Best Gifts for Ages 5-9

Give Your School Age Grandchildren Gifts They'll Love

One of the great joys of grandparenting is giving your grandchildren gifts, and school age grandchildren are among the most fun to buy for. They have unique personalities, which must be allowed for, but these choices are likely to please. The items on this gift list are mostly gender neutral, and the prices range from budget to moderate. They are suitable for solo use but are also fun to share, sometimes allowing for Grandma and Grandpa to get in on the action!

  • 01 of 10

    An ingenious design allows a rider to propel this low-slung riding machine with simple alternating movements of the legs. Like the plasma car designed for younger kids, the Ezy Roller requires no motor or chain. The basic model will fit kids as young as 3, but extension bars allow it to accommodate riders all the way up to adult. And, believe me, the adults will want to try it.

  • 02 of 10

    Remember Simon? This game's a little like that one except that it will get the grandchildren moving. The purpose is to follow audio directions to toss and catch the ball in one of the three colored cups. There are four game modes to choose from. This is a game that will also attract tween and even teen grandchildren -- as well as a grandparent or two.

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    Every kid needs a sleeping bag for sleepovers at Grandma's house and for the occasional camping trip. These bags by Wildkin are naturally flame-retardant and contain no questionable chemicals. They come in several prints that are cute but not babyish and can be used as bed toppers when unzipped. Each bag comes with a small pillow and storage pouch.

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    Is there any kid who doesn't want to add to a collection of Lego mini-figs? One way to do it is with these sets of vintage figures. Another way is to let the grandkids pick out collectibles of their choice for about $10 each. The mini-figs that are sold separately include some really unique figures, such as Shark Suit Guy. Also available are characters from Disney and other movies.

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    I like the Journey line of 18-inch dolls from Toys "R" Us as a more sensible alternative to American Girl. They have beautiful non-closing eyes and "real lashes," which keep them from having the vapid look of some dolls. They come with mostly non-fussy clothing, and their narrative concerns traveling with their friends, which means that your grandchildren may learn a little about foreign countries as they play. 

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    Is there anyone, old or young, who can resist a bean bag chair? This one by Flash Furniture is sized for kids and has a removable, washable cover. It's perfect for watching TV, as well as providing a cozy spot for reading. Available in different colors and materials, it's light enough to move from room to room or to toss in a closet when it's not in use, although that may seldom happen.

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    You'll be a hit with your grandkids when you spring for this Schleich Big Knight's Castle. It's sturdily made with features like a secret passage and a drawbridge. Of course, it is designed for the Schleich knight figures, so you won't have to worry about what to buy for birthdays for a while. This is a toy that won't be outgrown quickly. In fact, it is fascinating enough to get Grandma and Grandpa down on the floor to play with it.

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    If you have a budding scientist in your family, this is a great toy for learning about electronics and circuits. With some help, your little Einstein can build doorbells, radios and even electronic games. The circuits are embedded in plastic parts which snap together easily. There are a lot of small parts, so if your grandchild has younger siblings at home, you may need to keep this toy at your own house, or at least that can be your excuse!

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  • 09 of 10

    Want to wake up a grandchild's interest in science? This chemistry kit contains instructions and most of the ingredients needed for dozens of experiments, many of which can be done multiple times. The contents of the kit are non-toxic. Simple household ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar are not included. 

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    Four years ago I bought three Razor scooters for my grandkids to ride at my house, and they have been used almost every time the grandkids visit. They are sturdy and practically maintenance-free, and they don't take as much storage room as bicycles. Riding them looks like so much fun that once in a while I take a spin myself.

You're a lucky grandparent! For your older or younger grandchildren, check out these pages:

Grandparents will also want to avoid these gift-giving pitfalls.