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Grandparents’ Guide to Holiday Gift Giving: The Best Toys for All Ages

Not sure what to get the grandkids for the holidays? Check out this year's top toys by age group and see what needs to be added to your shopping list.

grandparent gift guide

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Calling all grandmas and grandpas – our grandparent gift guide is here to help you spoil your grandchildren this holiday season! We’ve found some of the year’s hottest toys on Amazon and organized them by age group for your convenience. Happy holidays and happy shopping!

0 to 24 Months

Grandparent Gift Guide

Baby Einstein Sensory Play Space Newborn-to-Toddler Discovery Gym

This toy is geared generally toward babies from birth throughout the first year. The textures, bright colors and sounds are on target developmentally as sensory toys are best during the earliest months. The discovery gym also encourages reaching, grasping, manipulation, strengthening of arms and legs, the development of gross and fine motor skills and more. Buy it here

Grandparent Gift Guide

Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest

It’s never too early to enjoy story time with your grandkids, and peek-a-boo toys are said to enhance object permanence as well. This interactive soft book, Peek-A-Boo Forest, is ideal for ages 6 months and older, encouraging grasping, hand-eye coordination and learning about the colorful, multi-textured forest animals within. Buy it here

Grandparent Gift Guide

LEGO DUPLO My First Bricks Building Kit

These thick and colorful legos are perfect for little hands learning to manipulate. Made for 1½ to 3-year-olds, your grandkids will build on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and their awareness of spatial relations, all while creating their favorite animals, boats, flowers and more. LEGO DUPLO My First Bricks comes with 80 pieces. Buy it here.  

Does your family use Alexa? Check out the latest LEGO DUPLO stories Alexa skill for an interactive storytelling experience. Get it here.

Grandparent Gift Guide

Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon

An American classic since 1917, Radio Flyer has made quality children’s products for over 100 years. This natural wood bodied Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon is a holiday gift that will last for years of imaginative fun. The resist push feature lets them increase coordination and balance as they play. Great for 12 months to 4-years, these are perfect for kiddos who enjoy pushing their toys (or each other) around while learning to walk. Buy it here

2 to 4 Years

Grandparent Gift Guide

LINCOLN LOGS 100th Anniversary Tin

Every child deserves a tin of their very own old school Lincoln Logs! We couldn’t leave this classic off our grandparent gift guide. Originally designed by John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1916, Lincoln Logs have become one of the most beloved toys of generations. Easy to wipe clean, this package comes with 111 pieces of carved maple wood made to fit together for stacking to make houses, fences, cabins and more. Comes in a commemorative 100th Anniversary Tin. Best for ages 3+. Buy it here

If your grandkids love to build but prefer more colorful and intricate pieces, try a KID K’nex building set, also made for the 3-year-old+ age set. Buy it here

holiday gifts

Learning Resources Puzzle Globe

Let your little ones learn geography and locate the world’s main continents while they play with this unique globe puzzle. The Learning Resources Puzzle Globe comes with 14 pieces total: six  large and colorful continent pieces representing Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australia; labels for the continents; and extra blank stickers to use as you go (use them to label the oceans, etc.) Spin it and see where it stops! Buy it here

holiday gifts

National Geographic Little Kids Print Magazine

Get your first 28 days free when you order your grandchildren their very own print subscription of National Geographic Little Kids. They’ll delight in getting their own mail when the first print issue arrives around six to ten weeks from your ordering date. “Little Kids” is best for ages up to 4. Control subscription settings and cancel anytime. Also works on Kindle. Buy it here

holiday gifts

Melissa & Doug Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set

Treat your family’s aspiring veterinarian to a complete 24-piece set of play medical equipment to help their ailing stuffed dog and cat (included) feel better again. This Melissa & Doug Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set comes with a stethoscope, syringe, tweezers, clamp, cast, bandages, treatments, make-believe ointments, thermometer, ear scope and a reusable examination checklist. Ideal for kiddos ages 3 and up. This play set has been named by the Good Housekeeping Institute as helpful to children developing empathy as they play. Comes with a handy tote. Buy it here

4 to 5 Years

holiday gifts

Play-Doh Compound Corner Variety Six-Pack – Slime, Cloud, Krackle, Stretch, Foam

Every kid loves a big handful of slime and this Play-Doh Compound Corner Variety Six-Pack Sampler Kit is a great place to start. This kit comes with six different slimy textures for squeezing and pulling any way desired. Buy it here

Want to make your own homemade slime? Check this out!

holiday gifts

Melissa & Doug Magnetivity Magnetic Building Play Set – Our House With Vehicle 

Nurture healthy, imaginative play with a Melissa & Doug Magnetivity Magnetic Building Play Set. The Our House with Vehicle Set With 100 pieces, shown above, comes with 16 double-sided decorated and illustrated magnetic panels, 80 accessories, a car and three play figures with stands. Encourages screen-free, creative, hands-on activity. Designed for ages 4 to 10. Buy it here.  

holiday gifts
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Twist

Let them learn early coding skills and problem solving from this handy and cute Code-A-PillarTwist each of his dials and then press play to see where he goes and what type of path is being coded. There’s over a thousand possibilities! Comes with a single motorized head, five attached segments, eyes that light up, sound effects and volume control. Best for ages 3 to 6. Buy it here

ebba Lil Benny Phant, Grey Plush Gift set

Here’s one that can stay at Granny and Gramps’ house…or buy a set for Mom and Dad’s, too! Get your little ones a cuddly plush Benny Phant and the book “If Animals Kissed Goodnight” with this cozy gift set, perfect for a snuggly bedtime story with the grands. You may find this super soft elephant becomes the new favorite! The Lil Benny Phant Grey Plush Set also makes a great gift. Buy it here

6 to 8 Years

USA Toyz Mermaid Kids Tent 

Give them an imaginary world under the sea with this pretend play tent for indoors. This delightful USA Toyz Mermaid Kids Tent measures 51” H x 40.5” D, has mesh windows, a tie-back door, and features a gorgeous mermaid, clownfish, sea turtles, starfish, a rainbow narwhal, a sea crab and other beautifully illustrated ocean life. Comes with a kaleidoscope toy and cleans up easily with a simple cloth and soapy water. Buy it here.

Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit

Set your budding scientists to work with this 20-piece science experiment kit! They can learn STEM principles while having a blast. Every Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit comes with the supplies for 11 mind-blowing scientific activities including colorful jiggly crystals, an underwater volcano, magic ooze and a test tube sunset. Designed for ages 6+ with adult supervision. Buy it here

Hasbro Gaming Mouse Trap Board Game For Kids Ages 6 and Up (Amazon Exclusive)

Another grandparent gift guide classic! Get this game out when the grandkids stay the night for a few after-dinner rounds of Mouse Trap. Comes with 32 pieces including four mice, two metal balls and 25 mouse trap building parts. Game can be played by 2 to 4 players, best for ages 6 and up. Be the last mouse un-trapped to win! Buy it here

 

Klutz Star Wars Folded Flyers

How do you pass an afternoon without Wi-Fi? Making stellar Klutz Star Wars Folded Flyers at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, that’s how! This kit comes with 40 sheets of customized flying paper, tape and six foldaway display stands. Follow the instructions in the book included to create each plane. Winner of the Parents’ Choice Award and the Tillywig Toy Award. Buy it here

8 to 11 Years

Educational Insights Artie 3000 The Coding Robot

Let them code their own robot actions with Artie 3000! The kids design the code while Artie draws it out. Comes with Artie, four markers, activity cards, pre-coded designs, advanced coding apps, and an instruction manual. No internet is required (Artie has it built-in), but you will need four AA batteries and your phone or tablet. Artie 3000 was named an Honorary Mensa Member and is Mensa approved. Watch a demonstration here. But it here.

Razor E100 Electric Scooter

How fun is it to ride around Granny’s neighborhood waving at everyone from a cherry red Razor E100 Electric Scooter? Let them find out! These quiet, kick start motor scooters reach up to 10 mph, have hand-operated rear brakes and rear-wheel-drive for greater control. Comes in eight colors. Buy it here.

Make sure the kids spend plenty of time practicing on safe terrain with these before venturing elsewhere.

The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid

Let your adventuresome grandson or granddaughter follow this New York Times bestseller through 100 of the most fascinating places on the globe. The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid gives readers a peek at glow worm caves in New Zealand, a waterfall 355 feet high in Zambia and penguin colonies in South Africa. Never a dull moment or a boring illustration! Buy it here

Creativity for Kids Flower Crowns – Hair Accessory Kit for Kids

This lovely kit is for any young crafter who enjoys making naturally beautiful creations by hand. The Creativity for Kids Flower Crowns – Hair Accessory Kit for Kids includes ribbon, paper roses, fabric leaf garland, glitter paint and more. For ages 7 and up. Fun for sleepovers or birthday parties. Buy it here

Alternatives to flower crowns include homemade headbands and a hair bow maker

12 Years +

National Geographic Metal Detector

Take your young explorers out to hunt for hidden treasures with this National Geographic Metal DetectorMade for any skill level, it’s super lightweight, easy to carry, has three detection modes, varying sensitivity levels and a feature that lets you determine constitution of an item as deep as 12 inches below ground. National Geographic offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a two-year warranty with this product. Buy it here

LEGO Architecture London Skyline Building Set

For those with industrious grandkids, check out the LEGO Architecture London Skyline Building Set. With details featuring the London Eye, Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the National Gallery and Nelson’s Column, this set contains 468 pieces and stands over 5 inches tall and 11 inches wide. Buy it here

If your family prefers a different city skyline, there’s a selection! Choose from Paris, San Francisco, New York City or Las Vegas.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

Nothing is better than baking in the kitchen with Grandma and Grandpa. If you run out of family recipes, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs is full of delicious new tried-and-true treasures! This #1 New York Times bestseller also turned out to be an Amazon best book of 2018 and an International Association of Culinary Professionals award winner. Created by America’s Test Kitchen, it features recipes for all skill levels and photos of each step of the recipe to help clarify what’s expected of the budding chef. Buy it here

Holy Stone GPS Drone

Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by over 2,100 previous customers, the Holy Stone GPS FPV RC Drone HS100 With Camera Live Video, 1080P HD and GPS Return Home Quadcopter is lightweight and feature-rich. Comes with GPS for precise locating and auto return, which automatically sends the drone home in case it’s lost or runs low on battery. Kids can use their phone to connect to a Wi-Fi optimized camera for live video of everything the drone sees along its flight. Drone also has Follow Me mode, which programs the drone via GPS to follow you as you walk. There’s lots more to read about here. Buy it here

Did you find our grandparent gift guide helpful? Tell us which toys you’ll be adding your holiday gift list in the comments. 

Get more ideas and find great savings on gifts and experiences at AAA.com/Discounts.

Comments
    • Hi Greg! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sorry you didn’t like the toys highlighted; stay tuned, though — there are more guides coming up and you might find something more your speed in one of them! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  • Why the Amazon edition of Mousetrap? I was all over that product page, and it’s not clear how it’s different from regular Mousetrap. Great list, though. We got our nine-year-old “Atlas Obscura: The World’s Most Adventurous Kid” last year and he really enjoys it.

    • Hi Ion! I’m not sure of the exact differences on that; I will need to investigate a bit. The Mousetrap game just caught my eye because I remember playing it as a child. Good times! Glad you enjoyed the list and your nine-year-old enjoys the Atlas Obscura book — such a cool collection! Happy Holidays to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

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