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10 Brilliant Gifts for the College Kid in Your Life

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If anyone needs a great holiday gift, it’s a broke college student. Give them something they’ll love (and use). May we suggest one of these?

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we 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!

1. KEURIG® K55 COFFEE MAKER; $90

College kids may not have time between classes to make—or drink—a full pot of coffee, making them perfect candidates for single-serve pod machines. This Keurig machine makes anywhere from 6 to 10 ounces. Plus, it’s compact for easy dorm storage, and comes in several different colors.

Find It: Amazon

2. BANDO "AFTER THIS WE'RE GETTING PIZZA" WORKOUT BAG; $35

Just because exercise is healthy doesn’t mean it’s always fun. Help your reluctant student get to the gym with this cheeky bag, which is sure to help him or her make like-minded friends—who might know where a student group will be giving out free pizza that night.

Find It: Amazon

3. MOLESKINE SMART WRITING SET; $199

Reviewing has never been easier with Moleskine’s smart pen set, a super portable digital tool that converts hand-written notes into digital files in real-time, allowing drafts to be emailed or uploaded to a LiveScribe account with the push of a button. The smartphone app will even convert handwriting into digital text, though it doesn’t always recognize messier script.

Find It: Moleskine

4. UBER GIFT CARD; $25 AND UP

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Joy ride: Most students can get from place to place on campus just fine, but they could probably use extra help hitting the town. Make sure they get on route safely with Uber gift cards. 

Find It: Amazon

5. BEYONCILS; $18

It’s hard not to be inspired by the wisdom of Beyoncé, and these nine handmade pencils are sure to remind the writer to be as confident as Queen Bey. They’re handmade and feature lyrics like “fresher than you,” “flawless,” and “I woke up like this.” For every set sold, LZPENCILS donates nine pencils—minus the lyrics—to a school in need.

Find It: Etsy

6. ROKU STREAMING STICK+; $70

It's rare to find a college student these days who has a cable subscription, so you might as well give them the gift of streaming. This Roku streams smoothly in high definition and supports most major services like Netflix and Hulu. 

Find It: Amazon

7. MOPHIE POWERSTATION MINI; $14

Help your favorite student keep smartphones charged during a full day of classes with Mophie’s ultra-fast portable charger. The gadget has the capacity to charge a cell phone about twice. Perhaps they’ll even use that extra battery power to call home.

Find It: Amazon

8. STATE BAGS BEDFORD BACKPACK; $59

Students can carry their books in style and feel good about it. For every backpack sold, STATE Bags gives one to a child in need. And it’s machine washable, just in case it ever ends up at a frat party.

Find It: Amazon

9. BRIK BOOKS BUILD-ON MACBOOK COVER; $60

Let your student stand out in the lecture hall—and display their 8-bit fandom—with these customizable laptop covers. They’re compatible with brick-based systems like LEGO and Mega Bloks, making them perfect to build tributes to any pixelated character. There are choices that fit a variety of Macbook Pro models, but sadly, it doesn’t come with any of the LEGOs they’ll need to customize, so you might want to throw those in the gift box, too.

Find It: Think Geek

10. KODAK PRINTOMATIC INSTANT PRINT CAMERA; $70

Help them make college memories that won't just sit in a forgotten album on a smartphone. The Kodak Printomatic automatically creates high-resolution photos as soon as you capture them. The printed photos make for perfect dorm room decoration.

Find It: Amazon

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15 Funny Novelty Toys For Pets
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iStock

Want to get your pet a toy that shares your interests? These cute and amusing novelty creations will provide your dog or cat (and you) with plenty of entertainment, and your human friends will appreciate their strong pun game. And, they're great inspiration for funny Instagram photos.

1. STARBARKS COFFEE; $12

Starbarks Coffee DogToy
Amazon

If your dog loves going to Starbucks for a puppuccino, order a grande Starbarks Frenchie Roast so they can get their fix every day.

Find It: Amazon

2. EXCALIGRRR SWORD; $14

ExcaliGRRR Sword dog toy
BarkShop

This chew toy is worth it just to repeat the "Knights of the Hound Table" and "King Arfur" jokes that BarkShop suggests.

Find It: BarkShop

3. THE BARK POST; $10

newspaper dog toy
BarkShop

Did you know that dogs prefer print media? After all, you can't shred the internet. This newspaper toy is printed with real dog articles from BarkShop's blog, BarkPost.

Find It: BarkShop

4. CAT NIP TEA BAG; $4

cat nip tea bag toy
Etsy

If your ideal Sunday involves lounging on the couch with a good book, a cup of tea, and your cat at your feet, get your kitten its very own tea bag. This handmade toy is filled with organic cat nip and comes in four different ribbon patterns.

Find It: Etsy

5. LICK-CROIX BARKLING WATER; $14

LaCroix dog toy
GlamourMutt

If your dog loves to ride in your cart while you shop at Whole Foods, get him his own can of LaCroix-inspired Lick-Croix Barkling Water (Pamplemutt flavor, of course). Cheers!

Find It: GlamourMutt

6. HUMUNGA TONGUE; $11

Humunga Tongue dog toy
Amazon

This giant tongue with a ball on the end will make for tons of silly photos. Just make sure you buy the right size for your pooch.

Find It: Amazon

7. DOGGO DOGGO BILLS, Y'ALL; $8

stack of bills dog toy
BarkShop

Have you already spoiled your dog with every fancy bed, jacket, and toy imaginable? Maybe with a stack of money, they can learn to finance their own doggo lifestyle. In addition to squeaking, the toy crinkles just like crisp dollar bills.

Find It: BarkShop

8. RUCKSACK; $10

Rucksack dog toy
BarkShop

Does your pup love the great outdoors? This rucksack is perfect for his travels around the yard—just don't let him chase any cars while carrying it!

Find It: BarkShop

9. BOOM BOX; $11

boom box dog toy
BarkShop

When your dog picks up this boom box, he'll look like he's ready to party—or make a grand romantic gesture à la Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything.

Find It: BarkShop

10. CHEWY VUITON HANDBAG; $10

Chewy Vuiton dog toy
Amazon

This Chewy Vuiton purse is perfect for any fashionable doggies, even if they're named Gucci, Prada, or Dolce.

Find It: Amazon

11. TAKEOUT DUMPLINGS; $16

Dog with plush dumpling toys
BarkShop

If your fur baby begs for a bite every time you order in, get them their own "meal" of plush dumplings, complete with a Chinese takeout box replica.

Find It: BarkShop

12. IBONE; $17

iBone Plush Dog Toy
Amazon

Does your dog feel left out when you're Snapchatting or playing Candy Crush? Get him his own "iBone," so you can each stare at your phones in peace.

Find It: Amazon

13. VANDERPUMP SANGRIA; $17

Vanderpump sangria dog toy
GlamourMutt

It's not drinking alone if your dog is drinking with you! Get your overly pampered pooch a bottle of Lisa Vanderpump-branded sangria in pink or red, and settle in for a night of looking for Giggy or Rumpy Pumpy appearances on RHOBH or Vanderpump Rules.

Find It: GlamourMutt

14. CATNIP BANANA PEEL; $7

Your kitty will be tripping all over itself to get ahold of this organic catnip-filled banana peel. And perhaps it can serve as a reminder to increase your own daily fruit intake.

Find It: Etsy

15. ERNESTO THE FISH TACO; FROM $10

fish taco dog toy
BarkShop

Not all beaches allow dogs to bask in the sun, but that shouldn't stop your pup from enjoying a giant fish taco.

Find It: BarkShop

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Channel Your Inner Sea Monster With This Cozy Kraken Blanket
ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek

In what has become an annual tradition, another one of ThinkGeek's "fake" April Fool's Day products has become a reality: Get ready to release the Kraken and add this cozy Tentacuddle Blanket to your shopping cart.

Every year, ThinkGeek comes up with a handful of prank products for April Fool's Day, many of which are so awesome that customers really want to buy them. So the company takes the most popular ones and turns them into very real gadgets and garments that you can own. The Tenctacuddle Blanket was one of ThinkGeek's annual April Fool's Day prank items in 2017, but it was too good to stay fictional. So, following this year's April Fool's festivities, ThinkGeek began selling the blankets for real.

This wearable full-body creation is a reaction to those popular and whimsical mermaid blankets (and the popularity of mermaid products as a whole, both on ThinkGeek and the rest of the internet). It's a must-have alternative for those who prefer dark and vicious sea monsters like the Kraken.

The real thing looks a little different than the Tentacuddle Wrap the brand jokingly mocked up back in 2017: Each of the five tentacles is 2 feet long with three suckers and has an opening at the end for you to put your hand or foot through. It's perfect for keeping your whole body warm while lounging on the couch. Made of machine-washable acrylic, it can be yours for $59.99.

To shop other ThinkGeek prank items made real, like the Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag, head here. Don't forget to ogle this year's April Fool's catalog and vote on which one you want ThinkGeek to make a reality for 2019.

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