High school graduations parties are in full swing. It is crunch time for finding that perfect gift for farm kids heading off to college in the fall.
As a mom who held three graduation parties for four high school graduates, I have seen a number of gifts come through my farm door. Some of them were practical, some were thoughtful, and others were fun.
Here are 7 graduation gifts you may want to consider giving farm kids heading to college:
1. Set of same colored towels. Let's face it, our farm kids grab what is handy when heading to the shower. For the most part, they rely on mom to wash those towels. In college, they will need their own set. They will do their own laundry. The same colored towels are nice so that they can identify theirs in the laundry pile on the dorm room floor. I suggest three towels and three washcloths paired with detergent.
2. Windshield sunshade. Many farm kids park their cars or trucks inside the machine shed, under a tree or by the garage at the farmstead. Why? Shade. They want the inside of the cars kept cool. In college, their cars will be housed in an open lot, exposed to the bright sun every day. A windshield sunshade deflects the sun and heat. Pair it with a set of sunglasses and it is a win for the car and farm kid.
3. Rolling duffle bag or carryon suitcase. We want farm kids to return home--every now and then. A rolling duffle bag or travel suitcase is ideal to bring home just the right amount of clothing for the weekend. Farm kids might also have a few college adventures that require overnight stays. Either of these will fit the bill. And it is just the right size for the amount of dirty laundry any farm mom wants to do on the weekend.
4. All-purpose tool. Most of the time farm kids are required to leave their tools on the farm because dad is not buying new ones. When my daughter recieved an all-purpose tool, I thought what a waste. However, come to find out she used it often. When she purchased a refrigerator, she used it to cut the zip ties. Consider making the all-purpose tool part of a dorm decorating gift basket that includes command strips, wall putty and a picture frame that includes a photo of you and the graduate.
5. Clothes hangers. How do you know when farm kids leave for college? Every clothes hanger in the house disappears. Do farm moms a favor, consider a graduation gift of clothes hangers. And to make sure the farm kid knows which ones to take back to college by purchasing colored ones--perhaps their university colors. Add to it an iron and portable ironing board.
6. Yeti colster. If you are not into practical gifts, this is a great option. How do I know? I received a Yeti Rambler Colster from a company. It is amazing at keeping beverages cold. Then it was gone. Yep, my college kid took it. So, rather than giving up your own, consider a Yeti Rambler Colster as a graduation gift. And with the expense of this item, they can provide their own drinks.
7. Money. Farm kids appreciate money. Knowing how much to give a high school graduate is challenging. The experts at MakeCollegeCount.com suggest varying amounts depending on your relationship with the graduate. For siblings of the graduate $15 to $30 is appropriate, while grandparents, aunts and uncles should give between $20 and $50. More distant relatives and family friends give as little as $15 all the way up to $50. One thing is for certain, farm kids will appreciate any amount of money.
Whatever gifts you choose always offer a card with a handwritten sentiment. Our farm kids need all of the praise, support and love we can give them as they take that next step toward building a better future for agriculture.