We have gathered a list of high school graduation gifts that look forward and backward. Gifts that have been in the family for generations or quilts made of T-shirted memories recall so much of what our kids are leaving behind. With these, they will have a bit of home traveling with them as they leave.
Note: We receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links on this post, but our opinions are our own.
Best High School Graduation Gifts 2021
Ordering a quilt from Project Repat is one of our favorite grad gifts as there is nothing that is more personal than a blanket stitched from memories. Take all the shirts from camps, class days, family trips and ship them to Project Repat – they do the rest.
Noise-canceling earphones like these, the Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphonescan be a lifesaver. Even the quietest roommate makes noise; your grad will appreciate these once it’s time to hit the books despite music being blasted inside that tiny dorm room.
3. Bluetooth Speaker
This Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker (Blue)might be their perfect gift if it is your teen who is inclined to supply music for his hall mates.
Author Harlan Cohen has been in the college advice business for decades, having started as a student himself answering in the college newspapers. Now out in a 7th edition, this book is comprehensive and works well for both genders.
All college students need to take shower shoes to use in the communal showers and/or at the gym. Showaflops Antimicrobial Shower Sandals come in loads of different designs and styles for men and women. They are perforated with skid-proof bottoms so are perfect for the gross and germ-y floors of the dorm.
With voice-recognition technology, your student can ask Alexa to play music, set an alarm to get them up in the morning, get the latest weather or sports info, read an audio book, summons an Uber or Domino’s pizza and much, much more.
We love the idea of giving the gift of jewelry as a grad gift for the special young women in your life and this Graduation Gift Guide from Kendra Scott has so many beautiful pieces that it might be hard to choose. One idea is to customize a necklace, earrings, or bracelet with the color stone of her new college.
8. Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening
Now out in a second edition, it includes every word of loving advice you want to remember to say to your daughter before she leaves home.
We admit it, this is simply a toy but what a great ice-breaker in a dorm this makes. Our soccer-playing sons thought it was fantastic.
What all college kids need, besides a cell phone and XL sheets, is a computer. If your grad needs a new one, check out what your son or daughter’s bookstore offers for sales and tech services. Compare that to buying a Mac with Apple discounts for students. Microsoft also offers discounts for students, teachers and parents on PCs, tablets and more at their stores and at microsoft.com.
11. Thank you cards
This idea is something that all grads need – thank you notes to write to the many people who have helped them reach this milestone. We have used Minted for our holiday cards and personalized stationery and think their one-of-a-kind designs are gorgeous. You will find something for your son or daughter, niece or nephew, or any family friend.
This is a smartphone printer that is small enough to fit in their pocket and turns photos or screenshots into high-quality 2×3″ prints.
This passport holder is the perfect for a high school graduate who loves to travel or is hoping to study abroad. Can be monogrammed.
Who doesn’t love their Insta-Pot? this is the perfect size for a college student because it is a 7-in-1 appliance including electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, and food. Easy to clean and has many safety features.
Let’s face it. laundry unfortunately must be done. Why not have some fun with it? This laundry bag is perfect.
This is such a fun game to play with friends while in college. It is absolutely hilarious and is a guaranteed good time with friends.
These slippers are memory foam and are super comfortable! Slippers are perfect for walking around in the dorms
This safe is perfect for keeping valuables such as cash, a camera, a passport, or jewelry in their dorm room.
19. Packing Cubes
This packing organizer is perfect for keeping certain items together and staying organized while moving into the dorms. This will make traveling and unpacking much simpler and easier because you will know where everything is and keep certain items together. You need these!!
This is such a cute gift! You can write your college grad a message and your handwriting will be made into a bracelet.
21. Plush Robe
This robe is perfect for walking to or from the showers or relaxing in the dorm after showering. It is soft, easy to clean, and lightweight.
Having foldable luggage is essential for living in the dorms because there is so little space.
23. Compass Bracelet
This compass bracelet is so cute for any girl who loves to explore.
This makeup bag is so trendy and customizable to put your grad’s initials or their school letters.
This cookbook has super easy and healthy recipes and is great for kids who don’t have a ton of experience cooking.
Congrats to moms and dads and good luck to your grads!
More to Read: