Graduations may happen a few times over a person's life, but each and every one of them is a milestone, one that marks a big transition in a child's life as they grow older. It's also an opportunity to honor that moment, and show how proud you are of them, with a gift. No matter what the age, cash is always welcome, of course. If you're looking for something more meaningful, "Oh the Places You'll Go," by Dr. Seuss is wonderfully inspirational. But if you're looking for something more geared toward your child's age and graduation, here are just a handful of great ideas.
The first big graduation: kindergarten! Chances are your child will be moving from shorter days to longer, more structured days and bigger classrooms. To celebrate this milestone, give a keepsake that will remind your child of all their fun experiences with their kindergarten friends, like an autographed graduation stuffed animal signed by their classmates and teacher. Another cute idea is to give them some sidewalk chalk -- perfect for the summer months to come -- labeled with a tag that says, "Let's chalk it up to another great year."
Your little kiddo is growing up! To celebrate the transition to middle school and the tween years, give them some choices, perhaps by giving them a gift card to their favorite clothing store to shop for clothes for their new school. Or, if you want to treat them even more, take them out to dinner, just you and them -- no siblings! -- to make it extra personal.
Middle School Grads
Middle school graduation marks the change from big fish in a little pond to little fish in a big pond! To celebrate this big transition, it might be a great opportunity for a big gift. Now can be a great time for an electronic gift, perhaps a tablet or laptop. Or, if you want to help them keep in touch with you as they start to spread their wings, a cellphone can make a great gift that they're sure to appreciate.
High School Grads
With high school graduation comes a whole new life with whole new doors opening for your graduate. Whether they're heading to college, spending some time traveling, or starting their career right out of the gate, there's one gift they could all use: a suitcase, to help them get started on whatever path they choose. A cute laundry bag or basket can be great too; if you fill it up with more goodies is up to you!
What doesn't the college grad need? To help them celebrate, have a toast together with a fun cocktail, and then hand over a gift to help them get started in life outside of school. Some great gifts can be things to help them settle into a new apartment or home: think coasters from their alumni city to remind them of their alma mater, a keychain, throw blanket, and other decorative items. Want to really inspire them? Give them the book "You are Doing a Freaking Great Job," by Workman Publishing.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she's working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at Examiner.com.
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