gifts they might actually want

The Best Gifts for New Grandparents, According to Grandparents

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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Becoming a grandparent for the first time is one of life’s biggest milestones. But what exactly are the best gifts to mark the occasion? After speaking to grandparents and parents about their recommendations, I’ve found that they want gifts they’ll actually enjoy themselves (like keepsake books and things that make traveling to their new grandbaby easier) rather than baby-centered gifts (like toys and diaper bags). I’ve also added in a couple of personal picks, based on the 1,000 Senior Survey I did last year.

On top of covering lots of interests, our grandparents’ gift ideas below come at every price point, making it even easier to find the right thing for the new grandparents in your life. If you have a specific budget, skip around with the table of contents.

Under $25

These guided journals are full of simple but creative prompts for grandparents and grandchildren to complete over time. Grandparenting writer Teresa Kindred, founder of the blog NanaHood, liked hers so much that she’s gifted it to multiple new grandparents since.

This “paper time capsule” makes the pen-pal process between long-distance grandparents and grandkids fun and seamless.

These simple, kid-friendly recipes will jump-start culinary traditions between grandparents and grandkids for years to come.

They’re likely going to hold onto anything the new grandbaby makes. This frame-slash-storage lets them display (hoard) up to 50 pieces of finger-painted art.

You can’t go wrong with a classic frame with a picture of the new baby. “Even though you can get it on your phone, it’s much more special to have it on the dresser,” says Roxy Wiley, author of the book DIY Camp Grandma.

For a more interactive gift that’s still personalized, the Long Distance Grandparent founder Kerry Byrne recommends this customizable photo memory game. It lets you choose up to 12 images of the grandbaby, family members, and memorable moments.

Instead of flowers that wilt over time, gift one of FreshCut’s life-size bouquets made of recycled paper. Strategist writer Erin Schwartz says their grandmother loved her birthday arrangement; for the holidays, we suggest going with this festive poinsettia option.

This grandparent-specific journal will help them recall stories about themselves with questions and prompts, which they can later pass down to younger generations.

Pulitzer Prize winner Anna Quindlen, who’s written about family and modern life for decades, is “required reading” for new grandparents, says grandmother Donne Davis. Nanaville focuses on the dos and don’ts she learned in her first years of becoming a grandparent.

Here’s a book geared more toward new grandfathers. It’s chock-full of practical and creative ways to engage more with their grandchildren and help them get outside of their comfort zone.

A 30-day beginner-friendly yoga class is sure to help with their mobility, making it easy for them to get down on the floor with baby.

Pair the above with a set of resistance bands for more of a workout (and a gift they can unwrap). These bands are better than the standard set since they stay in place and won’t snap or roll at the edges.

From $10

The subscription service Caribu lets long-distance grandparents and grandkids connect virtually with a library of digital games and books. Byrne says the video chat is easy to set up on desktops, tablets, or phones.

Under $50

Gift them a customized wall calendar curated with family photos. I suggest going with a theme for each month and keeping in mind birthday and anniversary months.

Grandparents and grandchildren alike can enjoy seeing themselves in Wonderbly’s customizable picture books. These grandma- and grandpa-specific ones let you add up to four grandkids as characters, personalize the title with your grandparent’s nickname, and write a dedication page.

If they’re prone to misplacing things around the house, they’ll appreciate the ease of an all-in-one phone case and wallet. Grandma Marina, half of the popular Instagram account Drawings for My Grandchildren, says hers allows her to “always have my hands free, but keeps my phone close to my body — close at hand.”

If they’re running around with the new grandbaby, they’ll appreciate the convenience of an at-home foot massage. We suggest this soothing option that’s also easy to stow away.

If they’re coming from out of town, a hotel or Airbnb gift card means their family trip is part getaway vacation for the two of them.

Under $100

Designed for relatives who don’t live near the newborn, this stuffed animal has a removable stuffed heart for the grandparent to hold onto after they give the grandchild the stuffed animal.

This compact travel pillow prevents lateral bending in the neck and was enthusiastically recommended in our senior survey. Gift it to the grandparents with plans to visit more often.

If they like bringing baby out on strolls, they’ll appreciate Merrell’s notoriously comfortable slip-ons.

Google’s Nest Hub works as an alarm, mini-TV, control for smart compatible devices, digital photo frame, and more. Roxy Wiley, author of the book DIY Camp Grandma, uses hers mainly as a feed for photos of her grandkids and sometimes as a large screen for video calls instead of her phone.

A couple grandparents expressed their interest in documenting and passing down their family history. This virtual class from the National Genealogy Society teaches students how to do just that at their own pace within a six-month time frame.

Or go with 23andMe’s DNA test kit, which lets them dive into family history and traits, like how their DNA might affect your sense of taste or smell.

Under $200

Hokas were a comfy shoe standout in our senior survey. They even got the stamp of approval from one triathlon runner we spoke to — perfect for keeping up with a new crawler.

$160

If they’re all set on footwear, consider gifting a foot massager. They’ll appreciate the deep Shiatsu-style massage after a day on their feet with the new grandbaby.

From $150

If you want a straightforward digital photo frame, this one’s easy for family members to share photos and video clips instantly.

Kindle’s adjustable text size and no-glare screen make reading on a screen a pleasant experience for bookworm grandparents. Go with the Paperwhite, because its larger screen is even easier to read and it’s still small enough to bring on the go.

Over $200

This Eufy robot vacuum sucks up a ton of dirt and dust with minimal effort. This should help lighten their load post-grandbaby visits.

While pricier, an exercise bike was a popular wish-list item and favorite splurge in our senior survey, and it will keep new grandparents active. This Schwinn bike has multiple adjustable settings and workout programs for a customized ride, and it displays your ride history.

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The Best Gifts for New Grandparents