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Christmas is a time for presents! Birthdays mean more presents! Special event means presents!
Every holiday normally centers around presents.
Grandparents love to get presents (aka spoil their grandkids rotten). From the grandkids point of view, the more, the better!
However, as parents, we can feel inundated with stuff – specifically materialistic stuff. On the flip side, grandparents want to shower their grandchildren with love and lots of presents. So, is there an alternative to gifts?
For many families, there needs to be a middle ground for gift giving to grandchildren.
It is possible to shower the grandkids in presents without a pile of materialistic toys. (Hint: non toy gifts)
Advice for Parents
The main reason we wanted less materialistic items is our house was over-loaded with stuff. And to be truly honest, the kids didn't enjoy picking up their toys. As for me, I wish I was a better housewife, but keeping up with “stuff” was becoming too much.
I wanted to spend time with my kids. Not working on picking up kid toys.
So, when my kids were younger, I asked each set of grandparents to go in together to buy a membership instead of birthday presents.
Don't worry, it took me a couple of years to get up the courage to ask.
At first, they were very hesitant, but reluctantly agreed. My kids LOVED the membership and they knew exactly who had blessed them with so many experiences and wonderful memories.
In an effort to tell the grandparents how much the membership was appreciated, we called each set of grandparents when we left the museum. Also, the crafts the kids made were gifts of artwork for the grandparents.
Honestly, I wish I would have spoke up sooner about what we wanted. (Hint: email them this post right now or tag them on Facebook)
Related Post: The Ultimate Guide to a Frugal Lifestyle
Advice for Grandparents
Be open to listen to the wants of your family. In the end, we know that showing your love is all that you want to do.
For many parents, it is a quality of life issue. More specifically, how they choose to spend their limited time in the fast paced society.
Today, it is so cheap to pick up a few items here and there without breaking the bank.
More than likely, spending time together is more wanted. Maybe even take the grandkids and give the parents money for a date night? This is a simple alternative to gifts. Gift experiences for kids is becoming the trend.
Are you ready to change the tune in your gift giving and get non-toy gifts? Find gifts for your grandchildren that doesn't focus on materialism.
Here are Unique Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Grandkids:
(Specifically Gift Giving That is More than Toys)
Local Museums & Zoo memberships
This is my favorite present from the grandparents!
A membership to the local museum, zoo, art center, history center, or botanic garden. This is wonderful for kids and parents to explore new surroundings and spend time together. Plus the mess happens outside of the home (especially for the Children’s Museums)!
A benefit for grandparents is many memberships come with guest passes, so they are able to visit on their trip. A double benefit is some museums and zoos participate in a reciprocal program. Find a list of reciprocal zoo and museums, respectively. So, when the grandkids come to visit, the grandparents can take them to their area museum and zoo for quality time with their grandkids.
Best non-toy gift for young families!
Local Rec Center
Many times the local recreation center is overlooked. Almost all of them offer gift cards for their programming.
Rec centers have a slew of programming from arts, dance, sports, parents night out, summer camps…the list can go on and on. Match your grandkids interest with the rec center programs.
Plus this helps to ease the parent's budget. Win. Win.
Fabulous gift experiences for kids.
After School Learning Classes
Educational activities are abound at schools!
Ask their parents if there are any afterschool programs that their grandkids are interested. Some afterschool programs include language classes, science classes, art classes, dance lessons – the list varies from each school.
Give the gift of your grandchildren learning in a safe environment.
Coding is hot!
Seriously, kids must know how to code. There is no getting around that fact.
Today’s learning environment for students is much different than previous generations plus the landscape changes quickly. These coding boxes help keep your grandkids current on the coding trends. Plus these are very educational and extremely fun!
Monthly Subscription Boxes
Let’s face it. Kids play with a toy for a short period of time and then move on to the next shiny toy. What they like will change as fast as the wind.
Enter a monthly subscription box.
Each month a new box of goodies is delivered! Bonus – all of the subscription boxes are educational.
Both are divided by age group preschooler (3-5 years old), elementary (6-10, 7-12 years old), plus middle schoolers and high schoolers are not left out. All the materials and instructions for hours of hands-on fun.
Note: A gift of more than one month is preferred by kids and parents.
Gift of Cash
Cash is king.
The benefit of giving cash is it gives the grandkids a chance to make their own decisions with money. There are two options with the gift of cash: (1) spending or (2) Investing.
With giving spending money to grandkids, it may seem scary to release money into their hands. At some point, they must learn to manage money. So, you might as well start today.
With investing or saving their money, they learn compounding interest and the huge benefit. As an example, $100 is gifted each year for 15 years. Assuming 8% return, the account would grow to $2,932! Much greater than the $1,500 given.
Related Post: How to Save $2,000 as a Kid?
Growing up, games were huge in my household!
I have vivid memories of playing games with all of my grandparents. Most of them were card games! Countless hours playing canasta, rummy, and dominoes!
With the advancement of technology, card games have been set aside. There are many board games and apps to play games.
However, challenge your grandchildren to learn the classic card games. Here are great sets to get you started – Playing cards, Dominoes, and you might as well have a card shuffler to keep those littlest ones entertained!
Also, include coupons for playing time with you! Kids love one-on-one time!
Plan a Date
Figure out what interests your grandkids. Plan a date day or weekend centered on their interests.
Spending quality time together is priceless.
Plus many memories are made. Yes, the teens may grumble about spending time with you at the time.
In the long run, those same teens who will become adults will be grateful for the time you invested with them. Plan a date and see what the adventure holds!
Related Post: Gift for Life – Money Graduation Gift Ideas
iTunes Gift Card
As the grandkids get older, their focus is on technology.
There is no way around this. Instead of bucking the technology trend, embrace it.
The only caveat with giving iTunes gift cards is there must be conversation on what the grandkids are buying.
Is it music? Apps? Games? Take your grandkid out to lunch and have a discussion. Maybe even ask them to teach you! The gift here is quality time together. Grab a gift card today!
Amazon Prime Membership
For the older grandkids that have graduated high school, an Amazon Prime membership is a great gift. The benefits of a membership are long! For a full list, go here.
Personally, my Amazon Prime membership is a gift and it is one of my favorite gifts each year. Simply gift Amazon Prime with a click.
Honestly, the number one way to find the unique gift for your grandchildren is to understand their interests. (Honestly, all of the above work for kids, too.)
Like I said earlier, I wish I would have spoke up sooner about the gift thing. Don't make my mistake in waiting – email them this post right now or tag them on Facebook.
Above are unique gifts ideas for grandkids.
Regardless of your grandkids age – preschool, middle school, high school, or beyond, you are able to give gifts beyond the typical materialistic gifts.
What is your favorite unique gift ideas for grandkids?
Comment below on which present you plan on gifting!