Tuesday

Gift Idea for High School Sitter...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008-Perspective & Opinion
Hello All, our wonderful nanny will be graduating from high school at the beginning of May, and both DH and I are at a loss as to what to get her to celebrate! She will be going to RISD in the fall, but mom and dad are taking care of all the dorm stuff. Both dc's plan on making her a scrapbook and some clay figurines (to decorate her dorm windowsill =)), but dh and I would, obviously, love to get her something too. We have two boys, 7 and 10, so we aren't exactly well-versed in teenage girl! Any help is greatly appreciated.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

A gift card to her favorite store.
A Itunes gift card if she has a ipod.
A gift basket from bed,bath body works, or maybe victorias secret. Love spell smells really good.

me said...

An array of GC's to Starbucks, Target, Bookstore, Gas, Grocery

seattlenanny said...

A cute Coach wristlet. It's the perfect size to stick in your backpack while you're at school and stylish enough to carry while you're out with friends. Don't let the word Coach scare you, the wristlets are not that much. :)

PS How sweet of you to think of her!

Anonymous said...

great suggestions!

i'd also suggest a Moleskine day planner. it's the kind of thing that doesn't scream teenage girl, but it is a really nice thing to have. maybe throw it together with a nice pen? it's the kind of gift a student would never splurge on, but as a student, i loved receiving mine from my family.

april said...

You sound nice, but as a professional nanny I take offense at you labeling your 17 year old student a nanny.

Seriously.

A Fabulous Nanny said...

That's so great of you to think of her! I agree that gift cards would be awesome, and I think restaurant ones are key considering it will give her an escape from the cafeteria/food court! Look up the restaurants in her area and make sure she has a few of them around.

Also, maybe a fun spa day to get her ready for school? An appointment for a refresher haircut/color, nails done, etc etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to dissent here. I absolutely hate giftcards. They feel like an obligation to me and I keep staring at them in my wallet thinking I need to go use them (and feeling guilty I haven't done so yet). Of course I appreciate the thought, but I simply don't like them.

I would say get her a small gift which can really be anything thoughtful (clothing item, toiletries, etc) and make the bulk of the present cash. Cash is what she really wants and will ultimately appreciate the most in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Get her gift cards suitable for the stores in the area she is going away to for college...

Anonymous said...

Get her gift cards suitable for the stores in the area she is going away to for college...

Anonymous said...

I agree with gift cards, except when I was a college student. College students are always hungry and always need gas. If she drives!
Phone cards. Grocery Cards, even mcdonalds gift certificates. A hot pot. some coffee. Green tea. Case of energy beverages.

Anonymous said...

Over the next few weeks, keep an eye on her style. Get her a giftcard to a store that matches as well as a generous check. She will definitely need money. Perhaps one gift could be from the boys, and they could pick out something to put in the gift as well, and one from you.

Sweet Seventeen said...

April, would you mind explaining what exactly constitutes being a nanny? I am 17 years old and I am a nanny. Not a babysitter, a nanny. I graduated early at the age of 16, and have been earning my degree in elementary education since January of last year. I have been babysitting since I was 12 years old, and I know the difference between the two. If I were a babysitter, I would come over maybe one to two evenings a week, play some games, read some books, then go home. No, I am at my employer's house for ten hours a day, five days a week.

I've never met a "babysitter" who does all of the things I do. And since the parents see this girl as their nanny, I'm sure she bears many of the same responsibilities. It is absolutely ridiculous for you to be offended that this 17 year old is being called a nanny. You sound like one of those people who has to demean everyone around you so you can feel better about yourself. "A professional nanny" I can just feel the sense of superiority you must have had when you wrote that. Get over yourself. seriously.

Sweet Seventeen (again) said...

Sorry, I got a little off track ;)

Is she going away to college, or is she still going to be living near home. This may factor into what kind of gift you get her. I'm not sure where I stand on gift cards. They are certainly easier to pick out, and you know for sure it won't be stuck in a bottom drawer and forgotten. As a college student, I can tell you, a gift card to wal-mart would probably be spent on a pair of socks and a bag of jelly beans. Try to think of something more creative that fits her personality. If she is a coffee drinker, she would probably love a starbucks gift card, especially for those early classes. Someone else mentioned a gas card. I would absolutely be thrilled if I received one of those. It seems so simple, but it's the little things that keep us college girls broke ;)

Also, if you do go the gift card route, don't put it in a fancy box with some expensive chocolate and gourmet coffee. It will look nice, but in the end, I'm sure she'd rather have the extra ten or fifteen bucks.

Deni said...

everybody loves cash :)

Anonymous said...

April, Who are you to judge if she is a babysitter or nanny? You are being unprofesional just saying what you said. She can be in highschool and be a nanny, her charges are 7 & 10. maybe she picks them up from school and then watches them till there parents get home later.

April If I were you I would think before i spoke and made accusations.

alex said...

Hi! I don't know how much you are planning to spend but when I graduated from high school my family paid for my books for the first year. They called the school and asked around how much it would cost for two semesters of books. It was very sweet.

When I graduated from college my aunt gave me the Tiffany lock and it says "class of 2007" on it. I absolutely love that necklace.

Money always works well. Another idea is a laundry basket full of essentials. When one of my best friends graduated from high school she received a laundry basket full of things she needed but that she may have overlooked.

just anonymous said...

$$$$$

emily said...

I agree with Deni. I'm surprised at all the people saying gift cards or other presents. The traditional gift for graduation is money. I didn't graduate from high school all that recently, but I clearly remember my Thank You card list, and the odd "actual present" on the list did not inspire much gratitude once I'd left for college.

She's paying for tuition, books, room & board, etc. She'll want to pick out her own things to take, and she'll appriciate a gift of something made by the kids and a cash gift from you and your husband.

Anonymous said...

April, give me a break. Seriously.

As to gift cards, I cringe when I get any. They usually have fees if you don't use them within a certain time. And look what happened with Sharper Image! They were not honoring heir gift cards until public outcry made them change their tune. Also I recently received my bonus in the form of a visa gift card and wasn't to upset until I found out that not all Visa Gift Cards are created equal! This one was not to be used in many popular types of establishments and because of fraud many others weren't accepting it. Again, I advise Cash. it's accepted everywhere and any amount is always appreciated by a teenager! Very nice to want to do something special for her! You sound like great employers!

Anonymous said...

She'd love you forever if you got her an iPhone. My college-aged daughters love theirs.

oh eliot said...

If you get a gift certificate, make sure it is to a place she can walk to. Target, Walgreens- those would be great. A picture frame is always nice.

Anonymous said...

Gift card or certificate from an art supply place.

Anonymous said...

I am the OP-these suggestions are fantastic-thank you! I knew I could count on the ISYN bloggers.

To 11:57,
I am sorry if I offended you by referring to her as our nanny, however she picks our kids up every day at 3pm, stays with them until 8:30 makes and cleans up from dinner, does homework with them, gets both kids ready for bed, and has helped on weekends in a pinch. She is more than the "babysitters" (both of whom we love as well) that we use on weekend nights.

Anonymous said...

OP again, I am amending my post a bit:

We are in New York, and nanny and her family live here as well. In regards to giving cash, we know her parents and recognize that they will be ensuring her financial comfort while at RISD, taking care of her art supplies, meals, etc.


I LOVED the idea of a spa day and may do just that, many thanks to that post!

oh eliot said...

Op,
You have a sitter you love. She is going away to college. You obviously trust her. Be sure to plan a lot of fun nights for you and your husband this summer. It will help her, because she will be making money and it will be great for you!

Anonymous said...

Just to chime in:
The best gift I ever received before going to college was a cute change purse full of quarters - $10 or so. The person who gave it to me said she remembered her (grown) children always asking for laundry and parking money, and that's exactly what I used it for.

Anonymous said...

That was the best gift you got for graduation? It must have been some change purse!

The best gift I got for graduation was $5,000 towards tuition from my grandparents.

Anonymous said...

She's going to RISD - so can I assume that she is an art student? If so, ask her what types of art classes she is planning on taking and get her something relevant to that, or, if you have to get her a gift card (which do feel a little less than personal) get her one to the art supply store near the school, or one of those american express gift cards. the moleskin notepad sounds really great (just make sure that it's unlined so that she can sketch in it).
I guarantee that a first year art student needs nothing as much as plenty of sketch pads, charcoal and food (i've been there)

Anonymous said...

When I was in art school, I mostly had to use the specific supplies that each teacher requested for a particular class.
Also, it sounds like OP is trying to tell us that nanny will not be wanting for gas money, restaurant meals,or any of the other day to day items that a lot of typical college students run short of.
In the case where a person has plenty of money, I think a special, personal gift is more fun than cash. We had an occasional babysitter who we really loved who was going off to college. My kids gave her a beautiful (I think it was Waterford?)crystal heart paperweight and told her it was because they wanted her to remember that they loved her.

Also, the idea of the charm commemorating her graduation year is a nice idea. Maybe start her a charm bracelet and put that on as the first charm. You could also add a charm in rememberance of your children, or some special activity they enjoyed together. YOu could add some charms for her favorite activities as well, depending on how much you want to spend. Do you have James Avery jewelers there? Look them up on the internet. They make beautiful sterling or gold jewelery at reasonable prices.

Elizabeth said...

I have to say, I LOVE the idea of the charm bracelet. I'm a sophomore in college, and have worked for the same family the last two summers. About a year ago I started charm bracelets for the girls and myself, and we all love adding to them. Because of my situation, most of the charms are ones that I've sent them, so they know I'm thinking about them as I'm adventuring. The ones that we got to pick out together, though, are lots of fun too. I realise the boys probably wouldn't be so keen on having charm bracelets (hehe), but I still think the idea is absolutely lovely! I vote for that one.

alex said...

I received a charm bracelet for my birthday one year from my kids. It was the silver bracelet and the charm was a picture of them that was engraved on the back saying we love you. That was one of the best gifts I have ever received and I have since been buying charms to add to that bracelet. So I do think that would be a great idea.

Since you say that her parents will be taking care of her money wise, as a recent college grad I definitely appreciated the presents that had meaning to them. Like my charm bracelet and my class of 2007 necklace. Those are jewelry that are special because you may not go buy them for yourself.

Midwest Nanny said...

Does she have a digital camera?

Anonymous said...

You mentioned that this girl is going to live in the dorm and her parents are taking care of the dorm stuff.

When I lived in the dorms, gift cards (as many suggested) would have been great. Places like Target carry necessities and fun things, so that would be one suggestion.

I would have loved the chance to eat out or go to the movies with friends, so those types of gift cards would have been nice, too!

Anonymous said...

I was one of those kids whose parents gave me plenty of money for college, and more (which it sounds like these parents might be doing for this girl.)I had the ability to buy things for my room, eat at restaurants, buy gas, whatever. In a case like that a little more money isn't nearly as meaningful as a personal gift that she might have forever as a reminder of you and the part of her life she shared with you.

Anonymous said...

11:22
very sweet post!

Anonymous said...

Where she will be staying at RISD, there is no Target or Wal-mart close-by at all. Some of the only chains around there are Au bon pain
and CVS. If you are going to give a spendable gift why not one of those Visa gift cards. I use them all the time and have never had any trouble with them.

Anonymous said...

I was a nanny for a family for my entire high school career. When I graduated from high school and left for college they gave me a gift that was so meaningful that I still have it with me today. As many others suggested they gave me a gift card, but the gift that accompanied it was worth more to me. They bought me the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, The Places You'll Go." There is a special collectors addition that is very nice. It may seem small to some, but as someone who has always been in childcare and is going to be a teacher it was a very appropriate and sentimental gift.

Anonymous said...

I dont know where/what RISD is, but a good idea if they offer is to add to their college card. My son is at UMASS-A and they have a U-Card that is like an ATM card but for on campus purchases. They can buy food-books-snacks-items-trips-event tickets-etc with it. Call the school-or look online-and see if they have something similar and you can send a check in to fund that.

Kathleen said...

I nannied for 2 families together over the summer and they got me a Tiffany's ring. I loved it! And it was something that I wanted but would have never bought it for myself. Also now I wear it and it reminds me of the girls! :)

Anonymous said...

Gift cards to specific places are really nice but I've changed my purchases to the Visa/Mastercard/American Express gift cards. These are pre-paid cards without expiration and can be used anyplace that takes credit cards. The recipient can splurge on herself or buy necessities. You aren't tying her down to a specific store or restaurant and you're basically giving cash. The cash option is great but whenever I get cash as a gift, I feel a little slighted, like the giver didn't take time to think what I may like. With the cards, it's more like cash you don't feel burning a hole in your pocket and the giver thought enough of you to make the purchase.

Anonymous said...

Something I'm doing for my brother who's also graduating this year is getting him a dorm room DVD collection. I purchased most of them used on Amazon, so I bought about 20 at very reasonable prices. I tried to get him movies that I know my college guy friends really like (Old School, 300, etc). For a girl I would recommend most romantic comedies. How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, The Holiday, Love Actually, 10 Things I hate about you are all staples in the dorms. Perhaps Almost Famous for the artistic type. I think this would be a great gift since it's definitly something you wish you had more of once you get ot school and something that most wouldn't think of giving a college student. A year long Netflix subscription would also be really cool. Just a nice way to unwind and such and if you know her taste well it can be very thoughtful and meaningful.

Kim said...

How about a giftcard? College students LOVE Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

I've been a nanny for 5 years. At the time of my graduation I had been working for the family for about 2years. I tell everyone that they give me the best gifts! If the nanny spends alot of time with your child she will really enjoy getting something made by your kids! Secondly, she's worked for you for a very long time, so you should know here pretty well! Get her a gift that shows how well you know her. She'll really appreciate the thoughfulness! It's o.k. if it's pratical since she's going away to college, but my employers usually try to get me something that I absolutly love but would never buy for myself! Then they throw in a Starbucks card, so I can treat myself. But take it from someone who recently graduated..you get overloaded with giftcards! Give her something thoughful, that she would enjoy but never treat herself to.

Anonymous said...

Do a VISA gift card. Then she can use it anywhere

MYSAY said...

Maybe a debit card that will help her with minor expenses, gas, books, a new outfit. Or maybe something as simple as a relaxing day with a friend for a facial and lunch for two. Congratulations to her.

DESTINYZANGEI17 said...

11:57 pm is sttrange. I was a 16 year old nanny when I homeschooled. I did it part time and loved it! Now I'm about to graduate college (and plug along to another school) and I'm still a nanny! It's like saying an 18 year old waitress cannot be called a waitress if a 47 year old is called a waitress. Wha? That doesn't even make sense.

But anyway, I think a coach wristlet and a giftcard are a great idea! I can't believe someone else mentioned it! My family (that I nanny for) got me one and I LOVE it; I also use it everyday. You can get them online or at an outlet for a great price. Also, maybe a visa gift card. Nothing says, "I'm a student" like eating grape jelly on a spoon b/c you're broke. Perhaps that will save her some grape jelly moments. No matter what you get her I'm sure she'll be thrilled that you thought of her and I'm sure she'll LOVE what your sons have made!

Anonymous said...

I suggest a digital picture frame. My daughter wanted to keep pictures of her family and friends all around her when she went away to college. A digital picture frame takes up little space in the dorm and with SD cards they can keep 100's of photos on them. They even have a slideshow option so that the picture changes all the time.

Jane Doe said...

Previously known as mysay at 226 PM,
Please refer to rule #2.

xfileluv said...

This may be too time consuming, but I love the idea of giving her a card stating that your gift will be a special "surprise" box once a month from you and the kids.

Commit to filling a box with special items once a month and sending it to her. College kids LOVE to get packages, and the items inside can be shared with new friends on the floor or held onto for personal reasons. And instead of thinking of you once, she'll think of you every month when she gets her package!

Things to include can be special tea, homemade baked goods, store bought college faves (Ramen noodles, Easy Mac, cookies, candy, etc.), pictures that the boys have drawn, pre-paid phone cards, a cute pair of earrings, nail polish, etc.

You could be creative or as practical as you like, and I bet the boys would LOVE keeping their eyes open for little gifts they think she would like the weeks leading up to shipping the package.

Regardless, I think it's wonderful that you are making the effort to give her something special.

Anonymous said...

To any of you who have sitters going away to college next year.

Regardless of whether you invest $5 or $50, getting a surpise box is the best feeling in the world as a college student. Even if it is a box full of ramen and hot chocolate.

If your life has ever been touched by a good babysitter and she is away at college, yes, by all means send a box. what a great idea. pictures from the kids. a sachet or something that smells good.

nice idea.

Anonymous said...

How bout u get her some cool things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Jen said...

There have been so many great suggestions. This young lady obviously means so much to you and your family. The Spa Day sounds wonderful! Maybe having a portrait done of your children and getting it framed for her to have in her dorm? That could be something nice to include, as well. It would not have to be large, just a 5x7 to sit on her desk.

Anonymous said...

As someone who just graduated college and still remembers well the transition from high school to college I would say without a doubt TARGET gift card and/or AMAZON gift card. There are always new things needed at college and books are expensive too but can be found more cheaply on amazon.

Upstate Mom said...

I encourage you not to give gift cards. MANY companies are filing chapter 11 these days, and those cards become WORTHLESS!!!!! With the consumer spending going down, you never know which business will be next. Sharper Image for one, has millions of dollars on their cards they will not honor. I think the bookstore gift sounds great! College texts are soooo expensive.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is in Providence, RI at JWU. There is a huge mall there, Providence Place, that all the kids spend plenty of time at. An Amex gift card would be appreciated I'm sure. There are both stores and restaurants there, and scattered around the city are more places for her to spend her time and have fun. She's going to have a great time. Providence is a great college town. I am very happy to have my daughter there.

NannyIL said...

I find that for me personally, I actually love to get a personalized card with a compliment in it than anything else. For my birthday, my employer gave me money, a small cake, and an unbelievably sweet card. Made me feel appreciated and cared about.