6 sensational gift ideas for high school grads

Posted at 8:54 AM, May 05, 2016

High school graduation is a major accomplishment for a student.

You can be the person who gives the graduate in your life a gift they’ll not only appreciate, but also use long after the special day.

These six ideas will help your gift giving skills graduate from ordinary to spectacular.

Keep them happily streaming

Whether graduates are heading to college or into the workforce, they will have some downtime to enjoy. Keep them connected to their favorite shows by gifting them a streaming device or membership.

Streaming devices, including the Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, Apple TV and even some video game consoles offer viewers free and subscription-based channels to watch tv series and movies.

Subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sling and HBO Go have reasonable monthly rates or a one time annual fee (usually less than $100). It’s a gift that continues to give throughout the year.

Time for a little tablet talk

These gadgets quickly change functions based on the user’s mood and need: a best-selling novel one moment, a social media hub the next and portable movie theater later in the day. It’s a perfect gift for today’s busy graduate.

The Amazon Kindle makes it simple to carry a virtual library of books wherever you go. E-readers lack some of the bells and whistles as the newer tablets on the market, but for someone who loves reading, it is the ideal, distraction-free solution.

Taking a step up from its Kindle sibling, the Amazon Fire tablet rounds out its entertainment options to include not only an e-reader, but the ability to stream videos and music, surf the Internet, play games and more.

The Samsung Tab has multi-window capability, allowing the user to have two apps at once, and even drag content from app to the other. It also has an e-reader, can play videos, games and web accessibility. Its Galaxy Perks program offers SiriusXM, Dropbox storage and free audiobooks. Check for special offers when purchasing.

A set of wheels — two, not four

This gift may not be as exciting as a new car with a big bow on top, but a bicycle could be a better mode of transportation on campus than a car. Why?

  • Students must pay for parking a car on campus and typically have to worry about moving it on big event days, such as football and basketball games. This can save hundreds of dollars for the school year and the student doesn’t have to worry about getting ticketed or towed.
  • A bicycle is a more practical mode of transportation to and from classes. It can be stored in the student’s dorm for easy access. Plus, it maneuvers well around campus crowds.
  • Lastly, it’s a good way to both stay in shape and socialize with other students.

Load up local gift cards

Take a little time to research the area where the graduate will live or attend college. Find out the popular restaurants, movie theaters and stores (including groceries). Graduates typically don’t have a lot of spending money for spontaneous meals out or entertainment. By giving them a few loaded gift cards, you know there will come a late night where the recipient will be so happy to have one of these cards tucked away in a wallet.

A little dorm or apartment TLC

It’s likely time for most graduates to fly from the nest — but are they ready to go? They may be pulling on the apron strings to break free, but the reality of living on one’s own for the first time can quickly become overwhelming without a little preparation. Fill a basket with the essentials such as: sheets, pillows, towels, personal hygiene items, laundry supplies, organizers, etc.

If you think the graduate should be there to help decide on what they may need, offer to take them shopping or have them shop online. If shopping online, the items can sometimes be picked up at the closest location to the current or future residence.

Can’t go wrong with cash

The final suggestion is the simplest gift on the list: money. Some may see cash an impersonal gift, but what new graduate couldn’t use a little money? Whether they live in their own place or on campus, graduates will face a number of expenses and bills. Even a few rolls of quarters for laundry comes in handy for those starting a new, independent lifestyle.