Gift Guide for Kids in College & Middle School, Suggested by My Daughters

tattly tattoos

One of the great joys of life is giving people gifts that they want and need—and a big happiness stumbling block is not having any good ideas for what such a gift might be.

I decided to ask my daughters what they’d suggest, for people wanting to buy gifts for children their age.

My older daughter Eliza is a sophomore in college. She suggests:

  • temporary tattoos (such as these)
  • fun flip-flops for the shower
  • Command hooks of various kinds
  • twinkle lights
  • nice pens
  • a smart speaker
  • soft blanket
  • fun keychain
  • bean bag or inflatable chair (I have to admit, I had no idea what an “inflatable chair” was, but Eliza explained that it’s something like this.)
  • a fun collapsible umbrella
  • gift card to Starbucks or food places


My younger daughter Eleanor is in middle school. She made the point that this is a tough age for gift-giving, because kids are too old for toys but too young for many items that adults would enjoy.

She suggests:


If you’re looking for unexpected, delightful gifts for recipients of any age, check out the MoMa Gift Store.

What are your suggestions for good gifts for these ages?

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

DISCOVER MORE

Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter “5 things making me happy”.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.