Updated: Nov 2, 2021
One of the hardest things right now is not being able to travel to visit our family. Nothing replaces hugs from grandparents. Let’s face it, we’re in survival mode and kids are spending so much time on screens these days. Some of it is educational and social, but it seems all they really want is more video games. If you want to find gifts for the holidays that aren’t on screens, you may need to get creative, but we’re here to help! There are so many wonderful products out there and with the convenience of online shopping, it should be easy, but it can be overwhelming.
For the Puzzle Solver Of course we recommend puzzles! Be sure to check out the Solving Fun Pal Packs, Puzzle Packs, and Sticker Sudoku. Brain-twisting fun, not on screens, can be solved individually or with others. Also, see our blog post on our favorite jigsaw puzzle companies. You can’t go wrong with any of those!
For the Gamer My family loves to play games as much as we love to do puzzles. We have a list of our favorite board games in last month’s blog post, 10 Family Games to Add to Your Collection. We also really like Sushi Go, Tiki Topple, Nmbr9, The Crew, Blank Slate, The Game because these are easy to learn how to play and fun for a family.
Toys My family is in the purging stage of toys, but there are still a few that seem to be long lasting. One toy I think is fun is a magic set. Not “Magic the Gathering”, although my son wouldn’t complain about that. I’m talking about the kind of magic that uses cards and coins and maybe even a magic wand. My daughter recently took a couple of online courses and loved them. You could get your grandchildren magic books, magic kits, or subscribe them to classes to learn more about magic. I also just got Mondrian Blocks for my kids and we love these, too. The idea behind this game, which is VERY toy-like, is that you have to fill in pieces to create a Mondrian-type image. They’re made well and use great visual/strategic thinking.
For the Artist One of my kids favorite gifts was a bookmaking kit. Their grandma bought a paper binding machine, color printer paper, regular white printer paper, markers, scissors and glue sticks. Blank canvases and a set of paints work, too. What kits might your grandchildren love?
For the Avid Reader I see so many posts on what books to buy for my child if they liked Harry Potter. My kids love books by the authors: Rick Riordan, Raina Telegmeier, Terri Libensen, and Grace Lin. They also both liked the 13 Story Treehouse series. My favorite realistic fiction books for this age are Ungifted, Wonder, and Save Me a Seat. You can hardly ever go wrong with a good joke book. And if your kids are really into math, I strongly recommend the Murderous Maths books. They have a quirky British humor and make learning math fun. Solving Fun might have to do a separate blog post on books, our library is closed due to COVID and I’m really missing being able to browse the library right now!
Spending Time Together (Activities to do with them) Nothing’s better than time spent with grandparents. Treat them to “an online game day with grandma and grandpa” or “mini golf and lunch” when you are able to visit safely. For grandchildren who love to cook with you, try sending a baking kit (measuring spoons, cups, bowls) and set up a virtual cooking or baking lesson. Be sure to include copies of their favorite recipes of yours.
Here are my top 10 for this year:
1. Solving Fun Pal Packs/Puzzle Kits
Solve puzzles in brain twisting ways.
$4-30 Ages: 7-11
2. Turing Tumble
Build computers powered by marbles.
$69 Ages: 8+
Stack geometric numbers for high scores.
$30 Ages: 8+
4. Zoku Ice Pop Molds
Create adorable popsicles.
$10-20 Ages: Any
5. Bookbinding Kit - binding machine/supplies
Create your own books.
$35-75 Ages: 6+ with adult supervision
Fit the colored pieces on the gameboard.
$20 Ages: 7+
7. Tiki Topple
Maneuver your Tikis to the top on this boardgame.
$20 Ages: 10+
8. Mondrian Blocks
Fit the colored pieces into the grid. Great for travel.
$25 Ages: 8+
9. Riddle Cube
Race to twist the cube into shapes to match the challenge card.
$22 Ages: 8+
10. Wall Scrabble
Play Scrabble and Leave messages at the same time.
$35 Ages: 8+
What are your favorite gifts you’ve gotten or given?