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Grandkid Gift Guide by Grade

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Best gifts to give for every grandchild on your holiday list

“Thank you! I love it!” is exactly what you want to hear when your grandchild opens your holiday gift. It feels good knowing your grandchild will remember how much you love them every time they play. But how can you know what kids want? Here are recommendations from a neighborhood toy shop that’s been connecting families for more than 30 years.

Birth – 2 Years

At this age, your gift-giving goal might be to stimulate brain development or share something unique that Mom and Dad might not think to buy. Sometimes a gift for the baby serves as a reminder to older siblings that the baby is more than just a cute little burrito, that’s a developing person who deserves new toys.

Pay attention to age guidelines for toys, especially when age is still counted in months, to make sure you’re giving toys that are developmentally appropriate for what the child can do. Brand new babies might only be able to grab a Noggin Stick rattle, but a child who is just learning to walk probably wants to zoom all over the house on a Ybike walker-bike or master gross motor skills on a Bilibo chair/rocker/spinner.

NogginStik 1    NogginStik 1   NogginStik 1

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3-5 Years

Typically, with increased speech and motor development, these kids will want to move, build, and mimic how the world works. By age three, the worry of putting small parts and pieces in the mouth is less of a concern for most typical kids, so you’ll see more features and sophistication in toys for this age than for babies. (Children should be supervised!) You can give them toys that work mysteriously, and toys that offer new sensations.

For example, WOW vehicles feature clever movements or vibrations, and they’re 100% kid-powered, gender-neutral, and don’t need batteries. Kids can cook like an adult with a Cheese & Charcuterie Board, or try a Padlocks Board for a fun conundrum. One of the most traditional, can’t-go-wrong holiday gifts is a train set, like the BRIO Cargo Railway Deluxe Set. Even today, train sets engage the engineer in every child, giving them ways to create and manage their own world. A Tonie Box is a screen-free, magical storytelling system that entertains and educates wherever kids roam. Instead of a screen, unlock imagination.

Jurassic Jesse 2    Charcuterie Board    Padlocks Board - The Farm 1   Cargo Railway Deluxe Set 2   tonies - Sesame Street: Elmo 2

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6-9 Years

This is the developmental era of pretend play. Even better, kids can enjoy pretend play alone and with someone else. Grandparents can get in on the action when they play with their grandchildren. And as kids forge new friendships with their schoolmates, they’ll want playdates with their peers. Look for toys that support a sprawling imaginary world, multiple people playing together, and toys that can grow as your grandchild’s imagination grows.

Dolls, dolls, dolls! These are great, for boys and girls, because they can embody any kind of story. Corolle Dolls are high quality, European-made, with 12” huggable models for younger kids as well as fashion dolls for bigger girls. Playmobil Play Sets come with everything your grandkids need in the box—just add a story. Kids appreciate well-designed details and quirky touches. Schleich figurines are exquisitely hand-crafted toys that invite every child to try pretend play. Your grandkids will want the whole menagerie!

Marguerite Magical Evening Bebe Calin  12 Inch Doll   Cloud   Lava Smasher 1

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10-12 Years

Many kids at this age are leaning into their own preferences. They’re trying on more adult ideas, ways of dressing and expressing themselves, but they’re still adolescents. “Tweens,” as they’re called, are in between being a kid and being a teen, so this is the ideal time to give toys that recognize their growing independence as well as their need for play and discovery. Not too baby, not too fancy.

Tweens don’t require constant supervision, but they can’t drive. This translates to lots of time at home by themselves or hanging out with neighborhood friends. Look for things that are fun and interesting to sit down with, like a Loopdedoo Bracelet spinning loom kit or a Plus Plus 500 Piece Rocket Puzzle by Number. Fidget toys are still hot—did they ever go away?—such as Aaron’s Thinking Putty and Ooey Gooey Jellyfish.

loopdedoo how to loom  Plus-Plus Puzzle By Number - 500 pc Rocket 5  Ugly Sweater Thinking Putty 2  Jellyfish Ooey Gooey

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13-15 Years

Many parents and grandparents say this is the hardest age to shop for because teens can be finicky and into fads adults don’t understand. Here’s what teens do understand—a desire to be listened to, seen, and heard. Toys for this age can serve as a bridge to make a connection with your teen grandchild. They will put down a phone to talk with you if you create a space and activity that’s right.

Consider some screen-free time together around the table. Do a brilliant Lenticular Puzzle or try something challenging like Ugears, a 3-D laser cut, wooden working model. LEGO sets are always a winner; always shop the correct age ratings on LEGO sets. Teens also like cool room décor touches to make their space their own. And if you must show up with the coolest, on-trend items, go for Anirollz and Mavi Bandz.

Harry Potter Ford Anglia    UGears Windstorm Dragon Wooden 3D Model Kit 1    LEGO Friends Botanical Garden Set with Flowers 1   Electric Jellyfish Mood Light 1   Kisses Pink Kittiroll Mini   GRWN Zipper Pouch 2  

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16+ Years & Adults

When your grandchildren and their parents are old enough to interact more like peers, there are toys for that moment, too. Think about creating moments that will become fun stories you’ll tell for years to come, as in, “Remember that time we were at the cabin and we played that game together?” That’s a good objective when shopping for adults—memories.

Try a Paint by Numbers set for any gathering of adults. (Hint: this works for ladies’ night, too!) Many adults find super-challenging LEGO sets to be relaxing, like the Ford GT. For family gatherings board games are a must. Try instant fun with Poetry For Neanderthals, and for a more immersive experience dive into Verdant, a puzzly spatial card game for 1 to 5 players. If active is more your family’s mode, try a classic arcade game like Donk-It Darts or a glow in the dark Slingball catch game that’s fun even in winter.

iHeartArt Paint by Numbers - Dogs' Day Out 1    LEGO® Technic 2022 Ford GT 5    Poetry For Neanderthals   Verdant Game 2   Doink-It Darts   Djubi Slingball Night Flight 1  

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This season, when you delight your grandchildren with high-quality, memorable holiday gifts, you’ll create lasting connections and strengthen generational ties. Kids will remember the warm feelings you shared together long after they’ve outgrown the toy.

Happy Holidays!

PlayMatters Toys
30789 Pinetree Road, Pepper Pike
(next to Heinen's on Landerwood Circle)

Contact Us for Gift Help

Monday - Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 4 pm
Extended Hours Weeknights in December
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