The Best Graduation Gifts for Every Age of Accomplished Grad

Capture memories instantly with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

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Graduation is a memorable occasion for students at any age—and it’s fun to celebrate this huge milestone with friends and family. A graduation gift is a great way to show a loved one you’re proud of their achievement and will support them as they transition into a new phase of their education or life.

Reviewed & Approved

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera has a selfie mode that allows you to get up close, and includes a selfie mirror. For a budget-friendly option, we recommend the Papercode Simple Elephant Daily Planner.

For obvious reasons, a great graduation gift will depend on the student’s age. Younger students will appreciate a fun, whimsical gift, while college grads might have something in mind that they need for their new careers. We carefully considered age, purpose, functionality, customization, future use, and value when reviewing products.

Here are the best graduation gifts for students of any age.

Best Overall: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

5
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera earns our top spot because you don't have to wait hours or days for memories to print. With this camera, photos print instantly as you snap them. The Mini 11 is an upgrade from its popular predecessor, has a selfie mode that allows you to get up close, and includes a selfie mirror.

It’s fun and easy to use, creates instant high-quality prints, and is perfect for all ages. Plus, it's available in several color options, and only requires two AA batteries for power.

Best for High School: Beats Powerbeats Pro

5
Powerbeats pro

Amazon

Even though most high schoolers already own a set of headphones, we like the Powerbeats Pro as an upgrade. They’re a dream for any teenager who likes games, music, and movies. These headphones are packed full of features, like adjustable secure-fit ear hooks, and are sweat-resistant.

They have nine hours of listening time and an audio sharing feature that allows you to listen to the same song, podcast, or movie with a friend by pairing each headphone.  

Best for College: Cuyana Classic Leather Tote

Classic Leather Tote

Courtesy of Cuyana

A college graduate will appreciate a gift like this Cuyana bag because they can use it as they enter the working world. The tote has a simple silhouette made from high-quality leather, and it is just the right amount of stylish and casual for the workweek or the weekend.

We love that Cuyana offers the option to monogram the bag for that added personalized touch.

Best for Elementary School: Gizmo Watch 2

4.9
Verizon GizmoWatch 2

Courtesy of Verizon

For families who aren’t ready to purchase cell phones for their children yet, we think you’ll love the GizmoWatch 2. This kid-friendly smartwatch features parental controls, a GPS locator, and reminders. It allows phone calls, texts, and voice notes with up to 10 trusted contacts. Plus, the smartwatch is durable and waterproof, so parents and caregivers can breathe a sigh of relief should an accident happen. 

Best for Middle School: Little Words Project Keep Going Bracelet

Little Words Project Keep Going bracelet

Courtesy of Little Words Project

Colorful, stylish, and thoughtful, this bracelet from Little Words Project will remind any kid never to give up. The bracelet is handcrafted with crystal and acrylic letter beads, brass hardware, and an elastic band, so kids can slip it on with ease. Plus, this encouraging bracelet is available in four different sizes, starting from X-Small to X-Large. 

Best Budget: Papercode Simple Elephant Daily Planner

Papercode Simple Elephant Daily Planner

Amazon

Everyone could be more organized, right? A planner is a budget-friendly graduation gift that works for any age (except probably preschoolers). This one comes in four great colors with a stylish leatherette cover. It can be used as a planner, a place to set goals, and a notebook.

The monthly calendar has an inner pocket, a pen loop, and a ribbon bookmark.  

Best Splurge: Dagne Dover Landon Medium Carryall Bag

Dagne Dover Medium Landon Neoprene Carryall Duffle Bag

Nordstrom

High school and college graduates will love this large capacity bag to store their everyday necessities. The bag is made from neoprene and features an expandable design to hold everything your graduate needs. Inside the carryall, graduates will find a 13-inch padded laptop sleeve, pockets, a key leash, and more, making life on-the-go much easier. 

Best Stylish: Chickgeeks Faux Crocodile MacBook Case

chic geek case

Courtesy of Chic Geek

Take their laptop to a new stylish level with this super faux crocodile case. This durable case is made of PU leather to protect their laptops from scratches, bumps, and tumbles. With a two-piece design that easily snaps onto Macbooks, your graduate will be instantly obsessed with the vibrant color and the unique croc texture.

Best for Preschoolers: Random House Books for Young Readers Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Random House Books for Young Readers Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Amazon

For a preschooler graduation gift, you’ll want something cute and sentimental that won’t be collecting dust in a month’s time. Books are perfect, especially the upbeat rhymes in Dr. Seuss’s Oh The Places You’ll Go.

The story is educational, encouraging, and perfect for a toddler who’s ready to move mountains. We suggest writing a personal note in the front of the book to make it keepsake-worthy.

Best Gift Card: Mixtiles Gift Card

Mixtiles Gift Card

Courtesy of Mixtiles

Mixtiles are the perfect way to take photos from your phone and turn them into printed memories. The photos are printed on a magic frame that sticks directly to the wall without leaving behind damage.

With Mixtiles, your graduate can hang up their photos in their dorm or bedroom without nails—a great way to brighten up a room and a creative gift card gift for when you’re in a pinch.

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera is good for all ages and a great way for your student to capture memories at graduation and beyond. The Cuyana leather tote is something college grads can use for work or play.

How We Selected the Best Graduation Gifts

We chose the best graduation gifts by researching reviews from customers and competitors, and we studied the features of more than 50 products on the market. We considered price, design, features, ease of cleaning, age recommendations, and material when deciding our picks. We also studied the latest trends in products while considering the various needs of kids and young adults.

What to Look for in a Graduation Gift 

Price

As with any gift, your budget will play an important factor in deciding what to buy for a recent grad. You might splurge for a bigger occasion like high school graduation and set a smaller budget for a preschooler.

Customization

Graduation can sometimes be about looking back on good memories. A great graduation gift could be something custom to the year of graduation, like a "Class of 2022" bracelet or a photo gift that your grad can set up in their dorm room.

Future Use

As the student in your life looks ahead, they might appreciate a gift that suits what they’ll be doing next year, like something for their dorm room or a gift for their first steps into the working world.

Why Trust Verywell Family 

Deanna McCormack is a freelance writer who specializes in reviewing family and lifestyle products. She’s especially proud of her ability to pick out great gifts and recently purchased a Cuyana Tote Bagfor her sister’s college graduation.

Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than seven years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting content. While a graduation gift will depend on the graduate’s age, Katrina recommends our Best Overall pick, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera, for any graduate. 

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