In-Laws and Gift Buying: 5 Great Ways Grandparents Could Build Their Relationship with Their Grandkids Without Buying Toys

This post is more for the in-laws and grandparents (same thing) than it is for us parents.

One of the many roles of Grandparents is to buy the best gifts for their grandchildren. While the role of parenting and discipline fall on the parents, spoiling, and gift buying fall on the grandparents. However, is gift buying enough to build a strong relationship with your grandkids? What about the pair of in-laws who don’t have the money to buy all those wonderful gifts for their grandchildren? Are they being left out?

Since the role of parenting and discipline fall on the children’s parents, grandparents should be spending their time building a relationship of love and respect with their grandchildren.

Here are some ways Grandparents could get involved with their grandkids without buying elaborate gifts:

  1. Do a one on one with your grandkids. Pick a grandchild and spend a few hours on a Sunday together. Every Sunday go out with a different grandchild. Take him/her to the museum and other places they don’t usually go with their parents.
  2. Offer to take the kids out on their bikes for an hour. Parents need a break from the kids not advice from the grandparents. Taking the grandkids out for an hour on their bikes would do a lot to improve your relationship with your children (the parents) and grandchildren.
  3. Invite the older grandkids for a Bed and Breakfast at Grandmas house. By the time a child is four years old he should be old enough to spend a night away from home. Grandkids love sleepovers. They also love the special grandma breakfast (whatever they want) that they’ll get the next morning.
  4. Take the grandkids to an antique market. We went just a few weeks ago and the kids loved it. There are tons of toys and books for sale for great prices at antique markets. Even if there aren’t any toys there they’ll love seeing all the great things for sale.
  5. Do a puzzle with your grandchildren. This may seem as an obvious suggestion and something that parents do all the time with their kids, however, I cant remember the last time I sat down with my kids and did a puzzle. My mother in-law, on the other hand, does puzzles with them all the time. Maybe it’s a patience thing.

For grandparents who want to buy gifts but can’t afford to spend too much should consider buying toys and crafts at a dollar store. Keep in mind, children, especially three to five year olds don’t need too much to get them excited. There are simple yet great crafts sold at dollar stores. You’d be surprised at the toys and crafts they sell that could occupy a toddler and preschooler for hours.

Before you roll your eyes at this suggestion, know that not all dollar stores sell junk. Some are better than others are and it helps to pick out the good ones. But don’t just buy a craft for you grandkids and hand it to them, sit down with them and work on it. You could make that number six on the list above.

Toys are great. We all love toys, however, kids aren’t going to remember the toys you bought for them when they were little. They’ll remember and cherish the great times they had with you instead.

-Update August 24, 2007-

Yourlifeafter50 posted a similar article on August 14. Since the article offered a couple suggestions that I didn’t post above, I thought it would be appropriate to add them to the bottom of this post.

Teach them a skill. By the time your grandchildren are six to nine years old, they’re able to start learning a wide variety of things from you. If for instance, Grandma likes to crochet or knit, you may have already noticed that one or more of your Grand daughters has started showing a great deal of interest in what you’re doing. And this is an excellent way to spend quality time together while doing fun and enjoyable activities too. Simply teach your grandchild something.

Grandchildren in the six to nine age group are usually still young enough to love going out for ice cream with Grandma and Grandpa too, so don’t neglect those simply little pleasures in life.

This post was submitted to the August 6 2007 Carnival of Family Life hosted over at Write From Karen.

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24 Responses

  1. HowToMe says:

    Yes! Can I get you to email this to er.. a few people so it doesn’t look like it came from me? Lol. Just joking 🙂

  2. Eric says:

    Hmmm… I’ll see what I can do.

    Getting things across to in-laws is very tough indeed.

  3. great article (like the whole site!) my sons (5 & 18mth) see my mum quite regularly when i take them for weekends and she has done something so special with my oldest.. he and her go on ‘deer hunts’ in the fields near her home, they poke about and have adventures, explore the wildlife and she takes lots of pictures. then spends hours writing a beautiful story of their adventure, using the photos as illustrations and explains some of the nature they see. they are SO special! and she’s done about four for him! i think he’s a very lucky boy and what a wonderful thing to get to keep for life? a book written by your grandma about your little adventures together!!

  4. tess says:

    sorry! got the above a bit muddled with names and comments in the wrong places!

  5. Beatriz says:

    Hi there gorilla and thknas for the Video tutorials! I’m stuck with C4D version 9.5-6 (wish I had the money to upgrade). Do you have any links of older versions of the CStools? I know they’ve been around since at least 9.5 but everywhere I find a download link it takes me to the sugar page that contains the latest version. Feel free to mail them (if possible) or give any link or info possible. Thanks!

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  1. August 29, 2007

    […] of the many roles of Grandparents is to buy the best gifts for their grandchildren. While the role of parenting and discipline fall […]

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