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Great Gift Ideas for Grandchildren from Grandparents

October 27, 2015, 02:55 AM

Our last post focused on gift ideas for grandchildren to give their grandparents.  This week, we thought we’d focus on the other side of the coin – what can grandparents get their grandchildren for a special gift?

Grandparents are known for loving to give gifts to their grandchildren, but choosing the right gift can be tricky.  In general, you probably don’t have the same interests or hobbies, so how can you know what your grandchildren will like? There are two routes you can go: One is to guess what they like and surprise them, and the other is to ask them before or take them to the store with you.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by PJ Johnson via flickr

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by PJ Johnson via flickr

Both options have advantages and disadvantages. There is nothing quite like the surprise of receiving an unexpected gift, but it might be a gift that your grandchildren don’t like. Asking them before what they would like or allowing your grandchildren pick their own gifts eliminates that problem, but then you lose the magic of the surprise. Additionally, your grandchildren might (unknowingly) ask for something that is beyond your budget.

Surprise Gift Ideas

If you decide to buy a surprise gift, buy according to your grandchildren’s interests. Toys, properly-sized clothes, board games, and books are all good ideas. If you’d like to buy something bigger, such as a bicycle or computer, make sure that it is something they want and something that their parents allow.


A great gift idea is to help your grandchild start a collection. The collection can be coins, stickers, stamps, comic books, or whatever else they are interested in. If you have a collection of coins and are willing to contribute to your grandchild’s burgeoning collection, even better. It can be very special for grandchildren to have collectibles from their grandparents, and it might even give you joy to see them following in the footsteps of your own collection. Just make sure that you give them any necessary instructions for the collection’s upkeep to avoid aggravation later.


Older children will probably appreciate the gift of money more than younger children who don’t know what to do with it, but even younger kids might enjoy receiving a quarter or dollar every now and then. You can even teach them to put it in a piggy bank, and then take them to the store when they’ve saved a nice amount! Large amounts should be reserved for birthdays or special occasions as opposed to every other week, even if you can afford it.

Contributing towards college savings or investing in stocks for your grandchild are gifts that both the grandchild and his parents will enjoy, but before you offer, make sure that you are in a financial position to do so.


Write or record your memories – of your life or cute habits from when your grandchildren were babies. This is a priceless gift to grandchildren, and it doesn’t cost anything on your part. Keep in mind, they may only appreciate this gift when they are teenagers or older.


If you are able to, do things with your grandchildren. There is a good chance they will remember the experience of spending time with you more than the gifts you give them. You don’t have to go out on elaborate outings; just playing a game, taking a walk, or going out for lunch or to the park can be lovely experiences that your grandchildren will carry with them forever.

Don’t Go Against the Parents’ Wishes

The main rule of thumb when buying gifts for grandchildren is not to buy something their parents disapprove of. For example, if your grandson has been begging his mom for an iPhone and his mom does not allow it, don’t go out and surprise him with an iPhone. That will only create tension between your grandson and his mother, and his mother and you. Checking with the parents before giving a gift is a good way to avoid this pitfall. And chances are, there are other things that your grandchildren want that their parents do allow, so you will still be able to surprise them with something great.

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