We love our grandparents. They introduce us to new ideas, offer perspectives that differ from our parents, and spoil us. And not just with unconditional love and letting us get away with things. Generally, grandparents should spend between $50 and $100 on birthday presents, depending on a variety of factors like how old the child is, finances, and how many grandkids there are in the family. Grandchildren certainly don’t come cheap. But you can make the money go further by spending it more wisely than on useless toys.
So say you’re spending $100 on a grandkid’s birthday buying – let’s face it – stupid toys that are prized for a few weeks and are then forgotten. How about putting that money to better use? Still give them a gift – something small – and spend the remainder at the bank, by putting it into an account for them. If you put $75 into a bank account twice a year, your grandchild will have close to $3000 by the time they’re 18 and if you put $25 into it once a month, that’s $5400 by the time they graduate high school. When they’re checking out student loans, having their first semester of state college taken care of will be a lot more useful than video games and meaningless plastic they haven’t touched in a decade.
Of course there’s no escaping them – toys, that is – but keep in mind you don’t have to buy that “it” item every year. Try to find something that’s fun but offers depth beyond sitting in front of a TV. Board games, books, sports equipment, and art supplies are great because they get kids thinking and moving. They invite the children to have fun but are more engaging than a stuffed animal.
Create Two Gifts
Creating something together is a great birthday treat. Whether you make something tangible like a vase or intangible like a memory, these sorts of things offer more than one expensive, ordinary gift. Go to the zoo, see their favorite story acted out at a playhouse, or spend a day doing puzzles – something, anything – together. They’ll get two gifts: your time and something you’ve made as a team.
In the end, kids won’t remember all the toys you’ve bought them. Sure they love presents (we all love presents) but what your grand kids want most is for you to be around. They won’t be able to recall what they tore wrapping paper off of 2 years ago, but they’ll clearly remember that you were there, so find a gift that reinforces your presence instead of the most expensive thing on the shelf.
About the Author:
"Katie Straw" is the Gourmet Scribe at GourmetGiftBaskets.com, one of the top suppliers of gift baskets in the nation, and currently resides in Manchester, New Hampshire.