Cool Graduation Gift Ideas:
Junior High and Middle School


Graduation gift ideas that take
their interests to the next level are perfect for
junior high and middle school grads.

Graduation Gift Ideas: middle school graduate

The 2-3 years immediately before high school are challenging as children begin changing into young adults. They develop new interests and skills and often feel sensitive about being perceived as children. Junior high or middle school graduation gifts should be given with that in mind, especially gifts intended to evoke happy memories. These guys are all about moving forward!
(skip to other age groups)

A high quality, sturdy backpack/bookbag is a high school essential. Each of my kids had a super strong LLBean Book Pack that withstood all kinds of heavy-duty abuse. Look for padded shoulder straps that are very firmly attached to the bag - they'll be supporting a ton of books! I also recommend a monogram or other visible identifying mark to discourage theft (yeah, we had one stolen).

A scientific calculator with graphing function is needed for certain high school math and science courses. You might check with the school's math department to see what they require, and if they recommend a particular brand.

A computer flash drive may be an extremely useful gift for a graduate headed to high school. Flash drives are portable data storage units that allow students to transfer files between computers -- from the library to home, then to school for example. Mine is about 3" by 3/4" x 3/8", weighs about an ounce, and can be worn on a lanyard for easy safekeeping.

Organizers - either electronic or traditional daily planners in book/notebook form (this one is interesting) - are graduation gift ideas that will see constant use. Time management skills are critical as students deal with classes, student activities, dating, fun with friends and family, and maybe an after-school job (and always due dates for homework). Now is the time to encourage habits that will serve your graduate well, through college and into adult life.

A high school sweater, sweatshirt or jacket will be welcomed by your junior high or middle school graduate and will get plenty of use at high school pep rallies, sports events and whenever students want to show the colors. School garments may be available at the school or at a local department store - check with the school office. Stickers, book covers, and other items with the school insignia are affordable add-ons or gifts from younger siblings.

Exploring new interests – by the time they reach high school, most kids are ready for some serious equipment related to their interests. Their manual dexterity has developed and they can manage delicate instruments and complex concepts and instructions. Here are graduation gift ideas for a few areas of interest:

  • Telescope or Microscope
  • Models of famous/vintage airplanes, autos, ships, spaceships
  • Short wave radio kit
  • Sewing machine
  • Laptop computer
  • Binoculars or outdoor gear
  • Easel or other art/crafts equipment and supplies
  • Video camera

Framed shares of stock are excellent graduation gift ideas for this age group because a) stocks are quite grown-up gifts, b) following their ups and downs is educational and fascinating, and c) your graduate will enjoy owning a share of a corporation related to his or her interests. For example:

  • Movie buffs: Disney, DreamWorks Animation
  • Computer geeks: Cisco Systems, Dell, Adobe
  • Sports fans: Nike, Harley-Davidson
  • Snappy dressers: Polo Ralph Lauren, The Gap
  • The fast food crowd: Denny's, McDonalds, Coca-Cola
  • Budding tycoons: DuPont, General Electric, Microsoft

For other age groups, please continue to graduation gifts for...

...Preschool and Kindergarten
...High School
...College, University, or Grad School
...Teens and Older, for Fun and/or Profit


Cool graduation gift ideas for
junior high and middle school graduates
mark their journey from big kids to young adults.

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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, courtesy of morguefile.com
Other graphics courtesy of Microsoft.