Things That Belong at Every Grandparent's House

  • 01 of 06

    Beyond Baby Supplies

    grandparents welcome grandchildren to a grandparent's house
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     When you are a new grandparent, you will need baby supplies for your house. But when your grandchildren are no longer babies, they will still need -- and enjoy -- having certain things at your house. Read on to find out what items are great to have at a grandparent's house for grandchildren of all ages.

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  • 02 of 06

    The Essentials

    grandparents will need to keep some essential kid supplies at grandparent's house
    JGI / Jamie Grill | Getty Images

     When your grandchildren come to visit, they may forget an essential item, or they may need something that the parents didn't pack. That's when a well-organized grandparent can shine! 

    For Health and Grooming

    Keep these essential items on hand:

    • Toothbrushes
    • Thermometer
    • Baby shampoo
    • Children's acetaminophen
    • Children's sunscreen (for children 6 months and up)
    • Kid-friendly insect repellent 
    • Bandages
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Ice packs (They make cute ones just for kids.)
    • No-spill cups

    Clothing and...MORE More

    Since children grow so fast, it's seldom practical to keep spare clothing on hand. But I like to keep an assortment of tee shirts, sleep pants, socks and underwear for emergencies. These don't have to fit precisely, but they can be lifesavers in case of spills or bathroom accidents.

    I also like to keep a few items for inclement weather. Hoodies, ponchos, rain ponchos and gloves or mittens are great for unexpected showers or cold snaps. I also keep a few warm caps for winter and a few sun hats for summer.

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  • 03 of 06

    Armloads of Cuddly Throw Blankets

    grandson reading with cuddly throw blanket
    Thinkstock Images | Getty Images

     I'm not sure exactly when those super-soft blanket throws became such a thing, but it was a good day for kids when they did. I have at least a dozen of them, which means that I don't have to worry when a grandchild takes one for a car ride and doesn't bring it back. 

    Here are some uses for these handy throws:

    • For comfort in too-chilly restaurants
    • For napping on the couch
    • For taking along to sporting events
    • For long car rides
    • For beach wraps
    • For early morning and late evening patio-sitting
    • Fo...MOREr picnics and general lying-about-on-the-grass
    • For TV watching
    • For book reading
    • For when one person in a bed is chilly and the other is not
    • For snuggling!

    Shop for blanket throws by feel -- the softer the better -- and buy some really cheap ones, so that you won't worry if they get grass-stained or spirited away.

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  • 04 of 06

    Books, Books, Books!

    a grandparent's house should have books for grandchildren
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    Of course you need some children's books. That goes without saying. And don't discard the old ones that have been passed down for generations. There's something magical about seeing a grandmother's name written in a childish scrawl on a dog-eared page. But a grandparent's library shouldn't stop there.

    Look for books that reflect your passions and the special things that you like to do with your grandchildren. I have books of poetry and books of science experiments. Maybe...MORE you lean toward pop-up books or field guides to nature. (I have some of those, too.) 

    Because so many young families rely on electronics, your grandchildren may have never seen a dictionary, atlas or set of encyclopedias. If you have these treasures, introduce the grandchildren to the joys of browsing. That's a whole different thing from looking something up.

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  • 05 of 06

    A Toy Closet

    grandparents' houses should have some toys for grandchildren
    Kidstock | Getty Images

    It doesn't have to be a closet, but you do need a place to keep a few toys. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a whole room to dedicate as a play room. Maybe you can't spare a closet but do have a toy chest. My parents kept their selection of toys in a laundry basket, and the kids (and then the grandkids) always made a beeline for it. 

    No matter where they are stored, the grandchildren will love having their own toys at your house and will enjoy playing with them over and over, often...MORE long after the time when they could have been expected to outgrow them. 

    Best Toys for a Grandparent's House

    For a grandparent's house, you want classic toys, not the trendy playthings that will be discarded all too soon. The best toys for a grandparent's house are sturdy, versatile and appeal to a wide range of ages. It also helps if they are compact or collapsible. 

    Here are the toys that have been our favorites over the years:

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  • 06 of 06

    Snuggly Stuffed Animals

    stuffed animals for grandchildren visiting a grandparent's house
    Kidstock | Getty Images

     Besides a few toys, a grandparent's house needs a few stuffed animals of the extra cuddly variety. Many children travel with their own "lovies," and that's great. But when grandchildren forget their special toys or when they are feeling a little homesick, an appealing snuggly toy can make a big difference.

    Since your stuffed animals may be loved by more than one grandchild, washable ones are preferable. Some modern stuffed animals can be thrown in a washing machine. Many others...MORE are surface washable or can be cleaned using other methods.