37 Best Ideas for 8th Grade Graduation Gifts (2024)

Flay lay on a white table with colorful metallic glitter circles. Diploma tied with gold ribbon, gold tassel, gold circle behind a card that says "congrats grad" in colorful letters.

We curated the best 8th grade graduation gifts thanks to over 4,000 moms of tweens and teens. Celebrate the eighth grade grads in your life with gifts they’re guaranteed to love.

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It’s officially graduation season! Middle school may have felt like it lasted a long time, but now it’s over in a blink. And if you happen to be the parent of a graduating 8th grader, congrats on surviving middle school along with them!

We had fun putting together this list of 8th-grade graduation gifts, especially because our own teenagers helped us out (along with our amazing community of moms of tweens and teens)!

You’ll find a range of ideas from sentimental and personalized gifts to practical and technology gifts. We’ve organized our gift guide into categories to help you find the perfect gift for your 8th grade grad.

Gifts for Eighth Grade Boys & Girls

Middle schoolers are leaving their most awkward years behind and heading into high school. They’ll discover more about themselves and these gifts will help them enjoy what they already love, like reading, traveling, taking pictures, playing sports, staying organized, working out and playing video games.

Apple Pencil
If your soon-to-be-high-schooler uses an iPad for anything school-related, it’s time to get an Apple Pencil. It’s a game changer for kids who need to take better notes and write down information with perfect precision.

A lot of our college students use iPads and it’s crazy the number of things they can do with an Apple Pencil.

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
Help these 8th grade graduates stay organized in high school and save some paper. This highly-rated Rocketbook Fusion notebook comes with a Pilot Frixion pen and a microfiber cloth.

This thing is seriously amazing. One of my college students swears by this notebook as the best way to keep track of everything.

It includes 42 reusable pages with 7 different page styles for planning, listing, goal setting and note taking.

They can use the free Rocketbook app to send their notes to popular cloud services like Google drive, Dropbox, Evernote, box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, email and more. Choose from 9 fun colors.

Brain.fm Focus Music
A subscription to Brain.fm is a great gift because your future high schooler can use it every day. I encourage my students to get this focus music because it really works. Brain.fm is also supported by the National Science Foundation, so I’m convinced.

We use it and love it – and you get to save 20% with code salteffect! Check out the 60 second video below.

Waterproof Digital Camera

Moms raved about underwater cameras in our gift groups! It’s a great gift for high schoolers to capture special moments in rain, snow and water that they can’t get with their phones. This camera shoots high-quality video and photos, and comes equipped with electronic image stabilization.

If you want to splurge and get the best of the best, check out the GoPro Hero9.

Scratch Off USA Map
We love these scratch off US maps! If your 8th grade graduate loves to travel or wants to travel more often in high school, this scratch off map is the best gift to keep track of their adventures.

Or they can get creative, especially if they’re avid readers who are always looking for new things to read. Search for books that are set in different parts of the US and scratch off states as they read or learn about them. Don’t forget the magnetic frame hanger!

Kindle Paperwhite
Teens read almost everything on a screen, so it makes sense to invest in a device that’s lightweight, waterproof, glare-free and can access thousands of titles.

I know…that’s a hard sell to traditional book lovers who want to hold a real book and turn the pages…but it’s reality for this generation whether we like it or not.

Some of my college students use the Paperwhite for their textbooks and love the Amazon discounts they can snag. This Kindle comes in 3 colors, 8GB or 16GB, has a battery that lasts for weeks.

One of the newest features? Adjustable warm lights (and a larger screen) so it’s easier on their eyes. A must-have for all the hours these kids spend on screens.

Award Rack
Give middle school graduates a great way to display their medals! We love the unique look of these award racks to celebrate their hard work.

Choose from 1, 2 or 3 levels and customize the top with a name, activity or favorite saying. Height varies based on levels, but all are 23.5 inches long. Your purchase ships free and supports a small business!

Video Games and Consoles
You really can’t go wrong with a video game if your young graduate loves to play on Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch or Playstation 5.

Here are some of the most popular video games:

Apple Watch
We used to recommend Fitbits here, but the Apple Watch is the preferred choice of most iPhone users. We know a lot of young athletes (runners and swimmers especially) who swear by their Apple Watch.

The 2nd Generation Apple Watch SE is available in 6 colors, 2 screen sizes and 6 band sizes. You can also choose Apple Care. Don’t forget to add some extra bands!

Sunrise Alarm Clock
Getting a middle schooler up for school is hard, but waking up a high schooler is even more challenging. Reviewers rave about this clock, describing it as “the perfect alarm clock” and saying “I can’t live without this!!”

Sunlight is simulated with natural sounds and brightness increase from 10% to 100% in 30 minutes before the alarm goes off. Choose from 7 colors and 20 brightness levels.

Gifts for 8th Grade Girls 

Eighth grade graduation day is a perfect time to get her a unique gift. She’s past the stage for teddy bears, but we’ve gathered some other great ideas like a custom bookmark, makeup bag or necklace, plus a fun experience gift to celebrate with her friends.

Kendra Scott Necklace
Give her a pretty necklace that she can wear every day or on special occasions. Kendra Scott is a favorite brand for teen girls, so she’ll love this dainty pendant.

Available with 21 different colors and sizes 15″ to 17″ – and you can customize it even more to make it uniquely hers.

lululemon Dual Pouch Wristlet
One of the top gifts for teen girls this year has been the dual pouch wristlet from lululemon. This wristlet comes with two zippered pouches to keep small items in place while she’s on the move. They come in 8 different colors and are detachable.

Owala Insulated Water Bottle
Definitely the most popular water bottle right now! I just bought one for my high school niece and we see them all over campus. Girls love the built-in straw and the lid that keeps the spout clean.

If you’ve looked at other brands, you’ll be in love with the price tag on these! Made of stainless steel, drinks stay cold for up to 24 hours. Available in 22 colors and 4 different sizes: 16, 24, 32 and 40 ounces.

Wire Bookmarks
She’ll love this bookmark if she’s a reader. We saw these wire bookmarks on Instagram and fell in love! We’ve ordered several as gifts and they always get compliments. Lots of colors available.

You can customize with her name, school, inspirational word or phrase…anything you want. You’ll find over 5,000 5-star reviews on this mom’s Etsy site and comments about how wonderful and easy she is to work with.

Personalized Makeup Bag
Get her something cute and practical that your 8th grade girl will use all through high school. This small canvas makeup bag comes in 2 colors with pretty metallic options for her name. If she’d prefer a tote bag, we love this personalized one!

Tie Dye Party Kit
We’re big fans of experience gifts because memories are honestly the best gifts you can give. A tie dye party kit is the best of both! Your 8th-grade graduate will have a shirt to keep along with memories and pictures from a celebration with her friends or family.

This kit includes 32 colors, 1 tablecloth, 10 pairs of gloves, 120 rubber bands and step-by-step directions for up to 50 projects. (See our full list of experience gifts here.)

Gifts for 8th Grade Boys

Boys in this age group are difficult to buy for, but we found a few gifts he’ll be able to use as he becomes a high school student.

Minimalist Wallet
If he doesn’t have a wallet yet, this is the perfect time to give him one. I’ve given one to both of my teen boys and they especially love the card slot.

Choose from 8 different colors and either a money strap, slim money clip or a transparent ID card slot.

JBL Clip 4 Waterproof Speaker
Portable speakers from JBL are our favorite to use and recommend! This is the latest clip version that’s perfect for teens to listen to their favorite songs. They can take it to the pool or the beach without worrying about getting it wet. My teen keeps his in the shower!

The sound quality is a bit better than the Clip 3 speaker and this updated version has an integrated carabiner. It’s Bluetooth enabled and gets 10 hours of playtime from a single charge.

Swim Trunks with Zipper Pockets
Eighth grade graduation also marks the beginning of summer, so it’s the perfect time for a new suit. My teen loves these trunks because they’re compression-lined and they have 2 zipper pockets. Available in 30 unique colors/patterns and sizes XS through XXL.

Gatorade Insulated Squeeze Bottle
Our families have a lot of different water bottles, but Gatorade has always been a winner. Mostly because they’re easy to use and don’t cost a fortune.

And now it’s insulated! Kids can still waterfall because it’s a squeeze bottle. Choose from 4 colors and keep water cold for hours.

lululemon Men’s Shorts
It’s not just a brand for girls – lululemon has high-quality men’s clothing too. My teen son picked out these shorts because they’re actually comfortable for working out. Oh, and did I mention the zippered pockets?

Available in sizes XS through 3XL in 7 colors and 2 inseam lengths.

Books to Give as 8th Grade Graduation Gifts

We love gifting books, especially as 8th-grade graduation gifts – or graduation from high school or college. They’re great on their own, but you can easily add gift cards if you want to give a little more. Our list of the 50 best gift cards for teens can give you some ideas.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
I’m sure you’re familiar with Dr. Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. His son, Sean Covey, adapted those habits specifically for teens. Brilliant! We know some of our college students have read one of these books and we can tell it’s made a difference for them.

Note that the hardcover is less expensive, but that’s because it’s a mini version. 

Cookbook for Teens
I spent the first five years of married life in a men’s residence hall because my husband was an Resident Director. After that experience, I decided that if I ever had boys, I’d teach them how to do basic things like laundry, cleaning and cooking before they’re out of the house.

Whether you’re buying for a girl or boy, this cookbook is a perfect 8th grade graduation gift. Yes, they can look everything up online, but here’s what I love about this book: it includes information like how to correctly measure ingredients, what common cooking terms mean and how to avoid common cooking mistakes.

This is a book they’ll keep–and their future roommates and spouse will thank you!

I Am Malala
Most 8th graders have probably spent more time complaining about school than being grateful for it. That’s normal (we did the same thing too at their age). Celebrating eighth grade graduation is a perfect time to step back and see the reality of education around the world.

Malala fought for the right to an education in Pakistan, and was shot while riding home on the bus when she was 15. This memoir from the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner is an incredible story about the power of education. It’s a must-read for everyone.

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World
This book is based on the 2014 UT-Austin commencement speech by Admiral William H. McRaven. The hardcover edition is a wonderful keepsake.

Your teens won’t always listen to you, but they may pay attention to life lessons from a Navy SEAL. It’s a book they’ll go back to again and again next year in high school and beyond.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
Here’s a thoughtful gift idea for girls who love science, tech, engineering or math! Give her this book that highlights accomplishments of 50 women in STEM fields throughout history. It also has infographics about lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields and an illustrated scientific glossary. 

READ MORE >>> Best Book Series for Tweens & Teens

2024 Custom Gifts for Grads

The end of middle school is an important milestone in an older child’s life. Whether their school has a graduation ceremony or not, these fun 2024 8th grade graduation gifts will commemorate this special occasion.

2024 Ornament
I’m sure they won’t need any help remembering this school year, but it’s a year unlike any other (again!) and deserves to be commemorated with something tangible. We love this custom ornament from a small businesses that gets rave reviews on Etsy!

2024 Graduation Print
If your 8th grader is part of a small class or has a close group of school friends, a customized print is a great way to capture some memories.

Available as a digital download or an unframed print, you can personalize in a lot of different ways: school name, classmate or friend names, year, school mascot, grade, school colors and good quality photo. It’s made by Word Dazzle, a small business with great customer service and thousands of 5-star reviews!

2024 Cake Topper
Here’s a perfect way to say goodbye to 8th grade! We love that you can personalize this one. Pair the cake topper with some fun photo props if you’re having a graduation party. This glitter cake topper is available in every color shown at the top of the picture.


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