Grandparents Day Gifts to Give Your Grandchildren

Non-Commercial Gifts Are Best for This Multigenerational Celebration

It's called Grandparents Day, but it's not a day for grandparents to rest on their laurels. The purpose of Grandparents Day is "to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer." How can grandparents fulfill their share of this obligation? Consider items and experiences that reinforce the importance of family.

  • 01 of 09

    Something Handmade

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    A handmade quilt is a special gift for a granddaughter. Photo © Radius Images | Getty Images

    If you are competent in an art or craft, consider making something for a grandchild. Soft pillows, dolls, stuffed animals and simple wooden toys are good choices, or paint a picture for the grandchild's room. If your talents run toward breakable items or easily damaged items, create them anyway and put them up, or let the grandchild's parents put them up, for the future. Something handmade is always special.

  • 02 of 09

    Collectible Items

    There's no time like the present to start a collection for a grandchild. If your grandchild is old enough to demonstrate preferences, take his or her likes into consideration. So many collectibles are perfect for children. Comic books, Disney items, sock monkeys, Star Wars figures, Boyd's Bears and Beanie Babies are just a few of the kid-friendly choices. 

  • 03 of 09

    Grandparent Journals

    A grandparent journal is a book filled out by a grandparent and given as a gift to a grandchild. Typically it asks the grandparent to recall his or her early years and family life. Some have places for photographs and family trees. A carefully completed grandparent journal is an incomparable gift, but completing one does take time and effort. There are a lot of grandparent journals available. Take a look at this list of keepsake journals to find the one that's just right for you.

  • 04 of 09

    A Poem or Story

    Even if you are doubtful about your writing skills, you can write a poem or story that will delight your grandchild. For very young children, write stories in which they are the main characters. Illustrate them yourself, or find pictures in magazines or on the Internet to illustrate them. You can even illustrate them with photographs of your grandchildren. Slightly older children will appreciate a poem. Here's a foolproof formula for writing a poem to give as a gift.

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  • 05 of 09

    Family History Tour

    Take a trip to sites that are important in your family history. If you still live near where you grew up, take the grandchildren to your elementary school, your childhood church, a family homesite, a former workplace, or some combination of these. If you don't live near your childhood home, consider a retro outing such as a visit to a drive-in theater or an old-fashioned roller rink. It's up to you whether you don skates!

  • 06 of 09

    Other Outings

    Another possibility is to take the grandchildren on an outing, but this time choose the destination with your own likes in mind. Love music? Take the grandkids to hear some. Animal and nature lovers might choose a trip to the zoo. Museum trips are appropriate for those with a variety of interests. What's really important is that you share your passion with your grandchildren in a way that's appropriate for their ages and interests.

  • 07 of 09

    Family Photographs

    A framed family photograph may be a grandparent's favorite gift to get, but it's also a wonderful gift to give. For a young child, choose a photo of the child's mom or dad as a child and put it in a colorful frame. Even a very young child will be intrigued by the idea that a parent used to be a kid. Older children may appreciate a family photograph from the archives.  A picture of you with your grandchild is another good choice. If your photography skills could use some work, read...MORE these hints for photographing grandchildren.

  • 08 of 09

    Photo Book or Scrapbook

    Recreate a memorable time with your granchild by creating a photo book or scrapbook about a vacation, birthday outing or other special time. If you are a hands-on person who loves crafts and who has some spare time, you should probably choose a scrapbook. If you are less crafty and more tech-savvy, go for the faster option of creating a photo book online. When you order a copy for your grandchild, order a second copy for yourself.

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  • 09 of 09

    Family Tree Chart

    There's no better way to help children master family relationships than with a family tree chart. Create your own or download a free chart. (Some of these can be filled in on the computer.) Unless geneaology is your hobby, or unless some family member has done the research for you, start small with just three or four generations. Otherwise, you'll get caught up in doing research and won't finish the project at all. Of course, geneaology enthusiasts will assure you that getting hooked...MORE on family research is the best thing that could ever happen to you.