25 Genius 8th Grade Graduation Gifts that Make Teens Smile
Leaving behind middle school is a big deal, so I’ve put together these 8th grade graduation gifts to help you celebrate this milestone.
If you’re like most moms, 8th grade graduation makes you feel sweetly sentimental and a bit sad about how quickly they’re growing up. You’re fondly remembering their first dance, first home run, and how scared they were to switch classes on the first day of middle school.
At the same time, perhaps you’re feeling nervous about how few years you have remaining to prepare them for adult life. Consider these 8th grade graduation gifts, as you look toward the high school years with your kiddo.
If you’re looking for other graduation day ideas for kids, be sure to check out this post! Remember, graduation celebrations can take place for any educational milestone that is important to your family.
I’ve also got a post about epic 5th grade graduation gifts, which is an age when many kids leave behind elementary school.
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8th Grade Graduation Gifts
Sometimes, you just want something to give that kids can open and get excited about. I love the idea of experience gifts, which I’ve included at the bottom of the post. But for now, here are some things you can wrap up.
If your kid is a tech junkie, you can’t go wrong with an upgrade to whatever they already own.
A new laptop or desktop could be a great idea for a serious student who will use it for high school classes. Check out these reviews.
New Phone or Tablet
You might consider upgrading their phone or tablet.
For gamers, be on the listen-out for whatever gaming console they want. Nintendo Switch is the hottest thing right now.
Top quality wireless earbuds are considered a MUST by most teenagers today. Check out the Beats buds and also the Bose noise cancelling earbuds (the ones I use to block out household chaos while I try to cook dinner).
Greenlight Debit Card
This debit card is perfect for teenagers who are starting first jobs, or getting money from adults for completing household tasks. It allows for them to grow into the responsibility that comes with a bank account, but still has lots of oversight options for parents. Kids and parents just need a way to use the app.
Jewelry can be a great gift for any graduation. Here are a couple of ideas.
Personalized Name Bracelet
These personalized necklaces from Amazon are adorable. If you haven’t totally procrastinated, this is a special gift for a girl about to enter middle school. Teenagers love to put their name on things, but this bracelet feels more sophisticated than many other options.
This necklace from String of Jewels feels a bit more sturdy and rugged to me, and I love it as an alternative to the dainty necklace above. This compass necklace reminds students that they are in charge of the direction their life takes, which is a sentiment that most teenagers really appreciate.
Go ahead and buy some of the campus gear for your child’s new high school from the online store or PTA purchasing links. Any kid about to start at school is ready to get some sweatshirts, tee shirts, and more on hand.
What does it really means to attend or teach at a Title 1 school? Real life explanations from a Title 1 teacher here.
Books for a Middle School Graduation Gift
Not all teens love to read, but the ones who do will read to get them through ANY life transition! If you need an 8th grade graduation gift, check out these books. Lots of kids actually enjoy getting their hands on a real book because computers are used so often in school, but of course, a Kindle version is always an option.
The High School Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Studying, Socializing & Succeeding
This book is a great preparation book for students to read over the summer after 8th grade. Many kids are nervous to start at a brand new school, and high school is definitely leveling up in terms of difficulty. This book gets outstanding reviews!
Live on Purpose: 100 Devotions for Letting Go of Fear and Following God
If you’re buying an 8th grade graduation gift for a Christian girl, a devotional can be a thoughtful choice. Here’s a wonderful, age-appropriate devotional for girls to start over the summer after 8th grade. Hopefully, they’ll use it throughout their 9th grade year, too.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
This book has over 3 million copies sold, and it’s sure to set any teenager straight before high school hits. It may not be super fun, but it’s easy enough to be a beach read.
Just As You Are: A Teen’s Guide to Self-Acceptance and Lasting Self-Esteem
This is right about the time when self-esteem issues will hit boys hard, whereas most girls are a couple of years ahead of this curve. This therapist recommended book is here to help your teen learn to love themselves, warts and all.
Erin Condren Academic Planner
The Erin Condren academic planners are a great way to help your teenager work on organizational skills, especially as their calendar gets fuller with every passing year.
Personalized Beach Towels and Attire
Most teens have one FAVORITE thing about summer (aside from sleeping in), and that’s spending time in the water, especially with friends. Celebrate the summer with them by buying a new personalized beach towel! Throw in a brand new swimsuit (and maybe even tickets to a water park with friends), and you’ve got the best of both worlds.
Support their Summer Hobbies
Summertime means down time, and many teens have fun hobbies they get to enjoy in the summer. Of course, a lot of teenagers are pretty much hooked to their screens, but it’s a good idea to try and get them to broaden their horizons and be creative.
Calligraphy/Hand Lettering Kits
Does your 8th grade graduate love art? This calligraphy kit is one that I own. It’s great for teenagers and adults, and it comes with really helpful guidance to get a newbie started.
Cross Stitch Beginner Kits
Here’s a really cross stitch beginner kit for summertime fun.
A ukulele is a super affordable way to dip your toe into music, especially if you’re not interested in doing lessons or taking it too seriously. On the other hand, if your teenager is already involved in band or orchestra, 8th grade graduation is a great time to upgrade their instrument.
Video Production/Editing Tools
A lot of kids this age are super into makeup tutorials. What about a ring light to test out all the makeup tricks they’re learning on Tiktok and to record their own videos?
If your child has a history of getting in trouble at school, you might be anxious about the high school years. I have a post about what to do when your kid keeps getting in trouble at school!
8th Grade Graduation Gift Experiences
The best middle school graduation gifts are experiences that a kid will remember forever. It doesn’t always have to be a big and expensive. Here are some great ideas!
This one fits in both categories, because it’s definitely an “experience” to redo a bedroom with a teenager. Does their room look babyish or just tired? Are you hoping to inspire them to be more organized in high school? Are they just due for a fresh start?
Doing your best to let them take the lead, plan a new bedroom together. With heavy input from them, purchase fresh paint and tackle the room together, making sure to top off the new look with a grown-up reading lamp and bedding.
Card My Yard
Have you seen yards full of celebratory signs? Kids LOVE these. They can write just about any message! This is a nationwide chain, and many cities have more than one company providing these yard signs. How about asking for a graduation sign?
Amusement Park or Water Park
Many kids love amusement parks and water parks, so why not plan a day trip to the nearest one with a best friend or small group of buddies?
Summer Lesson or Class Package
Summer is a great time for new experiences. Maybe you could purchase a short series of horseback riding or golf lessons, art lessons or cooking classes. The opportunities are endless!
Weekend Getaway with a Parent
There’s something really special about a parent-child overnight trip, without siblings or friends. It’s hard to make quality time with one child. Can a spouse or grandparent hold down the fort so you can celebrate with your teenager? Other than staying in a hotel together, what would make those 24-48 hours extra wonderful?
Plan a “Yes Day”
Set some boundaries around distance, safety, and dollar amount beforehand, but then agree to say “yes” to anything that falls within those boundaries all day long!
- Can we go out to eat at a favorite restaurant?! YES!
- Can we go to the movies? YES!
- Can I have 3 hours of video game time past my bedtime? Ugh, but YES!
- Can we adopt a lizard from the pet store? Okaaaaay – YES!
What do teachers really need for their classrooms? Here are 18 gifts that really hit the mark.
Teenager-Friendly Gift Cards
Gift cards can be a really great 8th grade graduation gift because you’re also providing a shopping experience, which is fun for kids.
I have always struggled with giving gift cards because they seem impersonal. But to be honest, I LOVE receiving them, and teenagers do, too. A gift card guarantees that the new high schooler can find something they love!
If you’re going to choose a gift card, make sure to buy a denomination that will allow the kiddo to fully purchase their item without help from Mom and Dad.
Target gift cards are great because almost anyone can find a Target, they tend to be pretty good at appealing to teens, and it’s easy to find something fun at any dollar amount.
Many families have Amazon Prime, so this can be a great gift for a busy family that doesn’t have much time to shop. One click and their new gadget can be on the front porch two days later!
GameStop is a fabulous gift card for 8th graders who love gaming. Be sure to ask Mom and Dad if it’s okay, since some parents are trying to limit screen time instead of feeding the flame.
Spotify or iTunes
Summertime means more opportunities to listen to music while doing chores, dancing, or working on a hobby. Many kids this age will have access to at least one device that can stream music. These can be easily purchased at most grocery stores or big box stores.
Sporting Goods Store or Clothing Store
Buying a gift card to a sporting goods store is a no brainer for athletic kids. If you want to buy a gift card for a clothing store, which is a really popular gift for some kids this age, be sure to check with parents about favorite places to shop!
This is a special time, and you should be excited to honor your child’s hard work! That doesn’t mean you need to break the bank; remember that a heartfelt observance means so much to kids.