Finding the best gift for your grandchildren gets harder every year. With so many new toys and technology flooding stores each holiday season (and every other time of the year) how can you possibly find a meaningful gift for your favorite grandkids?
Not to mention that this year, there’s an extra challenge. Shopping in stores might be a little too risky amid the spread of COVID-19.
But you still want to find that perfect Christmas gift for your grandchildren.
It’s easy to just buy the hottest new gadget that you found online or send a card full of cash.
But those options lack the personal touch. It’s a simple transaction, rather than a unique gift that purposefully invests in and transforms your grandchild’s life.
That’s why we’ve found the best gifts for grandchildren that will make a difference and lasting impression in their lives — no store visits required.
We’ll take you through the best gift ideas for financial, educational, and experiential gifts to give your grandkids this year.
Best Investment Gifts for Grandchildren
One of the best gifts you can give your grandchildren is to invest in them — literally.
Whether you’re contributing to a savings account or buying them their very first stock, you can start transforming your grandkids’ lives right now by helping them get a head start on building wealth with these investment gift ideas.
Contribute to a UGMA investment account
The best investment gift, of course, is a real investment.
Start or contribute to a Uniform Gifts for Minors Act (UGMA) investment account for your grandkid, and build the foundation from which they can build wealth and follow their dreams.
A UGMA account on EarlyBird lets you invest in your grandchildren easily. It’s simple to contribute each year and invite others to contribute too. Once the account is set up, parents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else can add to the account with just a few clicks on a phone or computer.
You can even leave a video message with each contribution to make it a personalized gift.
Your grandkids will not only have a financial investment in their future, but also a treasure trove of memories from you, their loved ones.
The UGMA account is really an investment in the future. With no restrictions on how the money is spent and no gift tax for contributions under $15,000, it’s a way to fund a child’s dreams.
It’s not limited like a 529 college savings plan, where money can only go to educational costs. Your grandkids can earmark their UGMA account to start their own business, travel the world, go to college, buy a house, or anything else they can dream of.
Give the gift of stock
Your little ones (and maybe some of the older ones) might need a gift that’s a little more tangible for them to understand and appreciate investment gifts.
Giving a share of stock (or even a portion of a share) in one of their favorite brands is a great gift to spark their interest in investing.
For younger kids, stock in Disney, McDonald’s, or other big names can be really exciting. You can also pair a share of stock in Mattel or Hasbro with a small toy from one of those companies.
Older kids might appreciate stock in entertainment companies — whether it’s for movies, music, or video games — or even tech companies like Apple.
Giving stock used to be a hassle. You’d have to set up a custodial account for your grandkid even if it’s just for a single share. Even if their other set of grandparents already had a separate custodial account for them.
But if your grandchild has a UGMA account with EarlyBird, the process is much more straightforward. Everyone in the family can easily contribute to the same custodial account. It’s fast and easy.
You can even give them a new stock every year, and other grandparents can contribute too.
Help with tuition or house savings
Older grandchildren likely have a lot more opinions about what they want a financial gift for. Maybe they want to save up for college tuition or have their eye on a down payment for a house.
Whatever their dreams for their future, ask your older grandkids what they have in mind. That way you can be confident you’re giving them something they want.
There’s always a way you can invest in your grandchildren. For example, college graduates have an average debt of close to $30,000 — a sum you can help reduce with a financial gift to your grandchild.
Look for ways to continue to help them build wealth and pay down debt, even if they’ve aged out of UGMA accounts. Financial stability is one of the best gifts a grandparent can give.
Best Educational Gifts for Grandkids
Educational gifts are another investment option with long-lasting effects. They’re an ongoing and meaningful gift where your grandkids can have fun and learn a little something too.
Get an educational subscription box
What if you could give your grandkids not just one gift, but multiple gifts throughout the year?
Subscription boxes show up on a monthly (or sometimes quarterly) basis, filled with activities, games, and other goodies on a specific theme.
You can find dozens of educational subscription boxes for kids of all ages and all kinds of interests. Look for developmental toy subscriptions for toddlers, science or nature kits for school-age grandchildren, or robotics and STEM boxes for teens.
With options for any age or interest, educational subscription boxes are a great way to get something both meaningful and fun, without having to brave crowded stores.
Plus, your grandkids will love getting their new box in the mail every month.
Get a museum or zoo membership
Taking your grandkids on a one-time trip to a museum or the zoo is a lot of fun. But an annual membership to their favorite outing can let them dig deeper into everything they want to experience.
For an annual fee, you can give your grandkids unlimited access to a museum or zoo any time throughout the year.
It’s often more cost-effective than purchasing separate one-time trips, and it lets your grandkids return over and over to see their favorite exhibits. They might even get early access to new exhibits or special events!
There are long-lasting benefits too. Research shows that kids who go on educational trips have better reading scores and perform better in school than those that don’t — setting them up for a brighter future.
Museum or zoo passes are also a great way to give a thoughtful gift that the whole family can enjoy.
Best of all? You can join them on their excursions and give them a fun day with Grandma and Grandpa.
Pay for classes in a new skill
Older grandchildren might be able to tell you exactly what they want to learn. If so, it’s the perfect chance to give them the gift of learning something new by paying for a few starter classes.
Music lessons, art classes, sports training, and more are all great ways for your grandkids to learn something new.
Teens or college-age grandchildren might also appreciate a subscription to an online service like Skillshare with classes on a lot of practical topics.
Helping your grandkid learn new things is an investment in their future.
They’ll learn a new skill that will follow them beyond the classes, and side hobbies even help people succeed professionally.
Best Experience Gifts for Grandchildren
Experiences shape who we are. As a loving grandparent, you can give your grandkids the gift of an experience that will give them good memories and change the way they see the world.
An experience gift doesn’t have to be a lavish adventure. These ideas will give your grandkids lifelong memories without spending a fortune.
Take them on a trip with you
Travel is one of the best and most memorable experiences you can give your grandchildren, and you don’t have to travel too far or too long to reap these benefits.
Take your grandkids on a weekend trip to the beach or the mountains or a new city. Try new foods and activities and see what sparks their excitement.
If you live far away, you can give the gift of a trip to come visit you.
Research shows that children who spend time with their grandparents have fewer behavioral and emotional problems than those who don’t.
You can make a trip with your grandkids an annual tradition, or even a special rite of passage when they turn a certain age. They’ll treasure that time with their favorite grandparent and be better humans for it.
Tickets to a fun event
Many people have fond memories of their first big event, whether it's a concert, a sports match, or something else.
You can give the unique gift of this treasured memory to your grandkids with tickets to an event that they’ll love.
Consider giving tickets to a concert by their favorite artist, a performance of their favorite musical, or a game with their favorite sports team.
Get a ticket for yourself too, and make an entire day or evening out of getting ready and having a meal ahead of time. (And maybe get some post-event ice cream too.)
Send them to a week of sleepaway camp
Ask anyone who has been to camp, and they’ll likely tell you it was one of the best experiences of their life.
Give that same gift to your grandkid by paying for a session at a fun summer camp in a location or with a theme that your grandkid loves.
Not only will your grandkid be able to experience new things and be on their own for possibly the first time, but they’ll also make lifelong memories and lifelong friends.
Plus, they’ll get the joy of looking forward to summer camp for months leading up to it.
Finding a transformational and meaningful gift for your grandchildren gets more difficult every year.
It’s time to skip the toys and gadgets and give them a perfect gift that will last a lifetime with one of these gift ideas.
Our pick? A UGMA investment account.
You’ll help your grandkids start building wealth now, and with EarlyBird’s platform, each gift can have a special video message attached to it. Download the EarlyBird app and start investing in your grandchildren’s future today.
This page contains general information and does not contain financial advice. All investments involve risk. Any hypothetical performance shown is for illustrative purposes only. Actual investment performance may be different for many reasons, including, but not limited to, market fluctuations, time horizon, taxes, and fees. Please consult a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional for investment guidance.