I am very excited to share this gift idea with you! When I buy gifts I try to find something special, and meaningful; however, some people are really hard to find the perfect gift for. My parents are some of those people. However, this last minute gift for grandparents is a gift that we have been giving for many years. In my opinion, it is perfect.
One of the best things about this gift is that it lasts all year. It is an easy way to make memories and spend time together. The amount of money you spend is largely your choice, but you can choose to spend virtually nothing. In many ways, it is perfect for grandparents who simply enjoy quality time with their grandkids and families.
We always give this gift for grandparents at Christmas, but you can give it any time of year, whether a special birthday, holiday or other occasion, the basic ideas are the same year round.
If you are looking for a last minute gift for grandparents, this gift also works because I have included a free printable that you can download and print right now!
Gift for Grandparents or Parents
The basic idea of the gift is a monthly present that is opened on the first of each month for the year. It is a fun way to keep the excitement of Christmas in your home month after month. It is also something for everyone to look forward to all year long.
I have included 3 sets of printable cards. Each set includes a card for each month. One of the sets are in color and has activities already printed on them for each month. This set is also included in black and white for easy printing.
I have also included a blank set of months so that you can fill them in with any activity that works for you and your family. There is a collection of over 30 activity ideas below to choose from or at least get you started.
Creating Your Last Minute Gifts
To create your gift for grandparents, start by deciding on 12 activities that you want to do over the year. Consider the time of year – a car wash may be best in the summer and a movie night may work well in the colder months.
I usually start by sitting with my children and they brainstorm ideas of what they want to include and give to their grandparents. There are a few special activities that we have done in past years, through these monthly gifts, that we now do every year because they went really well and have now become tradition.
I typically try to include activities that my kids are involved in creating and preparing, such as cooking or helping rake leaves etc. Ultimately, our goal is time together as a family and memories for my children with their grandparents.
Gift for Grandparents Activity Ideas
I know that there are many families that are not able to be together at Christmas, especially this year and last. Some of the gift ideas can be done through a virtual call as a way to still spend time together.
Depending how much you want to spend, you can choose activities/gifts that work for you. I usually include a variety of free and purchased gifts. Over the years some of the best activities that we did didn’t cost us a cent.
You can also look at the cards that I have premade with the whole year done for you, however, make sure that they will work for you. You can print the blank monthly cards and add your own 12 ideas.
DIY Activity Ideas
If you choose not to use the prefilled cards, some ideas for inspiration, to get your gift for grandparents started are listed below. I have included a short description of each gift to give you an idea of how you could do the activity.
Most of the activities are things that my family have done in past years. Be creative and have fun!
Inexpensive/ Free Gift for Grandparents Activities
- Letters written by grandchildren – Have children write what they love about their grandparents and special memories that they have of them together. Include the letter in the envelope for grandparents to open the month you choose.
- Bingo Game – Make sure everyone has a bingo card, or two, and play together. This worked out really well for us through a virtual call this past year. You can also include prizes.
- Raking Leaves – Kids can bring rakes and bags and spend an afternoon helping with yard work – and maybe jumping in the leaves just for fun.
- Box full of Surprises – Spend time creating some crafts, snacks or other fun things and mail the box to arrive around the first of the month. Another option is to hide the box full of kid-made gifts at their grandparents a few days before that months envelope is opened. The card can tell grandparents to look at the back of the shed or another spot in the house that the box could be hidden
- Washing the Car – Bring everything you need to wash a car and kids can learn how to properly clear a car.
- Community Support – Go somewhere together to help people in need, such as a food bank.
- Brunch – Invite grandparents over for bunch. Sunday mornings worked well for us for the month.
- Game Day – Play your favorite board, or card game together. Add to the competition with older children by keeping track of the winners from each game.
- Manicure/Pedicure Spa day – You can do this a few ways, depending on budget. You can set up an appointment for grandparents to get pampered. However, you can also have grandparents come by to your own ‘spa at home’. For example, kids can give hand massages and paint nails to pamper their grandparent(s).
- Dinners – Save grandparents some time cooking by delivering dinner throughout the month. We set it so that every Monday we brought dinner. This is a great opportunity for children to help cook. This year we plan to have my parents actually come for dinner, but delivering it can also work depending on circumstance.
- Book Date – Visit a library or book store and pick out some books that look interesting. Get cozy and spend time reading them together.
- Pay it Forward – Have grandkids think of something kind to do for someone else. It could be another family member or something as simple as writing positive messages in chalk on the sidewalk.
- Lawn Cutting – Depending on the age of your children, cutting grandparents lawn and spending some time on their yard is always appreciated and makes a nice gift.
- Movie Night – Set up a special movie night. Wear pajamas and pop some popcorn and create a memory as you watch a movie at home for everyone to enjoy.
- Sunset Walk – Plan a special walk one evening and catch a sunset.
- Barbeque – Cook up something special on the BBQ and enjoy a meal together.
- Tea Party – Get a little fancy and dress up for a tea party together.
- Old Photos – Spend time to look through old photos and give grandparents the opportunity to talk about the photos and the stories behind them.
- Fancy Dinner – This is my kids favorite gift! Come up with a fancy name for your restaurant (your kitchen) and create a menu with fancy names for dishes. Grandparents can come in formal clothes to enjoy a dinner served by the grandkids. Children can prepare dinner shows between each course, such as playing the piano, singing or dancing.
- Picnic Lunch – Pack a lunch, find a nice spot on a beautiful day and enjoy some time together outside.
- Dance Party – Sing songs and dance together. Karaoke is a fun option. This a great chance for grandparents to share some of their favorite songs, and dance moves from their childhood.
- Baking Day – Bake some cookies or other favorite treats together.
- Craft Day – Plan a few crafts and create together. This time together works really well in December for grandparents to create ornaments together with their grandkids.
- Interview – Have children plan some questions that they wonder, or are curious about their grandparents. Plan a day and time for children to ask, and record answers to the questions.
More Gift for Grandparent Ideas
- Gift card – Instead of giving a gift card as a gift on its own for Christmas, include it as part of a monthly gift. Try a gift card to somewhere new for grandparents to try or a favorite place you know they’ll enjoy.
- Escape room – Escape rooms are very popular right now, but can be expensive. However, they are lots of fun to do together as a family. You can create your own, or print an escape room that will take you around your house. For puzzle ideas, check out this collection of 40 DIY escape room puzzles.
- Hotel stay – Depending on your budget, you could book a night at a hotel for grandparents just for something different.
- Flowers– Have flowers delivered on a specific day and time. Your card for the month would say something like, “Make sure you’re home on Monday the 12th at 4:00 for a special surprise!”
- Family photo shoot – We are going to try this this year. Book a photographer and get family photos done. Plan for the spring or summer so that you are more likely to have a nice day.
- Paint Night – There are lots of paint nights that you can follow online. Choose a picture that you think everyone will enjoy creating. Have paper or canvas and paints ready to go and create a picture together. Another option, but more expensive, is to book a paint night with a local artist.
- Charity – Make a donation to a charity in grandparents name one month.
- Lottery Tickets/Bingo Game Cards – Put some scratch lottery tickets into an envelope one month.
- Concert – Get and give tickets to a concert or theatre show to enjoy together.
Once you have chosen your 12 activities, print them onto the blank cards. Or you can use the cards with the activities prefilled. Put each months card into an envelope. Seal the envelope and print the month on the front of the envelope.
Stack the envelopes and tie them or put them in a box together or wrap them. Your special gift for grandparents is ready!
Make a note somewhere of what the gift was each month before you give it simply so that you are prepared ahead of time for any planning you will need to do.
More Gift for Grandparents Activity ideas
There are endless possibilities for activities you can include in your gift for grandparents. Hopefully the above ideas get you started. If you are looking for more ideas, consider any special talents that the children, or grandparents have.
For example, if a grandparent is a knitter, spending an afternoon showing and teaching grandkids how to knit would be a great experience for everyone.
Even simple ideas, such as bowling, or golfing together can lead to an exciting, and memorable afternoon for everyone.
Depending on the activities you choose, another nice thing about this gift is that you don’t have to buy all of the gifts at the time you give the gift. For example, we are doing an escape room together with grandparents and kids this spring as part of our gift this year. However, I won’t actually buy the tickets to the escape room until the month we will be going.
This gift is special for so many reasons, but it also gives grandparents something special to look forward to each month. If given at Christmas it also gives grandparents something special to open each month even after the excitement of Christmas is over.
If you use this gift idea for your grandparents, I’d love to hear any new ideas you use to add to my list and share with others.
FREE Printable Gift for Grandparents
Save time by printing the monthly gift cards for grandparents. The printables are free for all subscribers. Simply sign up for Hands-On Teaching Ideas and gain access to my Free Resource Library.
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More Hands On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more learning activities, below is a collection of my most popular and favorite hands-on teaching ideas. From escape room puzzles and science experiments to Christmas crafts and outdoor learning activities, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning.