Hot Wheels, Barbies, baseball bats: Your grandchildren probably have plenty already. Why not think outside the box for holiday gifts this year and give them the kind of gift that will keep on giving? Unique gifts like an educational travel experience can have a long-lasting impact on their lives and maybe even change them forever. Here is our countdown of the 10 best holiday gifts for grandkids in 2019:

10 | An Instrument or Lessons

Helping your grandchild discover a new talent or passion can certainly be life changing! And think of all the recitals and concerts you can attend to support them in their newfound hobby. If your grandchild has shown an interest in music, a unique gift of a guitar, drum set or violin can change their life by giving them an outlet for expression they never knew before. 

9 | A Digital Camera

They may seem too young for a digital camera, but VTech and Discovery Kids offer sturdy, durable cameras for kids 3 and up. It can be amazing to see the world through the eyes of your grandchild, and with a digital camera just for them—you can! A camera makes a great holiday gift for little kids and teens alike. Treat their gift like a new hobby, especially if you’re a photographer yourself. It can be something that you share for years to come. Plus, framed photos they’ve taken also make the best gifts for their parents.

8 | A Journal

A real journal. With pages. And a really cool pen. Encourage your grandchild to write in it every day. You may inspire them to become authors or journalists. Even if they don’t grow up to be professional writers, having a paper journal to look back on in the future is the best gift for grandchildren as they grow older. And introducing them to a new way to express themselves and work through their feelings can result in lifelong mental health benefits.

7 | A Nice Bike

Encourage your grandchildren to step away from their screens and get outside with a shiny new bicycle. Spend time with them going out for bike rides. Sign your teenagers up for a charity bike ride so they have something to work toward. Or go hiking, kayaking—whatever active things you want to share with them. Instilling a sense of adventure and helping them to make being active a habit is the best investment for their future and has the potential to enrich both their lives and yours.

6 | GoldieBlox

Your granddaughter likely already has enough dolls to last her a lifetime. Think outside the box about some gender-bending toys or unique gifts that can introduce her to skills that aren’t typically encouraged for girls. GoldieBlox are toys for girls that are “designed to develop an interest in engineering and confidence in problem-solving.” Or consider STEM toys for boys, too, like Brackitz Inventor or a good old set of Legos.

5 | The Little Prince

The Little Prince is a story on many levels. For children, it’s a silly tale of a little boy who has traveled from planet to planet, meeting colorful characters along the way. But the book can engage readers of all levels with deeper meanings, making this a book that both of you can read together, and a book that can grow with your grandchild. They will always remember this book as a special storytelling experience you shared and may even discover a love for all books—and that is a life-changing holiday gift you can’t put a price tag on.

4 | A Pet

A dog or a cat is a friend for life and can teach your grandchildren important lessons about responsibility. The friendship that can grow between a kid and his or her pup will give them lifelong memories, which is the best holiday gift you can buy. Just be sure to have a serious talk with their parents before bringing home a designer golden doodle.

3 | A Savings Account

When your grandkids are little, their toys, clothes and games pile up quickly, especially if they have older siblings. One of the best investment gifts you can give them is a savings account that you add to every holiday and birthday. Your grandchildren may not understand the value of the savings account until they turn 18, but whether the money goes toward college, a backpacking trip around Europe or a summer spent in New York City, whatever they spend it on could change their lives.

2 | A Volunteer Service Experience

Consider skipping the gifts and taking part in a service activity with your grandchild instead. Sign up to serve a meal at a homeless shelter with your teenager. Adopt a family with your littler ones, and shop together to buy gifts. Introducing community service to them at a young age can make it a consistent part of their lives as they grow up as well as enriching their lives in the short-term by making them feel good for giving.

1 | An Educational Travel Experience

Sharing your own love and passion for travel and learning can instill those same passions in your grandchild forever. And the memories made and the bond built during an educational travel experience can last a lifetime. Think outside the box this holiday season and give your grandchildren an experiential gift rather than a physical toy. After all, time spent together is the best gift of all—for you both.


Want to learn more?

Read our tips for traveling with grandkids →

Explore Road Scholar’s Grandparent programs and discover all the exciting learning adventures you can experience with your grandchild!


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