Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Gifts That Grandparents Will Love to Give Plus a Giveaway

How Do I Come Up with the Holiday Guide for Grandparents?
I go to toys shows throughout the year and see thousands of toys – yes literally thousands.   I take over a thousand pictures plus notes when I see something that I think I might like to recommend.  In the Fall I go through all of this and make a list of potential items to be on my lists.  There are the toys that I know will be advertised heavily which will put them on your grandchildren’s holiday gift lists.  Then there are the toys that have caught my eye that I think the kids will enjoy and some that you will enjoy playing with the grandkids.  That is why I make multiple lists.  Here are my three Holiday Gift Guide articles:

Gifts That Grandparents Will Love to Give Plus a Giveaway
Books and Books with Plush Holiday Gift Ideas  (Coming Soon)
This article features toys that probably won’t be on your grandchildren’s lists but that you should consider giving anyway. Most are in the affordable range and are not bank breakers. My Hot Toys article focused on toys that your grandkids may ask for.  This is a list of toys that YOU and your grandchild will like too.  Most of all, many you can enjoy together.

Final notes:
  • There are lots of holiday toy guides this time of year but mine is unique.  This is a guide from a grandmother’s perspective. It is my HONEST opinion -  not just corporate PR. 
  • Most of these pictures are mine - not stock photos.  Some are less than perfect with other stuff in the background. But they portray the real deal.
  • If I say "Ages X and up, up, up"  I am referring to generations - meaning two or more generations up will enjoy playing with this item.
  • First up is a classic toy for toddlers and it is the giveaway for the gifts Grandparents will Love to Give List.  See the giveaway details at the end of the post.
Read to me Tot Tower           Ages 2+

We all remember our kids playing with these cardboard building blocks and they are still fun.  I particularly like this one because in addition to large motor skills it teaches language skills.  Rather than just a shape or color, each brightly colored block features a question.  The Tot Tower is a winner of the Oppenhein Blue Chip Classic Award.  By eeboo.

Peppa Pig Tea Time Role Play  Ages 2+

This set is very cute and will provide lots of play opportunity with the Peppa Pig characters that young children love.  It has 11 pieces including teapot, cups, saucers, teaspoons and soft Teddy and Mr. Dinosaur characters. Kids love the pouring sound the teapot makes. Five star rating at Amazon. By Jazwares.

Camping Lodge          Ages 4+

This playmobil playset is very detailed and has lots of moving parts to play camping with including an archery set and a zip line.  I love the zip line.  The lodge is fully equipped inside and outside. It even has an outside shower and campfire.  This Playmobil playset will provide hours of imaginative play. By Playmobil.

GeoSafari Solar Rover        Ages 8+

This is a pretty cool item for kids to learn about solar power.  You cast shadows or let the sun shine on the solar panels to get the rover moving and control its direction.  This is a fun toy for learning STEM concepts.  Although recommended for 8 and up, you can play with a younger child who is interested in science. By Educational Insights.

Plush and Dolls

Gund Winky Lamb Rattle            Age Newborn+

This is a small gift item that you can’t go wrong with.  This cuddly lamb is also a soft rattle.  It is small and may be that special item that an infant grabs onto and cherishes. At 4 1/2 inches, it is small enough for the youngest baby. Super cute.  Highest quality that you expect from Gund.

Baby Papaya Bunny                 Age Newborn+

If you prefer bright colors, this bunny is an excellent choice.  The stitched features, soft velour, crinkly sound and 7 ½ inches length make this an excellent choice for the youngest baby.  By eeboo.

Snug up Dolls               Ages 6 months+

These snug up dolls come in boy and girl versions.  They are soft bodied – great for snuggling -  and have safe embroidered eyes and facial features.  The clothes are also sewn on and can’t be taken off.  They are 11.5 inches tall and washable.  This is an excellent first doll for a baby to play with.  By HABA.

Barbie – You Can Be Anything line    Ages 3+
Barbie dolls continue to be the most popular dolls with little girls and Mattel continues to innovate with this brand.  My favorite Barbie is the “You Can Be Anything” line.  The dolls are dressed in outfits representing various careers – both traditional and non-traditional. Farmers, soccer players, pediatrician, scientist, ballerina and more. There are also playsets corresponding with the dolls.  By Mattel.

Games and Puzzles
I am all about playing games and putting together puzzles with grandchildren of all ages and so here are some of my favorites to play with every age…   Start young and never stop playing.

Arranging Game Rainbow Caterpillar    Ages 18 Months+

This cute caterpillar puzzle can be put together with fewer pieces to start and then more are added as a toddler gets more advanced.   13 pieces in total.  HABA makes high quality toys for infants and toddlers.  It is a brand to look for.  By Haba.

Hoot Owl Hoot           Ages 4+

Hoot Owl Hoot is not new but it has won numerous awards and is still a best seller. This is a cooperative game in which players work together to win the game rather than against each other.  Players try to get all the owls to the nest before the sun rises and then everyone wins.  By Peaceable Kingdom.

Sneaker Puzzle - American Style        Ages 8 and Up, Up, Up

There are 108 numbered plastic pieces that must be put together in order.  It is fun to put together and fun to keep as a pencil holder.  The ages on the box says 8 - 99 and that is about right.  Once the puzzle is put together there is a plastic insert which allows the puzzle to be useful as a holder.  Gets an intergenerational A+ for working with a child under 8. Grandchild tested at our place. By Ravensburger.

Miss Bernard is a Wild Card (Weird School) Game    Ages 6+

This game is based on the popular Weird School books and it features well known characters in the books.  It is fun and educational.  Each player has his/her own sentence game board. In turn you draw from the deck of cards and try to complete sentences on your individual game board. In addition to laughs galore, the game develops math, reading and strategic thinking skills.  It is a perfect grandparent/grandchild game to play with elementary school age children.  You will be the cool grandparent who knows about the Weird School books if you get this game. By All Things Equal.

Uno Emoji           Ages 7 and Up, Up, Up

This is a classic card game where luck and strategy meet to create surprise winners.  Kids who love emojis – I personally know some – will love this version.  Priced under $10 it is a perfect stocking stuffer, travel game or grandchild visiting game to have on hand. By Mattel.

I apologize for the poor picture.  The Uno Emoji game was part of a bigger display when I took this picture.

And to all a Good Night Family Jigsaw Puzzle Ages 6 and Up, Up, Up

You may have an extended visit with the grandkids over Christmas vacation and a holiday themed family puzzle can be just the thing to hit the spot. This family puzzle features pieces in three different sizes designed with large pieces on the outside for the young ones, and small pieces on the inside for more experienced puzzlers.  We completed one of these family puzzles with our grandson when he was younger and it was a lot of fun to work on together.  By Springbok.

For Older Children and Ages Up, Up, Up
Once kids reach about eight years old they are much harder to shop for.  Their lists have more things like video games and stuff you never heard of.  Here are a few other options.  And these may be great intergenerational fun. 

Remote-Control Machines: Construction Vehicles  Ages 6 and Up, Up, Up

You can build 8 different models of construction vehicles that are controlled with a remote-control unit with this set.  There is a step by step guide for building the machines and the process has been simplified so that younger children can build them with some help.  The set comes with a 64 page manual to guide you through the building process and it also provides a STEM learning opportunity with information about how they work and physics concepts of force, torque and simple machine principles.  This is an excellent grandparent/grandchild project to work on together.  By Thames and Kosmos.

LEGO Women of NASA    Ages 8 and Up, Up, Up

This LEGO set just came on the market on November 1st and it instantly became the number 1 best selling toy.  Grandmothers especially love it. They are lighting up my facebook page declaring their purchase - even for pretty young grandchildren. We grew up with the excitement around space exploration but the first we knew that women had anything to do with it was in 1983 when Sally Ride was the first female astronaut to go into space.  Last year, with the Hidden Figures movie we learned about the key role of black women.  Turns out lots of women have always been involved with the space program. This set is in the LEGO IDEAS line of building sets suggested by LEGO fans.  It features minifigures of 4 pioneering women of NASA— astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, astronaut, physicist and entrepreneur Sally Ride and astronaut, physician and engineer Mae Jemison—and 3 builds illustrating their areas of expertise.  Interested in encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers?  This is a must have.  Bonus - very reasonably priced!

Art with Edge Pop Art

Crayola’s Art with Edge line is aimed at Tweens and Teens but should also be popular with adults as the coloring craze continues. It is a line of wacky, wild coloring pages. This new set called “Pop Art” features 18 dark colored pages that “pop” in bright colors when colored with Pop Art colored markers.  I thought these made beautiful finished products and should be a nice gift for the “difficult to buy for” age group.   By Crayola.

Giveaway Information
One lucky winner will receive a Read to Me Tot Tower by eeboo.

It is easy to enter and there are two ways. Both ways count as an entry so you get two entries if you do both.  I need to be able to contact you if you win. If you enter -  email me with your email address at  I will not use your email address for anything except to notify you if you win.  Grandmother’s Honor.

Two ways to win:

Leave a comment here on the blog
Like The Grandma Chronicles facebook page - click here

You can have two entries by doing both.  Deadline to enter: November 25, 2017 at midnight. This item can be sent to US addresses only. 

You can find all of these items at Amazon.  Click on the links below to go to Amazon.


Naomie B said...

I follow you on facebook

Sarah said...

This would be awesome for my youngest. I like you on facebook.

elizabeth miller said...

I follow you on facebook

Pam said...

What great suggestions! Now I have some shopping to do!

aperry said...

Awesome. Can't wait til Christmas.

aperry said...

Fb like Perry Anne

Sherrie said...

Love the list! The Baby Papaya Bunny and Snug Up Dolls are too cute! The Arranging Game Rainbow Caterpillar looks like fun too. I'm sure my 16 month old granddaughter would love it.

Rhonda G said...

How fun!! I am a Facebook follower.

Sara said...

That Peppa Pig tea play set would be perfect for my niece.

Anggie Marie said...

My son would really enjoy this ...Christmas is so close