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Gift-giving guide for grandparents


As a grandparent, you probably feel that spoiling your grandchildren is a right. You might buy them things at every visit, let them stay up late, or indulge their sweet tooth. When it comes to the holidays, children are often overwhelmed with presents, so it can be stressful to pick out something that will be memorable to them. Here are some tips to simplify your shopping.

- Talk to the parents first. Ask them what your grandchild is excited about at the moment. Remember, even if you were together a month or two ago, kids are fickle. Find out about their hobbies, favorite characters and colors, and the things they like to do. Also, be sure you don’t purchase anything that goes against the wishes of the parents. They might not appreciate toys that make a lot of noise or mess, or anything that could be used as a weapon. Maybe toys with lots of small pieces tend to get lost quickly and should be avoided.

- Stick to age-appropriate gifts. Toys, books, and games for children are usually rated for a particular age range. Make sure you are not giving your grandchild something that is too mature or immature for their age and skill level.

- Build a gift around two ideas:“Learn” or “Create”. Inspiring a young mind is always the perfect gift. Look for a kit or book that can teach them a new skill. If you have a particular talent, share it with your grandchild by including coupons for lessons with grandma or grandpa. You could invite the child to learn cooking, baking, gardening, dancing, painting or drawing, playing a musical instrument, or a craft, like sewing, knitting, or scrapbooking. Teach them your favorite sport. Wrap these coupons with the equipment or supplies to get them started. The best part about this gift is that you get so much in return—the chance to spend quality time with your grandchild and pass along something that’s meaningful to you.

- Give an experience. Your gift could be a membership to a children’s museum, zoo, aquarium, or other attraction, so that they can go all year—with you, too, of course. For teens, build a package of fun, like movie passes, tickets to a sporting event or concert, a gift card to their favorite arcade or something they might like to try, like indoor skydiving, zip-lining, or rock climbing.

- Encourage reading. Books are always a great gift! Whether your grandchild likes fiction or non-fiction, look for books that will get them excited to read. For young readers, Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal winners. Perhaps give them a book you loved at their age and explain why it was so important to you. Introduce your grandchild to a new genre, author, or series. You can also give them a personalized book that puts the child in the story.

- Record a story. Do you love reading to your grandchildren? You don’t have to limit the experience to when you’re together. There are many ways to record yourself reading a book so they can hear your voice over and over, for years to come. Here are some choices for long-distance storytelling.

To the wonderful community of grandparents who live in one of our Epcon Communities, we hope you enjoy the season of giving. Remember, you can also give to yourself, so if you haven’t yet experienced our low-maintenance lifestyle and lovely homes, we invite you to check us out.