Today as I wedged myself into our cataclysmic playroom and got down on my hands and knees to sort through the rubble, I decided I was over toys. Most of them have come from generous grandparents who like to spoil their grandchildren. And I love that they do that, but this year, I’ve been brainstorming gift ideas that aren’t toys.

Here are six good ones that would be perfect for grandma and grandpa!

6 Awesome Gifts Grandparents Can Give that Aren’t Toys

1. Pay for a sport or an activity.

Is there something your grandchild has always wanted to try but mom and dad don’t necessarily have the extra money to do it? Talk to their parents about it first to see if it’s feasible for everyone, and then give the gift of fun!

Enroll them in a season of flag football or sign them up for a community cake decorating class. Parents will love that you thought outside the box and kids will be thrilled to try something they’ve always wanted.

2. When giving money, make it memorable.

Every single year, from my first birthday to my 18th birthday, my Grandma and Grandpa Forbush gave me the same gift, but it was one I absolutely could not wait to get. I knew when they handed me that long rectangular wrapped gift exactly what would be inside—a cereal fun pack with a $10 bill taped to the top.

It was the funniest thing, but I think I anticipated and loved the cereal fun pack more than the money. Those eight mini breakfast cereals were sugary (the kinds my mom would never buy) and they were all mine! I’d savor one of them each day and notice how my siblings ogled them, wishing it was their birthday.

If you’re going to give money, make it memorable.

3. Take them shopping for a special outfit.

Gifts come and go, and I honestly don’t remember most of the ones I got as a child, but I do remember the one birthday my grandma picked me up to take me shopping for a special dress. I felt so big, riding in the passenger seat next to her in her big car. When she pulled into the JCPenny parking lot, I couldn’t believe she was taking me somewhere so fancy.

That birthday, grandma didn’t just buy me a dress…she let me pick out the dress. It probably wasn’t something she’d pick out herself, but is was a dress I absolutely loved. Every time I wore it, I’d think of my grandma and that special birthday.

4. Movie tickets

How cool would it be to get movie tickets from grandma and grandpa every year. Movie theatre gift cards make the perfect gift for every age. Young kids will think it’s the coolest thing in the world to go to a movie for their birthday and even get popcorn! Teens will play it cool, but will think it’s a pretty awesome gift, and adult grandkids (speaking from experience) will love the rare chance to go to a movie.

5. A season pass

If you really want to get creative, consider giving your grandkids the gift of a season pass somewhere nearby. This would be a great family gift too! Season passes to the zoo, children’s museum, water park, or local theme park would be epic.

6. Take them on a special date.

Most of all, kids crave time with grandma and grandpa and flourish when they get it. If you want to give a memorable gift, give the gift of time. Take your grandson or granddaughter on a special day trip or “date.” You could go fishing, go out to lunch, or to them mall. Make it a tradition and they’ll have memories of grandma and grandpa that last a lifetime.


Feature Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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