementary/Middle School Graduation
These milestones are often overlooked, but they are still significant achievements, especially for children who may feel awkward and uncomfortable in this in-between time of life.
As with younger children, consider immortalizing special memories from the graduate's school years. Make a scrapbook or frame something of particular meaning.
If the child has a favorite subject or area of interest, find a gift that relates to that area. Stationery and a pen set for the writer, books for the reader. Children interested in science may appreciate experiment kits or a microscope or binoculars. Students interested in computers may enjoy computer software or accessories related to computers, such as a novelty mouse or mouse pad.
High School Graduation
Even for students who plan on attending college, high school graduation is a big deal. It is the step into adulthood that children look forward to for years. Commemorate the occasion with a gift of special remembrance -- perhaps a personalized picture frame, pen set, or trinket box. Stores like Things Remembered offer a variety of items for any occasion and personality.
Other options include books, perhaps reference books, especially if the graduate will be attending college. College students may also appreciate items needed for dorm living: laundry baskets, towels, sheets, school supplies, and more. Books about how to survive in college are also popular choices. Also consider a sweatshirt or baseball cap with the college's name on it.
For graduates who won't be attending college, what is their next step? Items to utilize in their new apartments, or tools and supplies needed in their new jobs, would be practical, appreciated gifts.
For a bigger splurge, popular gifts include computers or laptops, or electronic gadgets such as iPads, cell phones, or digital cameras.
For many, college graduation is the ultimate achievement. Thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of schoolwork went into earning that diploma. As with high school graduates, personalized gifts or bigger splurge gifts are popular choices.
Consider, also, the field the graduate will be entering. Are there items that would benefit the graduate in his or her new career? Business card holders, desk valets, and briefcases would be appropriate for those entering office careers. Artists may appreciate art supplies; musicians may appreciate sheet music or accessories for their instruments of choice. Many careers also lend themselves to novelty gifts, even gag gifts. Mugs, magnets, t-shirts, and more will have humorous sayings or quotes relating to different professions. Search online to find a variety of websites that offer every item imaginable. For a more serious gift, look for books related to the job or industry.
Outside the Box
For graduates at any level, consider the gift that can't be wrapped. Look for events or experiences that the graduate would enjoy. Take the student out for a special meal. Take him or her to the movies. Make the day all about him or her.
Don't underestimate the importance of a card. Whether it's humorous or sentimental, a card can add a special touch to any gift.