Gift shopping for the next-generation-but-one can be tricky. Some of your grandchildren may appear to have everything. Others may appear to have nothing except perhaps a smartphone and earbuds.
What, if anything, do they want or need?
Here are some ideas for thoughtful gifts that will delight or surprise your grandchildren. And because this is a blog for the whole family, we’ve included some tips for them on what to buy you. Read on — and once you’ve finished, share this post with your grandkids.
What to gift your grandchildren
Online retail has taken the legwork out of holiday shopping, but a memorable present still requires some thought. Here are a few ideas, broken down by age group.
Buying gifts for grandbabies is primarily about pleasing your own kids, who will surely appreciate any contributions towards big-ticket items like strollers and car seats. Also, look for kid-sized baking tools to get the littlest ones involved in the kitchen, plus timeless picture books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar that can form the centerpiece of “Grandpa’s storytime.”
- School aged
Forget the unfair stereotypes of a generation glued to their tablets and video game consoles. Kids love to craft! If your grandchild wants to make their own dreamcatcher, needle felting toy, superhero mask or wildflower bracelet, you can make it happen. Another fun idea? Give a gift that lasts all year (think annual membership to a local zoo, science center or museum).
Born and bred in the digital age, many of today’s young teens enjoy the whimsy of analogue-style gadgets. Look for Bluetooth speakers with a vintage vibe or instant film cameras that print out photos with soft, washed-out colors. Another popular techy gift does double duty as room decor: LED strip lights, controlled by remote, are widely used to embellish the walls of a tween’s room.
- Older teens
As your grandchildren get older, consider gifting them experiences rather than things. Your thrill-seeking granddaughter will like nothing better than an organized mountain bike excursion, while hard-to-find tickets for a touring Broadway show are bound to please your Hamilton-humming grandson.
- Adult grandchildren
The holidays are the perfect time to nurture the special bond between you and your grown-up grandkids. Instead of buying them a gift, why not put together a scrapbook of photos, anecdotes and memories that they can treasure and share with their own children when the time comes?
What to gift your grandparents
There’s nothing wrong with a pair of slippers or a box of chocolates! But why not gift your grandparents something more original, such as:
- A digital photo frame
Nothing brightens up a home like photos of the grandkids. However, it can be challenging for grandparents to keep them up to date, particularly if the family is scattered around the country. With a digital frame, you can not only upload unlimited photos but also replenish them wirelessly via email, apps and even social media accounts.
- Gardening gear
If your grandmother is still watering her perennials with a rusty can bought during the Carter administration, a thoughtfully chosen upgrade could change her life. There are many sleek models on the market, including ones that are ultra-light or with extra long spouts.
- An adult coloring book
Coloring books aren’t just for kids. Anyone can wield a pencil and bring geometric patterns, iconic buildings and scenes from nature to life. Why not buy a book for yourself too and share the experience with your grandparent?
- A flower subscription
Chances are, your grandparents love fresh flowers, but not everyone has green thumbs or easy access to a first-rate florist. What everyone can have is a flower subscription, ensuring a weekly, biweekly or monthly supply of in-season blooms. If your grandparents like to do their own arranging, look for a service that ships a variety of stems rather than a bouquet.
- A niche streaming service
Netflix, Hulu and other big streaming services are great. But they’re far more popular with 18 to 44-year-olds than with older adults, who aren’t always drawn to the content on these platforms. If your grandparents love vintage Hollywood movies or foreign language flicks, consider gifting them a subscription to The Criterion Channel. For lovers of moody British detective shows and (of course) Downton Abbey, BritBox is hard to top.