Finding unique high school graduation gifts that your recipient will enjoy and appreciate can be tough, especially when the graduate is a teenage boy. Fortunately, many creative ideas are clever, thoughtful, funny and perhaps best of all, budget-friendly. One or more of the following may be just right for the graduating guy on your shopping list.
1. Car Safety Kit
If your graduate is heading off for college or simply loves to drive around town, he might appreciate a DIY roadside emergency kit. Fill a large thermal bag with items that might be helpful after a breakdown, such as oil, coolant, rags, a funnel, water and kitty litter.
2. First Job Survival Kit
A graduate venturing into the working world might welcome a package to help him survive those first full-time days. You can choose to put together a humorous kit, with items such as gum with a note “To help you stick it out” and paper clips, “To help you hold it together,” or more practical, such as lip balm, a note pad, a pack of pens and change for the vending machine.
3. First Place Essentials
Remember moving into your first place? There are so many little things you don’t think about needing. Put together a set for a specific area of the house, such as a basket of spices and condiments (hit the dollar store for great deals), a tool kit or a bucket of cleaning supplies.
4. Laundry Package
Whether your grad is heading off to college or to his own first place, he’ll likely miss the luxury of Mom’s laundry service. Make the transition a little easier with a laundry kit. Fill a laundry basket or drawstring bag with detergent, fabric softeners, dryer sheets and stain pretreatment. Depending on your budget, you might want to include a roll of quarters or two, as well.
A flashlight might seem like a funny graduation gift, but a quality “torch” can last a young man many years. Maglites are sturdy and their bright beams are ideal for everything from working on a car in the evening to surviving a power outage. You can find them for around $25 or less. Make sure to point out that a spare bulb resides in the foam inside the screw off cap where you insert batteries.
6. Money Frame
If you would prefer to give the graduate on your list some cash, do so creatively. Place the desired amount in a picture frame along with a sign reading, “In Case of Emergency Break Glass.” Hang a small hammer from the side of the frame.
7. Money Soap
Some young men are known for being meticulous, while others require prodding when it comes to personal hygiene. If you can make simple homemade soap, you can encourage regular bathing by embedding bills in translucent bars of soap.
8. Rainy Day Umbrella
An umbrella is one of those things you don’t think about until you need one. Make a collapsible umbrella a special gift by dangling lengths of yarn or twine from the inner metal rods. Tie paper clips to the ends of the strings and attach dollar bills to the paper clips. Close the umbrella and attach a note that says, “Help for a rainy day -in more than one way!”
9. Ramen Noodle Basket
Many college students and first-time apartment dwellers find themselves surviving on cheap meals, so give your favorite grad a hand. Fill a large basket with a few dozen packages of ramen noodles. Make a cookbook by printing out pages of ramen noodle recipes (you can find hundreds of them online). Add a couple of extras, such as some utensils, a big bowl and some spice mixes they can use to prepare upgraded noodle dinners.
10. Resume Writing Services
If you have experience crafting resumes (even just your own), a high school graduate seeking employment might appreciate help formatting and bulking up his resume. Offer him a gift certificate for resume writing and editing assistance to aid him in his job search.
When deciding on a high school graduation gift, think about the personality, pastimes and plans of the young man for whom you are shopping and consider your budget, as well. With some insight and creativity, you are sure to pick the perfect present.