Oh the Places You’ll Go (and other special gift ideas)

I had lunch with a couple of fellow Moms the other day, and they opened my eyes to some very special and unique graduation gifts you can give to your children.  But you have to start planning the gifts NOW when they’re little.  (If your children are already past the “little” ages, continue reading anyway – you can still execute some of these ideas!)

Oh the Places You’ll Go
You have probably already heard about the Dad who spent 13 years preparing a special gift for his daughter’s high school graduation.  He purchased a copy of Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss.  At the end of each school year he had her teacher write a note or special memory about her on the inside cover.  (Read more about his story here.)  I know several Moms who are doing this, and I think it’s very sweet.  I am already behind on it… My daughter is wrapping up first grade right now, and I have yet to purchase the book!  I think instead I’ll focus my energies on a different idea.  Such as….

Memory Quilts
You probably saved a few very special baby clothes or blankets, right?  Continue saving clothes here and there that are associated with special memories. Maybe it’s a first soccer jersey, or an elementary school spirit t-shirt, a favorite blanket or a dress she wanted to wear constantly.  One day, you can have pieces of each made into a special memory quilt.  I’ve seen this done with college fraternity/sorority t-shirts, but it never occurred to me to do this as a childhood memory quilt.  Love this idea!  The hardest part will be narrowing down all of the possible items to include.  But how nice to hand your child a quilt to keep forever, rather than storage boxes of every single thing you saved that had sweet memories associated with it.

Birthday Letters
Write a letter to your child on their birthday each year.  Share a few special memories from that year, and what you love about them at this particular age.  Maybe include a few facts each time, such as what they want to be when they grow up or how they like to spend their time, and see how it changes over the years.  Give them all to your child on their 18th birthday.  I know someone who took this a step further and actually created an email address for her newborn.  She occasionally writes emails to her or forwards pictures or birthday party details…whatever feels worth storing in this sort of “virtual time capsule”.  (I can’t imagine her daughter scrolling through all of that one day, but it’s a sweet idea.)

Published Memory Books

Make Shutterfly Book memory books.  If you’ve never made a photo book, trust me when I tell you that it’s very easy!  Make one small book each year with pictures from their birthday parties or a family vacation or their soccer season.  Or, make one special book that spans their childhood years and maybe include all of their school portraits.  (You’ll have to make two copies, of course – one for your child, and one for you.  boo hoo!  they grow up so fast!) Shutterfly Photo Books 234x60

What other special Grad gifts have you heard about?  Leave us a comment here or drop by our Facebook and Twitter pages to share your idea.

(By the way, if you decide to opt out of the long-term-planning-sort-of-Graduation gift, don’t spend even a minute feeling guilty about it!  My Mom didn’t spend 18 years planning a spectacular 18th birthday present, and I am just fine!)

This post contains affiliate links… which means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU!!!
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  • Reply Jebbica @Jebbica's World

    Those memory quilts are adorbs! I wish I was crafty like that!

    May 7, 2015 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Another great book to give is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Takes a mother's love for her son from baby to adult. It will leave tears in your eyes. Quilts are beautiful.

    May 11, 2015 at 1:07 am
  • Reply Liz Joiner

    These are such great ideas! I'm in love with the memory quilt. Too bad I never kept any shirts from when I was a kid.

    Hope you had a great Mother's Day!

    Liz → {sundays with sophie}

    May 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Heidi's Wanderings

    Oh, the Places We'll Go is always a great book to give as a graduation gift I think.

    May 11, 2015 at 8:02 pm
  • Reply Kari

    This brings back memories! This book was read to us at high school graduation.

    January 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm
  • Reply Faye

    Great ideas! I especially love the book and memory quilt ideas. Going to use these!

    March 22, 2016 at 8:58 am
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