Graduation is a very special type of celebration. You’re not just happy; you’re proud! Proud as a student graduating, but especially proud as a parent, relative, or friend of a graduating student. Whether they’re graduating from kindergarten or college, that special young person in your life has showcased their intelligence and ability to thrive in society by graduating.
The question is, what to offer as a graduation gift? And what’s appropriate for their age? Money is always easy to give, but it’s less personal.
We have a list of creative graduation gift ideas for every age. We hope it will help you get your message across and that the awarded student holds onto it as a keepsake for years to come.
We divided the list into categories depending on school level, so skip ahead to your own!
Kindergarten Graduation Gift Ideas
This is a significant step in any child’s educational path. Don’t you remember the tears? The crying at the gates? The pleading to stay home from school? It’s a difficult transition for any small kid and one that should be aptly rewarded upon completion. Remind your babies how you’re so proud of them for bracing the new environment away from home with one of the graduation gift ideas below:
Personalized Plush Penguin
Kids love plush toys, there’s no doubt about it. Offering your little one a personalized plush penguin is unique, comforting, and adorable.
You can’t go wrong with a personalized tee with the graduate’s name, school, and district. It can be kept for years to come.
Confetti Candy Drops
You might not want to throw a whole party for the kindergarten graduation, but you can still get some confetti drops! Delicious gummy drops sprinkled with nonpareils. Order a cup from Candy Club today!
Elementary School Graduation Gift Ideas
Your kids are leaving childhood and entering their pre-teen years. Huge changes are coming physically, emotionally, and socially. Junior high can be awkward, challenging, and scary for kids who just graduated from elementary school.
Think of gift ideas that still embrace the kid in them but with more responsibility as they grow into young adults. You want to offer them something that reminds them of their elementary school years. Something they can hold onto and remember they’re still a kid. They might not boast about it to their friends, but that’s not the important part here.
Framed Class Photo & Candy
Photos tend to get lost, but framed pictures last much longer. Offering a framed photo will be a lasting keepsake, even if it’s kept in a box under a bed for the next six to 15 years! Accompany it with a You Rock candy gift set to encourage them to keep up the great work.
Whether it’s the National Geographic, Teens World, or a monthly candy subscription box, your young graduate will love the gift that keeps on giving. You can personalize this to the kid’s interests, so no fear of getting it wrong!
Heading into junior high is a big step, and you can show it by giving your tween some responsibility. Offering them a smartphone or iPad is a great way for them to learn responsibility and for them to understand that you trust them.
Middle School Graduation Gift Ideas
Junior high, or middle school, is an awkward time for any kid. But it’s also the most impactful. It’s where lifelong friendships are born, styles are defined, and where your young graduate has found their character and voice.
You want to offer something to reflect on the time when they were just teenagers and not young adults. High school is a huge step. Celebrate their teenage independence.
Jewelry & Candy
A ring, a bracelet, or a necklace can be a meaningful gift. You can even have it engraved with their name and year of graduation. Sweeten up the gift by offering Candy Club’s Celebration Bites – you can never go wrong with vanilla-coated brownies!
Brand New Bicycle
If your kid doesn’t already have a bike, then now is the time to get one. They’ll need to be independent and get to places without bothering anyone. A bike is the ultimate freedom for any young teen.
At this point in life, kids may be looking for a wardrobe change. Rather than give cash or gift cards, take them shopping. Spend the whole day together and have lunch. You can even stop by a record store and share the music you listened to as a teenager with your kid.
High School Graduation Gift Ideas
They’ve done it – completed the whole schooling system, and graduated! Hooray! Time to pull out the checkbook and purchase the expensive gifts. Your adorable kid is now an adult, probably heading away for college, to be seen only at weekends or holidays (or when they need clean laundry!).
You want to offer a gift that shows how you recognize their transition into adulthood and how you’re super proud of them.
Every high school graduate wants a car. They’ve likely been driving around in yours, leaving a lingering teenager smell every time. They’re going to be off to college, maybe with a part-time job, so they need their own set of wheels, and you need your car back! Cars teach financial responsibility, which is extremely important at this stage of their lives.
Monogrammed Laundry Bag
Are you just creating more work for mom and dad? Maybe, but it’s a great excuse to see those kids who flew the nest to college. A monogrammed laundry bag is like telling your kid, yes, they can bring their laundry home. It will also help prevent mix-ups in the dorm room.
Award and Candy
For an extra unique graduation gift idea, design a custom award for “Best Daughter/Son/Granddaughter/Grandson” and so on. A trophy can adorn any shelf or mantlepiece and will last forever.
College (and Post-Grad) Graduation Gift Ideas
Your kid is no longer a kid – your baby is all grown up. They are fully-fledged adults now with an excellent education behind them and unlimited career opportunities ahead. You’re proud, yet you’re crying. From here on, they won’t need you (so much).
College graduation is a life event to celebrate, and offering a gift, small or large, will be accepted with sincere gratitude.
Many college graduates wish to be digital nomads – to work while traveling. It’s the ultimate setup – six months in South East Asia while working as a consultant, graphic designer, marketing specialist, whatever! This will make your young relative very happy, I assure you.
Custom Map Print (& Candy!)
For a super cool gift idea, get a layout of your graduate’s college town printed and framed. A framed custom map is a beautiful reminder of their college years. Pair it with some candy to remind them they’re still a kid to you.
Not your usual graduation gift, but this is the foundation for any independent adult. It’s essential to know how to fix minor issues in the home: clogged sink pipe, change a socket fuse, repair a cupboard door hinge, hang artwork, build a shelf, and so on. Give your graduate another tool for independence with this practical graduation gift.
Did these graduation gift ideas inspire you?
We sure do hope you found the perfect gift idea for your loved one. Whether they’re graduating from kindergarten or college, it’s a moment of pride for everyone! You might not want to throw lavish parties or buy cars at every turn, but even some candy can be a thoughtful gift.
Check out what we have in our store, and don’t miss out on our graduation promotion!