With a bit of care, you can give them something they’ll remember for years to come
By Katrina Caruso
It can be daunting to walk through the aisles or peruse the webpage of a toy store with no idea where to begin shopping for your grandkids.
Where to begin? A chat with the childrens’ parents is a good idea, so that your choices are aligned with their needs, outlook, and parenting preferences. Sometimes, though, even after pressing the parents for ideas, you may be left scratching your head. You want something fun, memorable, and suited to each child’s personality.
Points to consider…
– How old are they? What’s their reading level?
– What are their hobbies? What interests them?
– Do they prefer quiet creative pastimes such as reading and drawing?
– Do they have a favourite movie or TV show? There might be a recently released figurine or board game in the stores.
Experiences they’ll remember
One possibility is to give them an experience: perhaps a ticket to a movie, a concert, or a local amusement park, or even a nice meal at a restaurant (doing something a little “adult” such as dining out at a good restaurant might make them feel really special, especially pre-teens).
You can choose something you could do together, but it might also be something they could do with a best friend, sibling, parent, or other family member, especially if you’re not up for or into an activity such as skiing or snowboarding.
Knowing what your grandchildren are interested in can help narrow down the gift ideas. Some ideas include sports equipment (such as a pair of new skates for the hockey player), that video game they’ve been eyeing, arts and crafts supplies, a science experiment kit (check out this awesome circuit experiment kit!), or the LEGO set of their dreams).
Board games continue to get better and better. The whimsical card game Exploding Kittens is fun for the whole family and ideal for children seven or older. Other classics include Jenga, Kerplunk, Twister, and Battleship. If your grandkid is into history, he or she might like the board game Carcassone (or My First Carcassone for younger kids) or Catan Junior, an edition of the popular The Settlers of Catan for younger players. Other fun card games include Monopoly Deal, (a Monopoly-based game that can be played in less than 30 minutes), Bohnanza, and Sequence for Kids, a board game for children aged three to six. The nice thing about games is that you’re giving them something to do with others.
Teenagers are notoriously hard to shop for, especially if they’re going through one of those phases.
Many teens are on a journey of self-discovery and so may appreciate the gift of family history or traditions. For example, make a scrapbook about their family tree or what your life was like as a teenager. You might present one with your favourite cookbook and invite him or her over to learn how to make your famous pot roast.
If they’re older teens, they’ll be starting to have ideas about college programs and their futures, and they might be gearing up for their first jobs, so you could help them with that. For example, take them shopping for an interview outfit, buy them a portfolio to put together their application to art school, or buy them something for their future dorm room.