5 Great (Non-Toy!) Gift Ideas for Kids from Grandparents

non-toy gift ideas for grandparents
Image adapted via Flickr/ mysza

It happens every year — usually a few days after Halloween — I get the call. You know what I am talking about — the call from one of the grandmothers, asking what her grandchildren might like to receive for Christmas this year. And aside from the fact that I am still recovering from the candy stupor, I have not yet even figured out for myself what my husband and I plan to give the kids (ahem … or should I say … what Santa will deliver), let alone come up with ideas that I can give to other family members!

So in the spirit of helping grandparents everywhere, here are 5 Great Gift Ideas for Kids from Grandparents! (Moms, feel free to email this list directly to Grandma!)

Image via Flickr/ North Charleston

#1 Classes, Lessons, Activities

Paying for lessons or activities is a great gift from grandparents to a grandchild! You're inspiring the child to try something new or maybe to indulge in an activity that they already know and love, and in doing so, you are expanding their horizons.

A great gift could be eight weeks of karate lessons, a month of horseback riding lessons, a session of swimming lessons, or even signing up for a pottery class at the local art center. Even better, if you live near your grandchildren, it would be a great opportunity for you to pick them up and take them to their lesson or activity. A fun thing for you to do together.

{ MORE: The Very Best Gifts They Won't Have on Their Registry }

Image via Flickr/ bgreenlee

#2 An Experience (Hopefully with you!)

I think one of the greatest gifts a grandparent can give a grandchild is to take them out for some sort of experience — a day out with just the three of you to see a concert, to go to a Major League Baseball game, or even just a day out at the mall is something that your grandchild will really look forward to. It creates a memory that you will each have for the rest of your lives.


Here are a few other ideas for you:

  • A day at the zoo
  • A trip at the aquarium
  • Movie tickets to a flick they've been asking to see and popcorn to share
  • Tickets to a local theatre event (or even their first trip to a Broadway show!)
  • Tickets to an amusement park
  • A date for mini golf or bowling
  • An afternoon together at a craft or cooking class
Image via Flickr/ TheChanel

#3 Create a Homemade Kit

You know what's so much better than one of those pre-packaged craft or building kits from the toy store? One that you've put together yourself that matches either a hobby you love or an interest that it is important to your grandchild.

Do you make great homemade pizza? Pull together a pizza-making kit including a pizza pan, a pizza cutter, some pre-measured dry ingredients, and a recipe card with instructions for making Grandma's World Famous Homemade Pizza!

{ MORE: Names from the Family Tree: Grandparent and Great-Grandparent Inspired Baby Names }

Is Grandpa a Mr. Fix-It? Create a “first toolbox” for your grandchild that includes a basic set of tools, a box of nails, some small cut lumber, work gloves, and protective glasses. Bonus points if you include instructions on how to build a birdhouse and tuck in the supplies!

{ MORE: The Genius of Play Kicks Off Play All May }

Are you skilled at sewing? Creating a first sewing kit is another awesome gift idea. Go shopping for an assortment of threads, pins, needles, buttons, and fabric pieces and package it all together in a personalized container.

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Image via Amazon

#4 Magazine Subscriptions

What grandparent doesn't want to foster a love of reading in their grandchild? But it can be hard to pick out a book when you aren't necessarily sure what books they've already read or own. A better way to ensure that they have something fresh and interesting to read on a regular basis is to give them a magazine subscription.

There are lots of fantastic magazines for kids, including some favorites that you might remember from your own childhood or parenting years, such as Highlights, Cricket, National Geographic Kids, and Ranger Rick!


Image via Flickr/ bfishadow

#5 Cash

I know that many grandparents don't necessarily want to send their grandchild a cash gift, but here's why I feel that it really can be a good idea.

At my house, my kids are asked to save their money if they want to purchase something expensive like an electronic item or – when they are old enough – a cell phone. I like that it teaches my kids that expensive items are something that you need to save up for (sometimes for a long time) and I feel that it also teaches them to be responsible for the item once they finally own it. So I think it's perfectly OK for a grandchild to let their grandparents know that they are saving for something in particular and what they would really like to receive is a cash gift that can be applied towards saving for that item.

But please, whatever you do, even with the best of intentions, don't go out and just purchase the item that the child is saving for. It takes away the lesson that the parent is trying to teach to your grandchild!

{ MORE: A Thank You to All the Grandparents that Help }

What are your ideas on gifts from grandparent to kids?

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5 Great (Non-Toy!) Gift Ideas for Kids from Grandparents

My name is Sharon and I am the busy Mom of six children ages 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, and 8. People often ask me "How do you do it?" I tell them that my key to success lies in planning ahead, with a whole lot of creativity and organization thrown in! ... More

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