Graduation Gifts for Students of All Ages

With the passing of yet another school year, it’s a great time to look at potential graduation gift ideas, big and small, for students moving past another milestone in their educational journey. Even kids just graduating from their current grade deserve some celebration and appreciation!

We’ve searched high and low for some of the latest and greatest graduation gifts, as well as some classic ideas. Whether your child has just completed kindergarten, or is graduating high school and looking ahead to college, we have a few ideas for you!

Let us know in the comments below if you have other great ideas that we didn’t cover here. The possibilities are endless, so without further ado, here are some great graduation gift ideas for students of all ages.

Graduation Gifts for Preschool, Kindergarten & Elementary Graduates

Custom T-Shirts

Shirts are a popular gift for graduates of all ages. You can find some great designs for kids on Etsy, among other places.

Sunglasses with Card

Summer is coming and it’s important to protect kids’ eyes in bright sunlight. Lessons with Laughter has a fun and inexpensive idea for celebrating the occasion with sunglasses.

Outdoor Toys & Games

There is no better way to celebrate than with fun and games! And since summer is finally here, why not get outside and play while the weather is nice?

For very little money, you can get some great games like a ring toss, kid-friendly frisbees, horseshoes, or a mini-frisbee golf set designed specifically for small children.

Picture & Frame 

You can never have too many pictures of your kids, so for you DIYers out there, a homemade picture frame is a great way to preserve the moment for years to come. If you want to go the easy route, you can buy a frame, but there are many projects you can create with your child on Pinterest.

Graduation Gifts for Middle School Graduates

School Spirit Gear

Most students change schools between middle and high school, and moving to a new school means new school colors and a new mascot. One great way to set a student up for their upcoming high school years is to give them some new gear for the school they’ll be attending.

This can mean a t-shirt, sweatshirt, a hat, backpack, or other item. You may be able to get school gear directly from the new school or have something personalized online. Students enrolled in a K12 school can get their gear online as well.

Cash or Gift Cards

As students grow and gain additional independence, it becomes more important for them to sustain themselves outside the home. For this reason, small amounts of money or gift cards can go a long way towards providing your child with the independence that comes with moving on to high school.

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Whether hanging out with friends or doing homework on the patio, many teens love to have music on. For the music lovers out there, check out some great bluetooth speakers under $50 on Amazon, most of which are highly rated.

Not loving the idea of hearing your kids’ music? Consider a pair of headphones in a fun color, instead.


Now that your child is moving on to high school, he or she will require a bit more independence. Whether it be heading off to soccer practice, rehearsing for a play, or spending an afternoon at a friend’s house, you will want to be able to contact your child if needed.

If you haven’t already, think about whether now is a good time for your child to have a cell phone.


Maybe your child isn’t ready for a cell phone yet, or you just can’t justify the monthly fees on top of the phone itself. A tablet is a great middle ground, which enables students to stay connected on-the-go wherever a WiFi connection exists (or you can pay for a data plan).

Tablets have many uses, more than just entertainment. They can be used to manage daily schedules, keep track of to-do items, or send and receive messages when your child is out of the home. Tablets can cost as low as $80 and many are in the range of $200-$300.

Graduation Gifts for High School Graduates

Tablet or Laptop

Graduates who are heading off to college in the fall may need a new device to stay productive and connected, so it makes sense that tablets and computers have been popular graduation gifts for years. In recent years, the price of laptops has come down to very affordable levels.

Many laptops can be had for under $400, while Chromebooks are generally less expensive than that and popular among students.


For younger students, a simple cell phone that can make calls and send texts can do, but a smartphone is a near-necessity at the college level these days. This could be a good excuse to upgrade to the newest model.

Personalized Items

You can find lots of great items on Etsy that can be personalized with your student’s name and/or graduation year. Some popular items are pillows, keychains and jewelry, but the options are endless!

College Gear

If your child is heading off to college in the fall, it’s likely that they know their destination by now. College students can never have too much school gear, so a few extra t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats or accessories can be a great send-off for someone moving on to a new school.

Graduation Photo Album

Digital cameras and smartphones are everywhere these days, so there is little doubt that you have lots of pictures of your child throughout their high school career, from their first day of freshman year up through senior pictures and the graduation ceremony.

Many people look back on high school as some of the best years of their life, so something as simple as printing out a few dozen photos and putting them in a nicely done photo album can be a great way to cherish those high school memories long after those days have passed.

Have other great ideas? Share your thoughts with our community in the comment section below!

This post originally published in 2014 and has been revised and republished.

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