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The Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide For Grandparents

By KellyRose McAleer - December 17, 2014

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The holiday season is here, which means time for shopping. But shopping now is different than it ever has been - there are so many different choices for boys, girls, and various ages and stages of life. How do you know what your 13 year old granddaughter will like? Which ages are content with games and when do they start to want more technical gifts? Our gift guide is here to help you narrow down the perfect gift for any grandchild.

Ages 5-9

Boys and Girls:

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make A World, paperback $6

This book teaches kids ages 6 and up how to draw whatever building, machine, or creature they need to fill a blank page up with their own creations. The book uses simple shapes to teach its reader how to draw a submarine, kangaroo, castle, and more. The author, Ed Emberley, has written and illustrated over 80 books, so you know you’re in good hands. It’s perfect for any budding artist, and the paperback edition is only $6.

No Stress Chess, $11.24

After they graduate from checkers, many kids start asking to learn to play chess. But playing a game with complex rules against an adult who is bound to beat them can take the fun out of the game. That’s where No Stress Chess comes in - it includes a deck of cards that shows how each piece can move, so one side of the chess board gets hints and the other does not. Once your grandkid gets the hang of the game, they can start playing on the regular side of the board and work on becoming the world’s next chess master.

The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book, paperback $5.99

This gift is a great way to teach kids about science while keeping them entertained with experiments that entail making things float, freeze, and boil. Written by a high school science teacher, this book helps kids understand magnets, what’s on the inside of coins, and teaches them how to use household items to conduct fun, safe, low maintenance experiments. Next time the grandkids come over, you can help them conduct their experiments, like dissolving the shell of an egg!

Ages 10-11

Boys and Girls:

Just Dance 6

Boys and girls will have fun playing Just Dance with their friends and family. Two players at a time compete against each other by dancing to popular songs. Each player must follow the lead of the dancer onscreen, earning points for how closely they can match their dancer’s moves. Just Dance 6 comes with 45 different songs that have choreographed dances, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Let It Go,” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Just make sure your grandkid has a video game system that’s compatible with the game: the Xbox 1, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or Playstation 4.

Songbird AM/FM Radio, Alarm Clock and MP3 Player

This gift is perfect for your tech-savvy grandkid. It’s a portable radio that comes with a strap to carry it, and works as a speaker for their iPod. They can keep it in their room and use it as an alarm clock, or put in batteries to take it with them wherever they go. You can choose between a green, orange, blue, pink, or turquoise radio. Ages 10-12 is when a kid is just beginning to discover their taste and love for music, so your grandkid will get a lot of use and love from their Songbird.


Suspend is a game that will test your patience, and sense of balance - it’s like the advanced version of Jenga. Inside each tube comes a tabletop stand and 24 wire pieces with notches so you can suspend each bar off of another. Your job is to stack them on top of each other, one player at a time, until someone knocks the whole tower over. It takes hand-eye coordination, which is why it’s good for kids near the end of elementary school. Up to four people can play at once, making it fun for the family or to do with friends.

Ages 12-14

Boys and Girls:

Bongos ($34.99), acoustic guitar ($69.99), or portable keyboard ($109.99)

Instruments are a perfect gift for the grandkid whose motor skills are well developed. They may pick up the acoustic guitar and start their first band, use the bongos during dramatic poetry readings, or just use the keyboard for messing around with when their friends come over. Musical instruments are always fun, and a great outlet for the creative juices. Each of these instruments is easy for beginners, and quiet enough where they won’t be waking their parents up on Sunday morning.


Portable Karaoke with Built-in Light Show ($39.99)

Karaoke isn’t just popular in Japan, it’s making a comeback in the US as well. Everyone from adults to kids loves to pick up a microphone and wail their favorite tunes, and portable karaoke is the perfect way to do that. It plugs into your TV so you can read the words and play around with echo and auto control. You can perform duets while the disco lights from the machine add some glam to the concert.


NERF N-Strike Elite Tactical Vest

The NERF N-Strike Elite Tactical Vest will take your grandson’s NERF game to the next level. The vest comes with enough pockets and reload clips to keep your small soldier well-stocked with NERF darts so they’ll never run out of ammo. It also comes with two reload clips holding six darts each, which will work on any blaster, and the vest can be adjusted to fit most sizes.

Ages 15-17

Boys and Girls:

Adults HedBangz Game ($17.99)

Instead of taping an index card on your head, there is now Adults Headbangz, which comes with 6 headbands that allow you to clip a card into place. After your card is on, you must ask the other players questions to determine which animal, food, or man-made object you are while giving the other player’s hints as to what is on their card. There are 74 different cards to choose from, but you’ll only have so much time to ask or answer questions before the timer goes off!


Personalized Copy of Pride and Prejudice, or Emma (Paperback $19.99, or Hardcover for $34.99)

Pride and Prejudice and Emma are two of Jane Austen’s works that still resonate with young women today. Pride and Prejudice is constantly being remade into new movies or miniseries - now its spin-off, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is soon to be released in movie theaters. The movie “Clueless” was written as an updated version of Austen’s Emma, which perfectly captures the story of a young woman determined to play matchmaker. But these books aren’t just copies of the books for your granddaughter - they are copies in which you can replace the main character’s name for her own so she can be the protagonist in her favorite book!


NBA Arcade Basketball System ($55.98)

Bring a piece of the arcade into your basement with the NBA Arcade Basketball System. It may not spit out tickets when you’re done, but it comes with three basketballs so you can have a shoot-out against your grandson. Or, if your grandson doesn’t have enough room for an entire system, you can buy them this mini basketball hoop they can hang anywhere in the house.

Ages 18-20

Boys and Girls:

Boys and girls in the college phase of their lives will probably be grateful for gift cards and money, since they are likely broke. Gift cards to food places are popular, as is cash that they can put towards schoolbooks, rent, or weekend fun. They will probably let you know which they prefer. But, if you grandkid wants to keep the magic of Christmas alive with actual gifts, here are two suggestions:


Polaroid 300 Instant Print Camera ($79.99)

This purple camera is a modern wave to the retro polaroid camera. You’ll see the pictures you take printed within minutes, so you can share them with your family and friends almost immediately. The photos are about the size of a business card, and the camera lets you know how many photo’s worth of film you have left as you go. The instant print camera is perfect for capturing college’s best moments, both big and small.


Pavilion 300-piece Poker Set, ($25.99)

This poker set comes with professional poker chips, a dealer chip, 3 chip racks, pack of cards, instructions, and a professional-looking aluminum case to carry it all in. It’s everything you need to get your start as a serious poker player, or to just have some fun with dorm-mates after class. The basics of poker aren’t terribly difficult to learn, so they’ll have fun doing it. And once they do, teaching other people how to play is a great way to make friends.