My 10 year old is about to graduate from elementary school. As far as graduations go, it's generally not considered a monumental one. There will be no caps and gowns like college, high school and (some) preschools and kindergartens. But that's not to say it isn't kind of a big deal. Moving from elementary school to middle school is basically THE landmark in the transition from child to tween. It's a BIG. FREAKING. DEAL! So let's celebrate it as such!!! Let's celebrate their accomplishments, their development as a human being, and the big and exciting things that lie ahead for them!! With that in mind, here's my roundup of great elementary school graduation gifts!!! I hope you find it helpful!!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links - you don't pay more but I receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking below links to help fund the blog :)
1. A Smart Device for Communication
Getting your kid a smart phone or watch for the very first time signifies a few things. Independence for one. They don't really need one of these things until they're off on their own, navigating to and from school or activities without a trusted grownup by their side. Needing to be able to call you to coordinate pickup time and location after a study session, send a quick high from camp, etc. If you're nervous about them having access to the internet and social media, as I am, there are some great options that provide reliable cell service and GPS tracking without the extras (which can wait til high school, am I right!?? I mean, WE didn't have smart devices til high school or even college, yes, I'm aging myself)...
For our younger kids through tweens, I highly recommend the TickTalk 4 smart watch phone (affiliate link), which was sent to us to review. My son is LOVING IT, as am I, and it couldn't have come at a better time because he will likely be walking to and from middle school with a group of kids from September and I just am NOT ready for him to have a full fledged smart phone yet. There are a number of reasons I think a smart watch is a better option than a smart phone for the under 14 year old crew, and the TickTalk 4 in particular. Watch my full demo video below, and keep reading for my key points:
2. Take a trip to a National Park
I'm all about making memories to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and other occasions, and the National Park Service makes it even easier, providing FREE national park access to 4th graders (and their crew, including all children under 16 and up to 3 adults with them) through their Every Kid Outdoors Program. In our town, kids go to middle school from 5th grade, so this pass is a great way to use a national park trip as great celebration of elementary school graduation (you just print out the pass and can use it September 1 through August 31 of the year they are in or completed 4th grade)!! You can find a list of national parks and their regular admission fees here, most charge $25-35 per vehicle, so you can actually end up saving quite a lot (though parking may not be covered).
3. A new ride (on)
This gift is more geared toward kids who will be getting themselves to and from school and/or activities, but a new ride-on is a great idea!! Upgrading their "little kid" ride to a newer and *COOLER* bicycle, kick scooter, e-scooter, or even skateboard! Do make sure to check with their middle school to see what is allowed, and what the parking situation would be. And don't forget a helmet, reflectors / lights, etc - SAFETY FIRST!!
4. Locker Gear & Decor
For many kids, getting a locker is one of the biggest and most exciting aspects of going from elementary school to middle school, so gifting fun locker gear and decor is a great idea!! Better yet, make a fun day out of giving them a budget and going together to go shopping specifically for locker gear (Five Below is always a fun stop), or easier, order all their locker decor on Amazon (affiliate link) - we're talking mirrors and other magnetic decor, perhaps a deoderizer, etc. You can even get magnetic LED locker lights and mini wireless magnetic chandeliers, how stinkin' cool!?? Note: you should check with the school for any guidelines about what is and isn't allowed.
5. Subscription Box
Subscription boxes are the gifts that keep on giving, and there is one for just about every age, gender, interest, and need you can think of!! Clothing for kids and teens with KidPik (sizes 2T-16, get up to 7.5% cash back with Rakuten extension) or Stitch Fix (sizes 2T-18, and adults; up to $9 cash back with Rakuten), and find just about any subscription box from beauty to gaming to science through CrateJoy (3% cash back with Rakuten).
6. New or upgraded homework zone
Middle school brings our kiddos into the next level of homework, studying, writing papers, etc. While most kids are not excited for this, upgrading their homework zone to make it more cozy, ergonomic, and decorated specifically for them can certainly help!! Consider an ergonomic office chair, gaming chair, or even a saddle chair like this.
For both kids and adults, the feet should be flat on the floor with the knees at 90 degree angle, and screens should be viewable straight forward without having to look up or down. There are lots of adjustable gadgets such as this one that can help prevent neck damage and bad posture by raising a tablet, laptop book, or phone to a better height for your kiddo (or for you too, mom and dad!!). NO ONE should be holding a phone or book at desk level looking down at it for hours on end. NOT. HEALTHY!! Find a way to raise it up and save your neck :)
A gorgeous framed cork board such as this one can help them change up their wall decor often with ease and less damage, or go for a gorgeous canvas print, and don't forget some headphones!
7. First computer, laptop, TV, or gaming system.
Many parents limit the use of screens for toddlers and kids, for good reasons (I am not one of those parents but I applaud those who do)! If you haven't indulged yet, giving your child their first computer, laptop, TV, or gaming system to celebrate their graduation from elementary school can be a fun way to celebrate their growing up and your trust in them. There are many parental controls you can install to monitor or limit screen time, in-game conversations, downloads, etc. Be sure to check out parental programs such as Bark (for iOS products), Kidas and Google Family Link.
8. Personalized walk down memory lane
I love collages and personalized gifts, and what better way to celebrate your kid's jump from the first half to the second half of their "childhood" than to give them a book of memories with highlights from their baby, toddler, and elementary school days, or even a photo collage of their first 10-11 birthday/school photos! Canvaspop has lots of great options!
I hope this roundup gave you lots of great ideas! I'd love to hear what you have gifted your kids and tweens in the past (or are planning to gift) - sharing is caring, leave a comment below!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!