38 Great Gifts to Buy Your Grandkids for Christmas

Grandma hugging child on Christmas day in front of tree
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Child's Play

It’s hard finding the perfect gift for any loved one, but especially so when there are multiple generation gaps between you. Grandparents doing their holiday shopping for grandchildren may easily feel overwhelmed by the excess of toys, both old and new, available online and in stores. Here are a few of this year’s best bets, from coveted toys to high-tech games to classic favorites.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Holiday Gifts You Should Start Buying Right Now, Before They Sell Out

Hatchimals Pixies
Photo credit: Walmart

Hatchimals Pixies

Price: $19 from Walmart

Buy It

Hatchimals’ new Pixies toys go for the ultimate magic factor. Kids can hatch four versions: Crystal Canyon, Polar Paradise, Wishing Star Waterfall, or Glittering Garden. Each egg includes a glitter-winged pixie, three mystery accessories, and a pixie bed.

Green Toys Dump Truck
Photo credit: Amazon

Green Toys Dump Truck

Price: $22 from Amazon

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California-based Green Toys lives up to its name by making its full line of toys out of recycled milk jugs. This sturdy, sandbox-ready dump truck comes in three colors and is BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free. Green Toys is one of a dwindling number of U.S.-based toy makers.

ozobot bit coding robot
Photo credit: Amazon

Ozobot Bit Coding Robot

Price: $50 from Amazon

Buy It

Here’s a cutting-edge way to nourish a child’s early STEM skills: Ozobot Bit, the coding robot. Children older than 6 can have fun while gaining valuable foundational skills, customizing their bot with character stickers, and coding with a marker before taking on included activity challenges and advancing to edit programs online.

WowWee Fingerlings Light Up Narwhal
Photo credit: Amazon

Fingerlings Narwhals

Price: $13 from Amazon

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The craze continues in 2019 with the latest release in the Fingerlings universe: Narwhals. They come in blue, purple, turquoise, or pink and respond to sound, touch, and motion with all sorts of cute movements and noises, including a “mood horn” that lights up in different colors. If you’re looking for something not quite so sweet, check out the Untamed Velociraptors.

Holy Stone Predator Drone
Photo credit: Amazon

Holy Stone Predator Drone

Price: $30 from Amazon

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If your grandchild is interested in tech or the continuing trend of recreational drone use, this reasonably priced “training” quadcopter may be the perfect place to start this modern hobby, provided the child is at least 14 years old and diligent enough to peruse the manual. The drone incorporates three different speed settings, a “headless flight system” that makes stable flying easier, and a six-axis stabilization system that helps it execute aerial stunts and flips.

Spirograph Design Tin Set
Photo credit: Amazon

Spirograph

Price: $11 from Amazon

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Invented in the late 19th century, the Spirograph is a drawing tool that lets anyone create hypnotic, mandala-like designs. Modern Spirograph sets include multiple sizes of drawing wheels and different colored pens that allow children or adults to get creative with this uniquely mathematical design toy.

Nintendo Switch Lite
Photo credit: Amazon

Nintendo Switch Lite

Price: $200 from Amazon

Buy It

For the grandparent who likes to go all out with their gift giving, this versatile system from Nintendo is popular for good reason. It can be taken anywhere and has a relatively low price tag for a gaming system. The Switch Lite — which comes in yellow, turquoise, and gray — is compatible with all physical and digital Nintendo Switch games that support handheld mode.

Tupperware Shape-O Toy
Photo credit: Tupperware

Tupperware Shape-O Toy

Price: $29 from Tupperware

Buy It

Most children probably grew up with something like this rattling ball toy from Tupperware, which has yellow geometric pieces that fit through cutout spaces. Infants and children from 6 months to 6 years can work on identifying shapes and increasing dexterity while playing, then store the pieces within the ball so they aren’t immediately lost.

Hasbro Classic Operation Game
Photo credit: Amazon

Operation

Price: $11 from Amazon

Buy It

Most children who grew up playing Operation, a variation on a buzzing carnival game invented in 1964, probably had no idea it was testing their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills the entire time. The toy, which is best for ages 6 to 14, is still easily found online and in stores today, often in themed versions where the patient is Shrek, Homer Simpson, or another character.

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
Photo credit: Amazon

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

Price: $20 from Amazon

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With this toddler-friendly drum set, kids 2 to 5 can bang miniature LED-lit drum pads freestyle or along with preprogrammed melodies that teach them letters and numbers. It’s fun, cheap, and simple while also aiding sensory development.

Hasbro Connect 4 Game
Photo credit: Amazon

Connect 4

Price: $6 from Amazon

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Essentially a more involved, gravity-based form of tic-tac-toe, Connect 4 is a cheap, portable two-player game that’s simple enough for young children, yet involves enough strategy to engage adults, too. There are many versions produced today of the 1974 Milton Bradley original, including a “Twist and Turn” edition.

Basic Fun Fisher Price Classic Chatter Phone
Photo credit: Amazon

Fisher-Price Chatter Phone

Price: $10 from Amazon

Buy It

This beloved rolling toy still has the same old-fashioned rotary dial it did upon its initial release in 1962, having undergone a short-lived update to push buttons in 2000. The design is no longer modernized, but young toddlers around 2 years old still enjoy the chatter phone’s flashing lights, ringing noises, and moving eyes.

Mr. Potato Head Marvel Agents Of S.p.u.d.
Photo credit: Amazon

Mr. Potato Head Marvel Agents of S.P.U.D.

Price: $22 from Amazon

Buy It

Mr. Potato Head gets a superhero makeover with this kit. Dress him like Hulk or Iron Man, or mix and match the two. The kit comes with a large potato and a miniature one for double the fun.

kanoodle
Photo credit: Amazon

Kanoodle

Price: $10 from Amazon

Buy It

Kanoodle is a cheap, solo game pack with hundreds of possible puzzle variations ranging from easy to difficult, accessible to everyone older than 3. Basically, it consists of several colored, connected beads that can be stacked to construct unique designs and help children improve their spatial reasoning. It’ll give them something to do by themselves on the go that doesn’t involve staring at a screen.

Dalmatian Vet Kit
Photo credit: Amazon

Dalmatian Vet Kit

Price: $20 from Amazon

Buy It

Young children with a passion for animals will love playing veterinarian with this 15-piece set including play versions of a stethoscope, syringe, and other instruments, along with a pet carrier that doubles as storage space for all the separate pieces. They can pretend to heal their own pet with the play tools or use them on the fuzzy stuffed Dalmatian included in the kit.

Kid O Bilibo Orange
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

Bilibo

Price: $22 from Amazon

Buy It

Imaginative kids find dozens of ways to play with this surprisingly versatile and sturdy toy — as a hat, as a tortoise shell, or as a seat to spin around in. Because the Bilibo doesn’t have one specific use, it can be a great way to encourage creative play for children with excess energy, from as young as 2 to as old as 10.

EzyRoller Classic Ride On
Photo credit: Walmart

EzyRoller

Price: $99 from Walmart

Buy It

Adults and kids alike may be competing for the next ride on the EzyRoller come Christmas morning. This low-riding, sit-down scooter moves when the rider pumps their feet with an extendable foot bar, making for comfortable and fun rides for both kids and grown-ups.

Chalkboard Fantasy Fort Building Set
Photo credit: Amazon

Chalkboard Fantasy Fort Building Set

Price: $75 from Amazon

Buy It

Children with a passion for pillow forts will love the chance to build forts with this 16-panel construction kit. The panels look like wood-grain on one side and have a full chalkboard finish on the other. They can easily form structures large enough for kids to crawl inside and play.

Melissa & Doug Latches Wooden Activity Board
Photo credit: Amazon

Melissa & Doug Latches Wooden Activity Board

Price: $22 from Amazon

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Toddlers from ages 3 to 6 can build dexterity and other skills trying to master the six different latches holding the doors shut on this activity board from beloved toy-making company Melissa & Doug. Behind the doors are different colors and numbers to keep young kids learning.

MindWare Q-BA-MAZE 2.0: Big Box
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Q-Ba-Maze 2.0

Price: $40 from Amazon

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Unlike most marble-run sets, this one was made by an architect who made sure the pieces would snap together to keep the marbles on track. The colorful play set empowers children to get creative in making miniature engineering marvels, and then enjoy their work by unleashing multiple marbles at once to navigate the maze.

Watch Ya' Mouth Family Edition
Photo credit: Amazon

Watch Ya' Mouth

Price: $19 from Amazon

Buy It

Few kids or adults will be able to resist cracking up after a few rounds of Watch Ya’ Mouth, a simple but hilarious game in which players try to pronounce complex phrases with dentist-style cheek retractors in their mouths. The game originated via viral videos but has since become a hot gift for friends and family unafraid to laugh at themselves.

Gamewright Rory's Story Cubes
Photo credit: Amazon

Rory's Story Cubes

Price: $28 from Amazon

Buy It

Rory’s Story Cubes are simple and cheap but capable of inspiring endless creativity. Players roll dice with different images on each side, then try on their own or with other players’ help to incorporate all those images into their own made-up-on-the-spot story.

Leapfrog Water and Count Veggie Garden
Photo credit: Target

Leapfrog Water and Count Veggie Garden

Price: $25 from Target

Buy It

Little gardeners can learn about sizes, counting, and colors as they dig and plant with this interactive toy. It includes 100 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases.

Giantmicrobes Themed Gift Boxes
Photo credit: Amazon

Giant Microbes

Price: $29 from Amazon

Buy It

Giant microbes are a sort of unconventional plush toy, designed to teach kids about disease and single-celled organisms while still providing them something soft to snuggle. These adorable teaching tools come in various themed gift sets featuring cuddly versions of famous historical plague germs, blood cells, and more (even STDs!).

Kiwi Crate
Photo credit: KiwiCo

Kiwi Crate

Price: Varies from KiwiCo

Buy It

Kiwi Crates are tailor-made gift sets that let you customize the contents to ensure they’re perfect for a grandchild’s age range. Subscribe for a predetermined length of time and receive monthly crates with free shipping within the United States. Each crate is designed to teach STEM skills at home in fun, interactive ways.

Zipfy Two Tone Series and Freestyle Luge Snow Sled
Photo credit: Amazon

Zipfy Freestyle Luge Snow Sled

Price: $45 from Amazon

Buy It

If your grandchildren can’t wait to start sledding in the snowy season, it may be time to buy them a sled that’s lightweight, easy to control, and strong enough not to break the second it hits an icy patch. This Zipfy sled is a little pricier than the typical slab of plastic but functions more effectively and safely while still accommodating adults who want to hit the slopes as well.

Green Toys Rocket with 2 Astronauts Toy Vehicle Playset
Photo credit: Amazon

Green Toys Rocket With Astronauts

Price: $19 from Amazon

Buy It

Another Green Toys plaything that’s both sturdy and environmentally friendly, this rocket play set comes with two mini astronaut figures and features a detachable top capsule, so kids from ages 2 to 8 can be a bit more creative with how they play. It’s another example of a toy that has enough features to entertain while still being plain enough to encourage a child’s imaginative side.

Lego Brickheadz Luke Skywalker And Yoda
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

Lego BrickHeadz Luke Skywalker and Yoda

Price: $30 from Amazon

Buy It

Whether they love Legos, “Star Wars,” or both, they’ll be thrilled to find this 215-piece BrickHeadz set in their stocking or under the tree.

Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit
Photo credit: Amazon

Lego Chain Reactions Craft Kit

Price: $18 from Amazon

Buy It

Alternately, try this award-winning Lego set that includes plastic balls, paper ramps, string, and ordinary blocks, which together can be used to create working machines. An 80-page instructional booklet details 10 modules, although children will need additional Lego blocks from their own collection to make some of them. The chain reactions are fun to set up and then see in action.

Darviqs Magnetic Blocks, 92-Piece Set
Photo credit: Amazon

Darviqs 92-Piece Magnetic Building Tiiles

Price: $30 from Amazon

Buy It

Magnetic blocks are a fun way to encourage children’s creativity and spatial skills, letting them construct miniature vehicles and buildings out of the interlocking magnetic shapes. They’re easily cleaned up and portable, with an included carrying case, and there are numerous expansion sets and similar toys to try if these capture a child’s imagination. These blocks are compatible with similar-size but pricier brands like Magformers.

Hasbro Don’t Step In It!
Photo credit: Walmart

Don’t Step in It!

Price: $18 from Walmart
Buy It

Kids are sure to love this Hasbro family game that will have them dodging “poop” while blindfolded. A plastic mold is included so that the obstacles look realistic.

PlayMonster Original Wooly Willy
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

Wooly Willy

Price: $5 from Amazon

Buy It

First produced in 1955, this simple but classic toy uses a magnetic wand to move metal filings like hair follicles around a bald cartoon face. Having inspired several knockoffs, Wooly Willy survives as a toy today because it’s creative, entertaining from a young age, and still wonderfully cheap.

Z-Man Games Pandemic Board Game
Photo credit: Amazon

Pandemic

Price: $34 from Amazon

Buy It

If you have a grandchild who’s a budding board-game enthusiast, this collaborative game may be the perfect way to start them out. Pandemic is easy enough for children over 8 to understand after a round or two, but strategic enough to inspire hours of real discussion and teamwork. Players act as disease specialists preventing outbreaks and curing illness around the world.

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio
Photo credit: Amazon

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio

Price: $17 from Amazon

Buy It

This enticing Play-Doh product is just one of many modern app-paired toys that allows kids to make their physical creations interactive. In this case, they scan a creature they design by hand or with included cutouts, then play with the character in unique worlds on the Play-Doh Touch app.

Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker
Photo credit: Amazon

Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker

Price: $15 from Amazon

Buy It

The geometric stacker is the definition of an oldie-but-a-goodie in the toy world. Children stack rainbow-colored blocks in descending size on wooden dowels. It’s best for kids around ages 2 to 4 just figuring out how to recognize shapes, colors, and patterns.

Radio Flyer My 1st Wagon
Photo credit: Amazon

Radio Flyer Wagon

Price: $20 from Amazon

Buy It

First produced in 1923, Radio Flyer’s red wagon became an icon of American childhood for a simple reason: It encourages kids to get outside, whether they’re riding in the wagon or hauling it around themselves. Today there are different models to suit different ages, including this miniaturized version, the full-fledged original ($100), and a more rugged all-terrain variation ($140).

Simon Electronic Memory Game
Photo credit: Amazon

Simon

Price: $14 from Target

Buy It

Simon is an electronic game in which players try to remember and repeat an increasingly long sequence of flashing lights and tones. Although it’s no longer the pop-culture phenomenon it was in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Simon remains a simple yet challenging form of entertainment for anyone 7 or older.

Rocketbook Everlast Mini
Photo credit: Amazon

Rocketbook Everlast Mini

Price: $16 from Amazon
Buy It

The Rocketbook Everlast Mini has pages that can be erased with a moist cloth and written on over and over again. Young scribblers can easily send their notes or sketches to a number of productivity apps, including Dropbox, Slack, and Evernote, to share them or keep them for posterity.

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