Christmas gift ideas for grandparents
By Sarah Welland and Gemma Ballard
(Updated for 2022)
What grandparents don’t want to spoil their grandchildren at Christmas? With such a wide selection of toys to choose from both in stores and online, the choice can sometimes be overwhelming. Knowing what to choose can be a daunting task but here at the Good Play Guide, we have all you need to help you make that all-important decision.
Learning through play is an integral part of child development and is known to aid in the development of skills associated with cognitive, social and physical functioning.
However, the benefits of play go further than this as it also provides a fantastic opportunity for bonding. Toys that allow you to engage in an activity together are can be a great platform for spending quality time together. Whether it be the interactive toys that involve you going against each other for a bit of healthy competition or a task that you complete together, different toys offer different approaches and benefits in play.
The following guide is designed to help you pick the perfect gift this Christmas for your grandchild. Whether they are big or small, we will help you find the perfect gift for this year’s festive season.
For 2 years and under:
Puzzles are the perfect gift for the younger grandchildren and are a great way to get little ones involved in collaborative play. Sporting a wide variety of developmental benefits, the Feely Farm Puzzle is ideal for those under 2 years.
Enjoy spending time with your grandchild as you encourage them to fit the pieces into animal slots. The sensory aspect of these fuzzy farm puzzles also adds a sensory element, with different textures for babies to explore and develop their dexterity.
A great way to bond is by helping your grandchild to foster a love of reading. Books like the Busy range that feature interactive parts such as flaps, sliders and tabs also engage a baby’s natural curiosity, encouraging them to reach out and coordinate the small muscles in their hands and fingers. As you read the book to them, they also will start to learn valuable language skills as they hear you sound out different words.
For 2 - 5 Years
Construction toys that you can build in different ways are ideal for this age group. Watch your grandchild navigate stacking the blocks with increasing success and get involved with them and do the same.
These versatile 3d puzzles allow for creativity and problem-solving. Chunky and magnetic, they are great for toddlers and preschoolers as they provide stability in their stacking, helping them to develop important coordination and balance. The building ideas and picture task cards included with Magicube allow you to create different sea animals by mixing and matching the blocks. Complete the puzzles correctly or create your own wonderful and wacky sea creatures. The decision is up to you!
Trying your hand at baking with children is a great way to foster their interest at a young age. While they may not realise it, baking is brilliant for stimulating the brain as it involves using maths (i.e. measurement) counting, and the understanding of logical thinking when following a recipe.
It also offers a lovely way to bond if you complete the activity together, and the finished product offers a great sense of achievement as well as something sweet for the family to eat and enjoy!
Creative sets that offer the opportunity for storytelling are a great bonding activity as they get you involved in children’s vivid, imaginary worlds. Making up their own stories is one of the most powerful ways children learn to express themselves and communicate.
Mag Play is a set which allows you to construct a creative scene out of magnetic shapes, following the cards or designing your own.
For 6 years and up
Games that encourage us to get active are good fun, set a good example for children and also stimulate our brains by requiring us to react quickly and use our hand-eye coordination.
Hop Skip Jump offers versatility as it can be played both outdoors and indoors and will get the whole family thinking, laughing and moving. This will be a sure hit on Christmas day for all involved!
Robot toys such as Artie 3000 are a great way to introduce your grandchild to coding and programming. As children successfully get the robot to create shapes and patterns as a result of their actions, they are underpinning their maths and technology learning with creativity and design, which is an important aspect of STEAM learning.
You can also have fun learning about the technology needed to work the robot. Grandchildren will enjoy being able to show off what they know, building their confidence as they explain how it works to you.
GraviTrax sets are proven to be a hit with both children and adults alike and are a great way to experiment and develop an understanding of key scientific concepts which complement the school curriculum, like gravity, magnetism and kinetic energy.
The sets come with a complex amount of pieces, providing good value as the creative possibilities are endless and resulting in lots of problem-solving to build the tracks.
Choosing the perfect Christmas gift for grandchildren can be challenging when there are so many different types of toys and activities available. It is important to find the balance between something educational and fun that is going to provide value for children as they grow. However, as much as we love all the benefits that educational toys offer a child, here at the Good Play Guide we understand that play offers so much more. Spending time with your grandchild, doing an activity together, will be what they remember. Whatever gift you choose this year for your grandchildren, make it one that you can do with them so you can create memories that you will all treasure for a lifetime.