Another summer is approaching and we’re all hoping that this season will look more like what we’re used to than last year’s did. Pandemic or no pandemic, this is still the time of year when we celebrate the people in our lives, who are preparing to solve all of the world’s most pressing problems - our wonderful graduates.
Whether they are finishing up eighth grade and getting ready to move on to high school, or they're leaving high school for the big, wide world, or earning their college diploma, you'll want to show the graduates in your life just how much you love them and how proud of them you are. What better way to showcase that sentiment than with the perfect present? Especially, since graduation ceremonies are still up in the air.
Our list of the 20 best graduation gift ideas has something for every type of grad in your life, regardless of how challenging or non-traditional their next chapter may be. Whether you want to spend a lot or a little, we have a variety of ideas for any budget. And if you have to celebrate from afar this year, don’t worry. We have plenty of virtual and contact-free graduation gift ideas too.
College Graduation Gift Ideas
Graduating from college is a really big deal. Your college graduate has proved that they can persevere. That they not only have what it takes to make it as a high-level student, but beyond — into the real world of work and careers. Help prepare your new graduate for life after college with a gift that will make the transition to their next step more fun and a little bit easier.
This gift will keep your busy grad from falling into the expensive and unhealthy habit of ordering takeout every night. Perfect for anyone new to cooking, an Instant Pot Duo Mini is just the right size to cook dinner for one. This combination pressure cooker, steamer, saute pan, and slow cooker comes with access to hundreds of recipes via the Instant Pot App. It also makes meal prep and cleanup super simple. Your college grad will impress themselves and their friends with their culinary creations. All produced with this powerful, little kitchen appliance. Its size is perfect for someone just starting out and it won't take up too much space in the cabinet.
A perfect gift for those who are new to cooking? Cookbooks. The days of eating in the dining hall are over and your graduate might be a little intimidated by the thought of making their own meals. A few high-quality, tried-and-true cookbooks can keep them from being overwhelmed by the vast array of recipe choices on the internet. Whether your recent grad likes healthy, vegetarian recipes or comfort food that reminds them of home, a cookbook is a thoughtful gift they can use for many, many years to come. Who knows? This gift might even score you an invite to a home-cooked dinner!
If you aren’t sure what your graduate needs, an online payment card is the perfect useful gift. Just choose how much money you want to put on the card, and send it to them via email. They can use it just like a credit or debit card for secure online shopping. Whether they need new clothes for their first real job or furniture for their new apartment, they can choose exactly how and where to spend your gift. What’s not to love? Choose from dozens of popular options like a prepaid Mastercard or Visa, Amex or even cryptocurrency vouchers.
A good speaker for streaming music is a must-have for any home, and with a smart speaker such as an Amazon Echo or a Google Nest Mini, you get a lot more than just sound. Your graduate can set alarms and reminders, turn lights and appliances on and off, make calls, and so much more. The best part is — most smart speakers are small, so they are perfect for even the tiniest starter apartment. Alexa, I think I found the perfect graduation gift!
Whether your grad is taking business trips or heading home for the holidays, a solid, reliable piece of luggage will always come in handy. The stylish Away Carry-On comes in a variety of cool colors and is the perfect size for a weekend getaway. It is even available with a removable TSA-approved battery that functions as a charger for all their devices when they're on the go. A durable suitcase like this looks professional and polished and will last them well through their post-grad years.
Most college students hit the java pretty hard, and that probably won’t change after graduation. Save them from that expensive Starbucks habit with a coffee maker that brews delicious coffee and espresso so quickly, it will be like having a barista right in their own kitchen. Its compact size makes it ideal for kitchens with limited counter space, and the convenient pods eliminate any excuse not to DIY their coffee. Your graduate will thank you and so will their wallet!
The classic graduation gift with a modern twist, a smartwatch does so much more than just tell time. With the most advanced models — like those from Apple or Fitbit — your grad can get texts and reminders, track their workouts, and even make calls or play music right from their wrist. There are many different brands and options available, so it is easy to find a smartwatch that is perfect for any lifestyle and budget.
High School Graduation Gift Ideas
So, they’ve made it through high school and are ready to take on the world. Whether your graduate is taking a gap year, continuing their education, or getting right to work, the best high school graduation gift will help them start off on the right foot.
A laptop is a necessity for anyone starting their life after high school. They will need it for research and writing term papers if they are heading to college. And those going into the workforce can use it for job hunting and returning emails. Price ranges for laptops vary widely depending on the brand and type of laptop you choose. Is the price of a laptop still too steep for you? Make it a group gift and split the cost with other friends or family members who want to send your graduate off with a practical gift that will help them get the boost they need.
Personalized gifts show your loved one that you put thought into what you are giving. Whether it is a framed photo to help them remember fun times with friends and family or a pretty monogrammed necklace, your high school graduate will appreciate their new keepsake and think of you any time they look at it. Check out sites like Etsy and Minted for stylish and unique personalized gifts that show your special grad how much you care.
Doordash Gift Card
On those nights when they are too busy to cook or just want to treat themselves, your grad will be so glad you thought of a Doordash Gift Card. With a Doordash Gift Card, your graduate can have great food delivered to their door, quickly and reliably. Whether they are craving pizza or sushi or milk and cookies, thousands of partner restaurants in thousands of cities across the U.S., Canada and Australia make a Doordash Gift Card an ideal gift, no matter where your high school graduate will be living.
Sunrise Alarm Clock
Whatever the next step is for your graduate, chances are that they will have to be somewhere on time, on a regular basis. Help them adjust to their new independence and responsibility with a sunrise alarm clock that wakes them gradually and naturally each morning with a simulated sunrise. They certainly won't miss being jolted awake by loud beeping every morning! Bonus: many models also have simulated sunsets that can help users fall asleep more naturally for a better night’s rest.
We like this gift because it feels like someone is giving you a big hug every time you use it. The world can feel like a scary place when you are starting off in a new direction. Weighted blankets are recommended for anxiety and also help improve sleep, something that almost any young person can appreciate right now. Choose a weighted blanket that is about 10% of the user’s body weight for the best experience.
Many of us are still avoiding crowded places like gyms, so at-home exercise gear can be a great gift for any grad who wants to stay fit. A yoga mat, jump rope, balance ball, resistance bands, dumbbells or kettlebells are all great options to include in a home gym starter kit. And even after gyms have opened up, working out at home can help your graduate avoid expensive gym fees. If you need a contactless graduation gift, order on Amazon and have it delivered right to their door.
Duvet Cover and Shams
Whether they are moving out or staying home, the graduate in your life will appreciate an upgrade to their bedding. A stylish duvet cover and shams are the perfect gifts to dress up a first apartment or a college dorm room. Have fun choosing a style and color that reflects their unique personality!
Bicycles aren’t just for kids. Give your grad a mode of transportation to go with that high school diploma. A bike is a convenient way to get around their college campus or go to the grocery store, especially for those without a car. Besides being practical, a bike is eco-friendly and it will help them get some exercise. Throw in a helmet to keep them safe while they are out exploring the neighborhood on their new wheels.
8th Grade Graduation Gift Ideas
Heading off to high school can be both exciting and overwhelming. A fun and relaxing graduation gift is perfect for a busy teenager preparing to take on the greater demands of high school classes, sports, and activities. This freshmen-approved gift guide is sure to please even the pickiest eighth-grade grad.
Young people don’t usually love the same type of music as their parents, so this gift will make everyone in the family happy. Wireless headphones, like AirPods, come in handy when your teen is hanging out at home, studying in the library, or on a road trip with the family. All they have to do is link to their bluetooth-enabled device, and they can listen to their own music or watch movies wherever and whenever they want, without disturbing the peace. Popular types include over-ear, in-ear, and on-ear models, so think about how they would use their headphones when choosing the right pair.
Fujifilm Instax Camera
Every teenager loves to take pictures with their phone or other devices, but people rarely print photos these days. That can all change with an Instax Camera. Pics come right out of the camera, just like the Polaroids many of us remember, but with a better quality image. Your new grad can hang the pics on their wall at home or in their locker at school. They will have tons of fun sharing photos with friends and family. This gift is sure to be a hit with any budding photographer you know.
Give your graduate hours of entertainment with this popular gaming system that has tons of fun games that can be played solo or with friends. The versatile Nintendo Switch can be used as a home gaming console or transformed into a handheld system for on-the-go gaming. Throw in a Nintendo Switch Online Membership so that they can play popular games like Animal Crossing New Horizons online with friends, and have access to an ever-expanding library of classic NES games for free.
If the graduate in your life already has a gaming console or uses their PC for gaming, digital game cards are a great gift that they can choose to use as they please. Here at Dundle, we offer gaming credits and game cards for all gaming platforms that can be used to purchase in-game credit, subscriptions, memberships and more. The best part is that the code is delivered right to email, so your grad can start gaming immediately - making this the perfect choice for a virtual graduation gift.
Bean Bag Chair
It’s no secret that a lounging teenager is a happy teenager, so what better gift to celebrate their transition to high school than with a super comfy bean bag chair in their favorite color? Bean bag chairs today are not the same as they were back in the 1970s and 80s. They are much more durable, and plenty of stylish designs are available to fit any space and budget. You can find giant bags that are suitable for stretching out for a nap or lounging with multiple people, or smaller bags that provide a cozy seat for one. Whatever you choose, we guarantee your grad will spend hours there reading, gaming, doing homework, or just relaxing.
Gifts that let your graduate know that you love them
Graduation is an exciting time in a young person’s life. The future is bright, and possibilities feel endless. Let your graduate know that you love them and that you are proud of what they have accomplished with a unique gift that will help them get off to a great start. Whether you have a gamer, a fitness fanatic, a tech lover, or a budding chef, we hope that this comprehensive guide to great graduation gifts has inspired you to find the perfect present for the grad in your life.