Unique, Sentimental Gifts for Older Grandchildren

Consider family keepsakes or gifts to enjoy together

Buying gifts for older grandchildren are quite a different task from buying gifts for babies and toys for toddlers. If you are lucky enough to have grandchildren who are older teenagers or young adults, you have an opportunity to give sentimental gifts that will enhance your relationship with them and strengthen family ties. Choose or adapt one of these ideas for unique gifts, and you'll feel that you have really given a part of yourself.

  • 01 of 06

    A Family Heirloom

    This is their family heirloom grandparents grandchildren
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    An heirloom is something that has been passed through a family for generations. Many of us don't have family silver or gold watches, but anything that belonged to our grandparents or even to our parents can qualify. For older granddaughters, a piece of jewelry is a wonderful gift, and it can even be costume jewelry, like a rhinestone brooch. Vintage scarves or wraps are interesting wardrobe additions, and you don't have to worry about size. Older grandsons may enjoy a pocket knife or...MORE fishing reel that belonged to an older relative. Books or pieces of glassware are other choices. Such sentimental gifts are superior to a gift card to many grandchildren.

  • 02 of 06

    Needlework, Vintage or New

    quilt gift for grandchild
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    Needlework is something that almost all of our grandmothers did, and fewer and fewer younger people do. Whether it's crocheted, knitted, embroidered or quilted, something handmade can form a unique gift. If you have pieces made by older relatives that are in good condition, those can make lovely gifts. If you have pieces that are in pieces, you can use the remnants to create unique pillows, lampshades, and other decorative objects. If you do needlework yourself, create items especially for...MORE your older grandchildren, incorporating their interests or favorite colors. Think small in scale, as many young adults move frequently and will be living in small spaces.

  • 03 of 06

    Family Cookbooks and Recipes

    Listening carefully to her gran's advice
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    Food is a huge part of family life, and family cookbooks and recipes can form a treasured gift. These can be cookbooks that were owned by older relatives or cookbooks that you create containing family recipes. You can keep it simple with a collection of Xeroxed recipes, or have your family cookbooks professionally printed and bound. If you have recipes handwritten by older relatives, copies of those will be especially precious. If you retype them, be sure to retain the wonderful language of the...MORE originals, even if you have to add translations. Recipes calling for a "peck of tomatoes" or a "teacup of sugar" may have to be explained a bit for the younger generation.

  • 04 of 06

    Family Photos

    grandmother sharing family photos with grandchildren
    Jean Lemoine | Getty Images

    New technology has made it easier than ever to share family photos. Anyone who can scan a photo and use photo manipulation software can make copies of precious old family photos. The blemishes on old photos can be removed, or retained for authenticity. Add a frame with a vintage look, or put the photos in an album. Another option is to create a photo book for a grandchild using pictures from his or her childhood. Older grandchildren would be delighted to have a photo record of their younger...MORE years or a record of a special grandparent-grandchild trip. Photo services such as Shutterfly, Snapfish and Kodak can guide you through the process of creating such a book.

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  • 05 of 06

    Memoirs and Family Histories

    grandmother writing an ethical will
    Photo © JGI/Jamie Grill | Getty Images

    Maybe you have the journal that your father kept during World War II, or a log kept by an ancestor as he traveled by covered wagon. Although you won't want to give up the originals, if you have such treasures, copies of them can be meaningful gifts. Another alternative is to create your own memoir or family history. This can be done in video, audio or printed form. A number of companies can help you create your family history. You can even hire a personal historian to help. Another option is...MORE an ethical will or legacy letter. Whichever option you choose, you'll be creating a one-of-a-kind gift.

  • 06 of 06

    Making a Memory

    Grandmother and Granddaughter
    Louise Morgan / Getty Images

    Consider giving the gift of an experience. Planning for and paying for a special trip is a fabulous gift, and grandchildren of this age are old enough to travel without parents. An outing for you and a grandchild can be a unique gift. Choices might include shared manicures or pedicures, spa visits, and shopping excursions. Those who lean more toward active options might enjoy fishing or hunting trips or tickets to a sporting event. Choices that are likely to appeal to both would be meals at...MORE favorite restaurants or tickets to a show or concert. Just be sure that it is something that you and your grandchild will both enjoy. If you live near an older grandchild, it could be fun to take some type of lessons together. A class in photography, cooking, needlework or art could really bring you and a grandchild closer together.