11 Fantastic Gifts for Geeky Grads

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

Have a loved one who recently graduated from high school, college, grad school, or a secret wizarding academy? Show your support with just the right gift.

1. Kodak PRINTOMATIC Digital Instant Print Camera; $70

A person prints out a black-and-white photo from a yellow PRINTOMATIC camera.

Kodak, Amazon

Kodak's PRINTOMATIC camera is more than just an instant camera that lets users to print snapshots on demand—though it does that, too. The digital point-and-shoot camera can be used to capture and save photos to a microSD card as well as print in color or black and white. The 2-inch-by-3-inch prints are water-resistant, smudge-free, and sticky, so they're ready to scrapbook immediately. The camera body comes in six different fun colors, so you can customize it to your grad's personal taste. 

Find it: Amazon

2. My Coffee and Book Club Subscription; $32 and Up

A stack of books on a table next to a cup and saucer
iStock.com/elenaleonova

Give your favorite bookworm/coffee geek a professionally curated box of their two great loves each month with My Coffee and Book Club. Each month, they'll get two hardback books, an e-book, and a bag of coffee. The subscription offers a choice between eight different genres (acclaimed fiction, acclaimed non-fiction, science fiction, thriller, mystery, horror, romance, fantasy), or users can elect to receive random picks, and the java comes in 12-ounce packages of small-batch whole bean or ground coffee. Each box ships out during the first week of each month. (If your grad isn't big on books, Cratejoy also offers of plenty of other geeky subscription boxes, from science kits to magic supplies to coding projects and "escape the room" games.)

Find it: Cratejoy

3. Beetlejuice Handbook For The Recently Deceased; $8 and Up

The cover of the 'Beetlejuice: Handbook for the Recently Deceased' journal

Insight Editions, Amazon

In Tim Burton's world, dearly departed characters can get a sense of what to expect from the afterlife with the help of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. You can get a replica of the prop that appeared in 1988's Beetlejuice in several forms: Give the paperback or hardback notebook version of the book to your grad and he or she can fill in whatever tips might be helpful, or give them the notecard set to ensure you get a very spooky thank you card in return.

Find it: Amazon

4. Ghostbusters Playing Cards; $9

Select cards from the 'Ghostbusters' playing card pack

Albino Dragon, Amazon

Help your favorite student pass the time between cram sessions with Albino Dragon's officially licensed Ghostbusters playing cards, which are decked out with original illustrations. Each face card has a different character from the classic ‘80s comedy, including Slimer, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore.

Find it: Amazon

5. BB-8 Desk Lamp; $33

All nighters can be conducted under the soft glow of a BB-8 lamp, minus the concentration-breaking sound effects. The lamp stands 8.5 inches tall and has three different lighting modes—tap BB-8's head and it switches between natural white, amber, and warm white light.

Find it: Walmart

6. Bookworm Beach Towel; $40

A towel with an image of book spines on it

Cassia Beck, Society6

No matter what their next move is, we hope your favorite grad is about to wrap up their months of studying by spending some much-needed time hitting the beach. Help them show off their love of literature with this beach towel from artist Cassia Beck. The image features a collection of books by literary juggernauts like Virginia Woolf, J.D. Salinger, and more. (We also recommend this one, which looks like a classic library card, or this one, which has a more abstract writerly vibe.)

Find it: Society6

7. Skillshare Subscription; $36 and Up

A chalk outline of a person's head with a yellow lightbulb inside it
iStock.com/anilakkus

Just because graduation is over doesn't mean your favorite nerd is going to stop learning. Give them the gift of post-grad learning with a Skillshare membership, which gives them unlimited ad-free access to classes on the site and offline. Options include lessons on languages, writing, design, animation, photography, business, crafts, and more. With gift subscription plans ranging from 3 months to one year, your recent grad can learn everything from how to knit a scarf to how to master Photoshop to how to understand the stock market.

Find it: Skillshare

8. Exploding Kittens; $20

'Exploding Kittens' card game in its box

Exploding Kittens LLC, Amazon

Exploding Kittens is a popular card game for anyone who likes cats, explosions, and the website The Oatmeal. The party game comes with 56 illustrated cards and allows for up to five players (or up to nine with the expansion pack). As the most-backed Kickstarter project of all time, it's practically guaranteed to be fun. If you want to keep your favorite grad's game night going even longer, there are also multiple expansion packs.

Find it: Amazon

9. The Lord Of The Rings Doormat; $33

A doormat reads "You shall not pass" with a silhouette of Gandalf on it

getDigital, Amazon

A doormat that features a warning from Gandalf may not be the most welcoming item to put outside your front door, but at least it'll keep out the Balrog.

Find it: Amazon

10. Doctor Who Stein; $20

A ceramic TARDIS stein

Doctor Who, Amazon

This officially licensed stein is the perfect container for throwing back all kinds of inter-dimensional drinks. It has a lid and enough room for 50 ounces of liquid.

Find it: Amazon

11. Owl Tapestry; $34

No college dorm room or post-grad apartment is complete without a tapestry. Skip the usual kaleidoscopic designs and opt for something unique; Society6 has a whole slew of options, including this lovely bunch of owls.

Find it: Society6

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availability as of May 2019.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

13 Wholesome Gifts for Mister Rogers Fans

Funko / Universal Studios / Amazon
Funko / Universal Studios / Amazon

Fred Rogers didn't watch television until his senior year of college, and when he finally did, he hated it. He told Karen Herman during a 1999 interview for the Archive of American Television, “I saw people throwing pies in each other’s faces. And I thought this could be a wonderful tool for education. Why is it being used this way?”

Interested in helping the medium fulfill its potential, he told his parents he would be postponing his prior plan of becoming a minister to pursue a career in television. Despite their initial protests, he forged on, eventually becoming a household name as the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which would stay on the air for nearly 30 years and help change the perception of what children's television could (and should) be.

On November 22, 2019, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood will premiere in theaters, with Tom Hanks taking on the iconic role of Mister Rogers and Matthew Rhys playing a cynical reporter named Lloyd Vogel who is tasked with writing a profile on the wholesome TV star. The film takes a look at the life of Rogers and the impact he had on viewers and the people around him.

So, in anticipation of the film, and with the holidays on the horizon, here are some unique gifts you can pick up for the Mister Rogers fan in your life.

1. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History; $25

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Book
Clarkson Potter / Amazon

Have you ever wished you could journey behind the scenes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood? Well, now you can. This book chronicles the show's timeline—from its modest start on WQED in Pittsburgh to its film debut in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs, a visual guide to the characters, and stories from those who devoted their lives to the show, this book will give readers insight into both the program and Rogers himself.

Buy it: Amazon

2.The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember; $11

The World According to Mister Rogers Book
Hachette Books / Amazon

Carry Mister Rogers’s wisdom around wherever you go. With a forward written by his wife, Joanne Rogers, this book allows readers to explore the life of Fred Rogers through his speeches, interviews, anecdotes, and some of his never-before-published writing.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Mister Rogers Color-Changing Mug; $16

Mister Rogers mug
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

There’s a lot to love about Rogers, especially his never-ending wisdom and extensive sweater collection. Now you can have both on a mug. At first it appears he’s wearing a suit jacket, but fill it up with a hot beverage and watch it change to a yellow sweater. The mug is also covered in some of his classic sayings, such as "I like you just the way you are,” to help you get the morning started off right.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mister Rogers's Bath Soap; $6


The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

Rogers taught viewers a lot of things, especially the importance of washing one’s hands. Make him proud with this cocoa butter-scented soap that features his reassuring smile on the wrapper, alongside his pal, Daniel Tiger. The same company also has Bob Ross soap to add even more serenity to your bath.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Mister Rogers Magnet Set; $22

Mr Rogers magnets
Papersalt / Amazon

Coming in four vibrant colors and featuring different quotes from Rogers himself, these magnets will brighten up your day, whether you stick them on your refrigerator, locker, or wherever else you need a little positivity.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Mister Rogers Encouragemints; $5

Mister Rogers Breath mints
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

If you’re going to be taking a stroll around the neighborhood, then these will enable you to do so with peppermint-fresh breath.

Buy it: Amazon

7. King Friday Oven Mitt; $15

King Friday oven mitt
Surreal Entertainment / Amazon

King Friday XIII was originally created to show kids that Friday the 13th should be fun, not frightening. And with this oven mitt featuring the king, you can take that same positive mindset into the kitchen next time you've got an important dinner to make.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Mister Rogers Sticky Notes Booklet; $8

Mister Rogers sticky notes
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

These sticky notes allow you to inject some wholesome Rogers charm anywhere you'd like. Let his serene smile adorn your grocery list and slap his trademark yellow sweater on your kitchen counter anytime you need to be reminded of an important errand to run. However you use the book is up to you.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Mister Rogers Funko; $11

Mister Rogers Funko
Funko / Amazon

Available for pre-order now, this figure features Rogers in that famous red sweater with Daniel Tiger right by his side. The figure will be released on November 25, 2019, right around the time the film premieres.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Mister Rogers Pins; $16

Mr Rogers pins
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

If you’re looking to dress up your favorite sweater or jacket, then make sure you’re doing so in a way that says “Won't you be my neighbor?”

Buy it: Amazon

11. Mister Rogers Magnetic Dress-Up Play Set; $15

Mister Rogers magnet set
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

You're in control of Mister Rogers's wardrobe with this magnetic dress-up kit from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. Want him a green sweater? Go for it. Want him to be a fireman while wearing roller skates? You're more than welcome to try. You can even bestow Daniel Tiger with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, because, well, he's earned it.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Won’t you be my Neighbor? Documentary; $13

Will You be My Neighbor documentary
Universal Studios / Amazon

This award-winning documentary from director Morgan Neville—which has an incredible 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes—offers a glimpse at the legacy of the venerable TV star. It's perfect for both lifelong fans and newcomers simply looking for something to smile about.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Mister Rogers Socks; $14

Mister Rogers socks
Good Luck Sock / Amazon

Walk around with Mister Rogers and King Friday wrapped snugly around your feet. The socks have a reinforced heel and toe and are safe to machine wash. You can always buy the same socks in women's sizes for $14.

Buy it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Rosetta Stone Is Offering Up to Half Off Language-Learning Software for Black Friday

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone

It’s no secret that learning another language has numerous benefits. But if going back to school and memorizing lists of vocabulary isn't an option—or something you particularly want to do—you can turn to Rosetta Stone, which now offers subscriptions to their language-learning software. And through November 27, language enthusiasts can take advantage of the company's Black Friday pre-sale deals and receive up to half off Rosetta's regular prices by heading here.

These deals include a three-month subscription for $39.50, a one-year subscription for $89.50, a two-year subscription for $124.50, and a lifetime membership for $199. Over 30 languages are offered on Rosetta Stone, such as Spanish, Japanese, and French, and your online subscription to the language courses comes with numerous other perks, including:

  • Phrasebooks: These teach you quick expressions and greetings that are perfect for traveling
  • Mobile app: Get access to Rosetta Stone's iOS app, where you'll find conversation practice and short 10-minute lessons that fit your schedule.
  • An audio companion: Download and listen to lessons even while offline.
  • Stories: Written and narrated in the language you're studying, these stories include poems, tours, and narratives that expose you to new words and help you understand the culture better.
  • Games: Practice your language skills by yourself or with other users (available on all devices but mobile).

For an additional fee, you can also get live sessions. The sessions are 25 minutes long and are taught by a tutor who is a native speaker of the language you’re learning.

Rosetta Stone language program on mobile
Rosetta Stone

Mastering new languages can open up new ways to communicate with others you may have not been able to before, and over the past few years, studies have shown that being multilingual can help slow cognitive decline and strengthen neural pathways as you age.

Alongside using a program like Rosetta Stone to learn a language, it can help to have periodic conversations in the dialect you’re studying—even if they are with yourself. Check out our other tips for mastering another language.

Sign up now for the three-month ($39.50), one-year ($89.50), two-year ($124.50), or lifetime ($199) subscription.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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