35 Practical High School Graduation Gifts For Boys

February 19, 2024

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high school graduation gifts for him

Whether you are shopping for your son, your grandson, your son’s friends, or family friends, don’t automatically default to money as graduation gifts. We’ve curated 35 meaningful and practical graduation gifts for boys that your graduate is sure to treasure, or at least will certainly find useful! You can always tuck a little extra cash into the card as well if you are so inclined.

As a mom of 2 sons in college, my personal suggestion is to avoid gift cards as gifts, whether to stores, food outlets, coffee shops or just Visa gift cards. They’re terrible at keeping up with them and using them to their entirety. I’m sure there are some young men who manage them well, but I’d hate for good money to be wasted on lost or not fully used gift cards.

This list of high school graduation gifts for boys is organized into price ranges. The lower priced items would also make good gift ideas for your son’s friends. We also have a list of gift ideas for high school girls if you need those ideas too!

Jump to a price range or simply scroll the list.

Under $25$25-$50$50-$100Over $100

Graduation Gifts For Boys | Under $25

1) Oh The Places You’ll Go Book – This very inexpensive gift can be made into a beautiful memory for the graduate. The book alone provides an “inspiring and timeless message encouraging readers to find the success that lies within, no matter what challenges they face. A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!”. And you can make it even more special by writing a heartfelt message on the inside cover.

2) Sentimental Photo Book – Pull your photos of the graduate together and easily create a book full of printed memories. If you’re already creating a graduation slideshow, it would be an easy next step to create a photo book. Also consider reaching out to your son’s friends’ moms and collecting all of their group pictures into one book with a copy for each of them.

3) Personalized Zippered Portfolio – He’ll be ready for interviews, club meetings, and other professional-inspired activities with a professional-looking zippered portfolio. Additionally, it adds a touch of sophistication to his appearance.”

4) Monogrammed Towel Set – I’m a firm believer in sending only ‘quick-dry’ towels to college. Additionally, dorms tend to be humid and damp without great airflow. This monogrammed towel set is 100% cotton and indicates a ‘quick-dry design’. If you want to take care of monogramming yourself, I recommend this quick-dry towel set. Furthermore, I see people in my local Facebook groups offering embroidery local to monogram/initial just the bath towels or perhaps a small monogram on each of the smaller towels too to help keep them identifiable. If monogramming isn’t really for him, you could always have phrases associated with the college he is attending. Ex: Go Dawgs!  

5) Mesh Shower Caddy – This is a great inexpensive gift that will be very useful if they have a communal bathroom. To make this gift even more useful, fill the shower caddy with body wash, shampoo, razors, a shaving mirror, washcloths, and towels.

6) Collapsible Trunk Organizer – This is perfect for the car enthusiast who can’t imagine heading to college without his car. You can add to the caddy with helpful products such as Armor All Wipes, a Portable Tire Inflator, Emergency Sleeping Bag, Small First Aid Kit. An extra special gift for the car is a Portable Jump Start Charging Block shown below.

7) Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker – A waterproof speaker is perfect for the active graduate. Additionally, he can take it to a field to play ultimate frisbee or to the shower to have some tunes while he practices good hygiene

8) RFID Super Slim Wallet – This is a great graduation gift for any young man. Moreover, it is RFID-protected against scammers, and it’s not the bulky leather wallet that his grandfather carried for years. A slim option but still easy access to his cash, ID, and his debit card. It also has a place for two IDs to be easily carried (his student ID and driver’s license). In addition to the wallet, you may want to place a dollar bill (or a few) into the wallet so the “wallet will never be without money.”

9) Adidas Shower Shoes – A more durable brand name step up from the thin thong flip flops, and a good likelihood he will wear them more than just to shower.

10) 100 Movies Scratch Off Poster – This will be a great addition to any graduate’s room. It can also be a great conversation starter to bring friends/roommates together as they discuss the movies they’ve seen and potentially scratch off movies that they see together.

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Graduation Gifts For Boys | $25-$50

11) Stainless Steel Water Bottle – This Hydro Flask trail series has a great masculine look, and the wide mouth top makes it much easier to clean. Stainless steel water bottles are definitely in now thanks to being environmentally friendly, leakproof, and sweatproof. It also fits easily in the side pocket of a backpack.

12) Sports Jersey Personalized Blanket – Choose the colors, the jersey number and the last name to create a blanket with memories to last a lifetime.

13) WOOZOO Personal Fan – This is a top 5 college must-have dorm essential. Additionally, these little fans don’t take up much space, but they create an amazing amount of airflow by oscillating in every direction (up, down, left, right, circular). These are only available from late winter to mid-summer.

14) Vornado Personal Fan – Another personal fan option with a little more white noise for those wanting to block out snoring roommates and rowdy hallways.

15) Custom Pet Pillow – Take 25% off through this link. All About Vibe is a leader in custom pet pillows which are handmade in the USA (Chicago) and come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee – they will remake until you are 100% pleased.

16) Columbia Leather Wallet – A sporty slim RFID blocking wallet for those brand-conscious guys.

17) College Logo Throw Pillow – Since matching decor and color schemes may not be on his mind, a school logo throw pillow will fit any bedding and room decor.

18) Custom College + Name Embroidered Plush Blanket – These 50″x60″ throw blankets are customized with your college name or logo plus the student’s name. These make the perfect throw blanket for the foot of the bed and some great college naps!

19) Travel Duffel Bag – For weekend trips or longer trips by airplane, this highly rated bag makes a great option. Comes in 5 sizes and several colors. My favorite feature is the trolley sleeve in the back allowing it to be carried over the telescoping handle of a rolling suitcase.

20) Flag of his University or favorite sports team – It is no secret that men are usually minimalist when it comes to decorating their dorm rooms. However, students will eagerly hang their school flag or favorite sports team flag on the wall.

Boy dorm room at auburn university with twin comforter size for a twin xl bed
My son’s favorite MLB team flag over his dorm bed.

Graduation Gifts For Boys | $50-$100

21) WiFi Bluetooth HD Projector With 120″ Screen – These are popular with college students as a means to make new friends. Offer to host movie night on your hall or in your dorm common area with your very own, very affordable portable home theater setup.

22) Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker – This is the smallest footprint Keurig model which makes it great for dorm rooms or new apartments.

23) 4-Pack Apple AirTags – An incredibly helpful tracker for iPhone owners to help them keep up with important items. Put one in your wallet, in your backpack, in your car and on your ID/lanyard and be able to track them down with a quick look at your phone.

24) Rolling TV Stand With Shelf – Another great option for a dorm room or first apartment, this TV stand can be placed in any small corner of the room or bedroom and includes an adjustable shelf to hold a gaming device or a laptop or tablet connected to the TV.

25) Portable Jump Start Charging Block – This amazing charging block will jump start even the biggest cars without needing another car to come to your rescue. It comes with a carrying case that also includes jumper cables. The charging block can be used to charge a phone several times, as an emergency flare/hazard light or as a flashlight.

26) Stanley Home Tool Kit – Help him be prepared for any tasks that come up when he’s living away from home.

27) Smart Air Purifier – An air purifier can be so helpful for fighting off germs in college as well the everyday unpleasantness that may come from a room full of young men. This one can be controlled by an app and is a great size for a dorm room or a bedroom.

28) The North Face Backpacks – These are a very popular option for both guys and girls headed to college. The link will take you to a selection of men’s sizes. The North Face backpacks are sure to get them through all 4 years of college. As there are several models, please refer to this graphic to compare 3 of the most popular. A few of these are over $100.

Comparison of North Face Jester, North Face Borealis and North Face Recon backpacks for men.
The North Face Men’s Backpack Comparison chart from The Dorm Shopping Facebook Group.

Graduation Gifts For Boys | $100+

29) Samsonite Hard-Side Luggage – Luggage can be an expected graduation gift item, but it doesn’t have to be ‘boomer looking’ – there are some great options in unique colors. This hard-side Samsonite luggage is popular with young adults. It is currently available in 3 sizes and 7 colors. It is best purchased at Kohl’s on sale and with a coupon, or a similar popular Samsonite luggage set can also be found at Macy’s in 3 sizes and 5 colors. For another highly-rated option in even more fun colors, check out these iFly Luggage Sets.

30) Apple AirPod Pros (2nd Gen) – This is the current generation of the noise-canceling AirPod headphones. If you walk around on a college campus, you’ll probably see every other student with at least AirPod in an ear. These are a great gift for any iPhone/iPad/Mac user – not just for music, students do a lot of show watching on their phones or other devices, and AirPods work with any of their devices including MacBook laptops. For about $50 less, you can consider the non-noise canceling AirPods 3rd Gen (current version).

31) Apple Smart Watch – Other than the obvious ‘smart’ features and seamless connectivity with the iPhone, one great thing about smart watches is that you can change the watch face at any time and switch out the bands inexpensively. This allows the smart watch to go from sporty on the basketball court to professional at a job interview.

32) Android Smart Watch – All of the same benefits of the Apple Watch above but made for Android phone users.

33) Apple iPad – An iPad can be a game changer for note taking. Used with one of the popular note-taking apps makes taking notes and keeping them organized easy. You can also add an Apple Pencil for those who like to take hand-written notes or need to draw as a part of their note-taking. iPads are also a preferred device for watching shows with their larger screens.

34) Premium Mattress Topper – A gift that will make a difference every night if they will live in a dorm. Make that thin springy vinyl dorm mattress into a comfort zone with a Sleepyhead mattress topper. You’ll need to know the student’s mattress size at their dorm before purchase.

35) Electric Scooter – If he will be going to school on a large campus, a scooter to help get around could be a day-maker when he’s running a few minutes behind. Scooter for college should be lightweight and easily folded. **Scooters are not allowed on all campuses or dorms. Please check with his campus rules before purchasing a scooter. **

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BONUS IDEA: WRITE A HEARTFELT LETTER

Our high school, and I know many others, offer the opportunity to have friends and family send a letter to students via their school. Furthermore, the school collects the letters and presents each student with an envelope at some point toward the end of the school year. In our case, they are distributed at the graduation rehearsal.

But you don’t need a school prompt to write a letter.

I do this every year for family friends, my kids’ friends, and anyone I know well who is graduating high school.

I tell them what I love about them, what I think shines in them, and offer just a little life advice that I think is appropriate for their situations. It isn’t easy, and it takes time. Admittedly, I often shed a tear during the process as I think through memories and envision what these kids will become one day.

If you have special kids in your life, I encourage you to take the time to do this. You can include pictures if you have them, or just your gift of words.

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Important Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, a lawyer or a financial advisor. Please use this content as informational only and as only one input as you consider what options are best for you and your family. This is not professional advice.

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