Pre-teen and teen years are a time when kids are honing their interests and defining who they are. By investing in their hobbies and talents, you can give them a gift that they’ll carry forever.


Outdoors gear

If the kid on your list likes being outside, consider getting them outdoors gear. If you don’t want to break the bank, look for outdoors activities that don’t require a ton of gear (like snowshoeing) or check out the secondhand stores in your community—often, secondhand outdoors gear (especially items sized for kids) is still in great shape. Keep in mind, too, that even the most outdoorsy kids might want to enjoy their music, their podcasts, and their cameras in the outdoors. Look for gear that lets them tote (and protect) their electronics.

Educational Subscriptions

If your teen's the type that loves learning, think about paying to help them develop new skills. Sites like Coursera offer online, at-your-own-pace lessons on everything ranging from graphic design, to music, to languages.

For the bookworm on your holiday list, look for a book-of-the-month club that fits their age level and interests. Alternatively, you could put together your own themed book basket. The Library of Congress has an entire site full of handy book lists. The Boise Public Library also offers help creating custom reading lists (it’s open to anyone). Fill in this online form to get started.

A Museum or Arts Membership

Idaho is home to several excellent arts, history, culture, and science institutions. Not only is a membership with one of these organizations a unique gift, if you join them in these experiences, you’re also offering the gift of your time. Check out this list by Idaho Tourism and this Wikipedia page to see which museums are closest to you.

An IDeal 529 College Savings Account

Of course, at IDeal—Idaho College Savings Program, we believe that the gift of college savings is one of the most impactful gifts a child can receive. Whether the children in your life plan to attend community college, trade school, or a traditional four-year university, giving the gift of college savings shows that you believe in them and encourages them to dream big.

IDeal has been helping Idaho families save for higher education for fifteen years. It only takes $25 to open an IDeal account, and any family member can contribute to a beneficiary’s account. IDeal makes it easy to get other family in on the giving, and Idaho residents can receive a 2016 state tax deduction for contributions and gifts made by December 31st.

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"Last year my kids each received $100 for Christmas from a grandparent, with no strings attached. They both chose to invest in their IDeal college savings accounts. Going to college is something that we talk about as a family.

My parents used to say, 'Money comes and goes. Health can be unpredictable. But once you earn an education, that's yours. Nobody can take your education away from you.'"

Robin Kelley Rausch, IDeal Account Owner
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*By clicking on any of the links in this page’s description of gift ideas, you will be redirected to third-party websites. IDeal does not necessarily endorse or promote any of the websites or sources promoted here. IDeal receives no compensation for and has no connection with any of the third parties linked on this page.

Important Legal Information

By clicking on one of the social media icons, you are leaving the IDeal website, maintained by Ascensus, and are being redirected to a social media site solely maintained by the State College Savings Program Board (“Board”). Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, the program manager for IDeal, does not monitor or endorse the Board's social media activities. All IDeal social media activities are the sole responsibility of the Board.

Mr. Thiros is a registered representative of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services LLC, 877-529-2980, 95 Wells Ave, Newton MA (member FINRA/SIPC) and is not employed by the State of Idaho.

For more information about IDeal - Idaho College Savings Program ("IDeal"), call 866-433-2533  click here to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information. Because investing in IDeal is an important decision for you and your family, you should read and consider the Disclosure Statement carefully before investing.

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You should also consult your financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 college savings plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plans’ features, benefits, and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

IDeal is administered by the State College Savings Program Board ("Board"). ABD, the program manager, and its affiliates, have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including investment advisory, recordkeeping and administrative services, and marketing. The Vanguard Group, Inc. ("Vanguard") serves as Investment Manager for IDeal. Sallie Mae Bank serves as the Savings Portfolio Manager for IDeal. IDeal's Portfolios invest in either: (i) mutual funds and a separate account offered or managed by Vanguard; or (ii) an FDIC-insured omnibus savings account held in trust by the Board at Sallie Mae Bank. Except for the Savings Portfolio, investments in IDeal are not insured by the FDIC. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns will vary depending upon the performance of the Portfolios you choose. Except to the extent of FDIC insurance available for the Savings Portfolio, you could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in IDeal, depending on market conditions. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.

Not FDIC-Insured (except for the Savings Portfolio). No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May lose value.