It is tougher than ever being a grandparent these days, from trying to stay clued up on the latest social media trends, to keeping up with the demands placed on the parents in today’s society, it is a wonder grandparents ever have tie for thinking about themselves.
In order to help grannies and grandad’s everywhere not to have quite as much of a stressful time at Christmas, we have put together the ultimate gift buying guide for grandparents looking for the perfect gift for their grandkids. We aren’t talking about WHAT to buy, but more HOW to buy so that you don’t leave yourself in a) hot water with your kids, and b) in the doghouse with the grandchildren for being a totally uncool Gran and buying something that’s well *total junk.” And if you are reading this as a parent, and not a grandparent, why not pin our gift buying guide and pass it on to someone that is?
Try to stay in budget
Grandparents love to spoil their kids, and so it should be, but it isn’t great if you are buying the kids more than their mum and dad. Think about how that might make their parents feel. Have a chat to your children, and make sure you are on the same wavelength about budget for the grandkids. If you go over by a little, probably no problem, but restrain yourself from going over that little bit too much….
Ask for a list
These days there are so many ways that we can get access to a detailed list of what the kids are actually looking for for Christmas. We ALWAYS set up Amazon Wish Lists for our kids, but there are lots of Apps out there that can help, as well as plenty of other stores online that have similar functionality. Some of the big toy stores even have the ability to pick from a list. If you get a bit of help from their parents, and go in the right direction, it will help things go a lot more smoothly.
And if your grandkids don’t want to write their own lists – look at all the fabulous gift guides on line for children, we’ve got an ultimate stocking gift list, as well as there being plenty of other great gift guides out there for kids.
Steer clear from fads
There is ALWAYS the latest cool tool on the market, or a collectible that the kids just “have to have.” However, we’d be really inclined to be wary of trying to wow the kids with the latest fad, as it could well be a five minute wonder; sick now, and garbage in two months time! Try and focus a little more on the toys that we KNOW have longevity, from LEGO, to some of the classic board games. You are never going to go wrong with a bit of Monopoly, or the latest Harry Potter LEGO. The play value on presents like that are going to last for a lifetime. Some of the classic games have even had makeovers, the Monopoly games from Hasbro are an excellent example. The Mario versions of Monopoly are one of my son’s favourites, and are perfect for your grandkids. An amalgamation of classic vs modern that works brilliantly.
Don’t be afraid to buy a few small presents rather than focusing on a big buy
Kids LOVE opening presents, and it is worth having a think about buying a few smaller budget items that will go along way. What about a colouring book and some felt tip pens to keep those little hand busy? Card games, for slightly older children, are an excellent choice too; who doesn’t love a little bit of Exploding Kittens, or just a simple pack of traditional playing cards!
Think about what YOU enjoyed doing as a kid
Don’t forget, we have ALL been kids. Yes, there is a lot of technology, and it has a perfect part to play in the gifts around us, BUT there is no harm in remembering back to your childhood and thinking about what you loved to do. Buy something that your grandkids will cherish as it sparks memories in you, and you can explain those ideas to them when you pass it on. A gift with meaning, is what that will last in hearts and mind longer than the latest plastic monstrosity from the toy store down the road.
Think green and ethical.
Kids are a lot more savvy about green issues these days, thanks to the wonderful work from the Blue Planet team and David Attenborough. Why not look at some of the more traditional toys on the market, that are made with wood, or with more a ecological focus. Charities that have an environmental focus, or are, by their nature, selling ethical gifts are around if you look; so why not take a bit of time and see what there is. You may well be able to educate as well as provide a lovely gift for your grandkids?
One of the best presents we have given our kids, was a sponsorship for a snow leopard. It came with a cuddly toy *win*, but also a regular report, in suitable language for a child, on how the snow leopard they sponsored was doing. A wonderful educational present that lasts so much more than Christmas Day. Animals are a great option for sponsorship, but there are charities that allow you to sponsor a child too, and some enable you to get letters from those sponsored. Perhaps the child can even write back and forge a penpal friendship with the sponsored child. Google is your friend when looking for this type of gift. iIt can take patience, but the results are rewarding, so give it a go.
Don’t just think THINGS think EXPERIENCES
It is easy to focus on gifts as a material thing, but experiences are sometimes more rewarding and create lasting memories for grandchildren, so why not take a look at buying something like this for them? Perhaps a trip to London, or to see a show at the theatre, or even a visit to a Sealife centre or museum.
Your time can be a gift
The ultimate present for both parents, and grandkids could even be a bit of your time. Why not offer to take the kids for a night as a gift to them? You could treat them out to a nice meal, and be giving your children a little break at the same time. Bit of a win-win don’t you think?
Final piece of advice, don’t panic about what to buy. If you follow our gift buying advice, and communicate with their mum & dad, you won’t go wrong. Asking your grandchild what they want can be a double edged sword too; so if you do, make sure you check its suitability with their parents. You don’t want to be getting something that they have already thought of, or a toy they wouldn’t dream of buying because they just can’t stand Peppa Pig, etc. etc. 🤣
We really hope that this gift buying guide has helped with your present buying for this and future years – if you like this article, why don’t you subscribe and you can get lots of free activities for the grandkids as well!
Take care, and see you soon *we hope*
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