13 thoughtful gifts for new and expecting grandparents
For men and women of a certain age, few announcements are more hotly anticipated than the one that says they are (finally!) going to be a grandparent. And, though the ongoing lockdowns in many states may alter the delivery and proximity of the message, most wannabe grandparents will consider it a welcome one nonetheless.
Whether you’re just revealing the news or want to give a soon-to-be Grandma and Grandpa something to make the wait go by faster, they’ll be sure to enjoy these gifts.
1. A puzzle that reveals the secret
Puzzles are a hot quarantine commodity—so, if you’ve got a big announcement to make, why not let the grandparents put it together themselves (literally)? This puzzle allows you to personalize the title sprawled across the pieces, whether it’s grandparents, great-grandparents, grandma, grandpa, or a custom name.
Sure, they’ll probably pick up on the surprise as soon as they see the baby monkey, giraffe, and lion that decorate the puzzle, but it’s still a fun way to deliver exciting news. Just make sure to have them put the pieces together on a video call so you can watch their reactions in real-time.
2. A grandma or grandpa tee
Whether you’re making a pregnancy announcement or want to plan for a future photo op with coordinating outfits, you can’t go wrong with some fun t-shirts. These customizable tees display the grandparent’s chosen title—Nana, Poppa, Mimi, Grandad, or anything else—and the year they became one. The shirts come in 10 fabric colors, including peach, white, black, and merlot, and five text colors, including rose gold, silver, white, black, and gold.
3. A “brag book” to show off
Not every grandparent is the same, but most grandparents share one favorite pastime: Showing off photos of their grandkids. Make this easy for the expecting grandparents in your life with this sturdy-yet-portable photo album. The book holds a total of 72 photos and can be customized with any title on the front—like “Our Grandchildren” or “Nana and Papa”—and a list of grandkids’ names or any three-line sentiment. Whether they’re showing it to friends or sifting through memories on their own, it’s a worthy repository for any grandparents’ trove of photos.
4. A sentimental picture frame
Some photos deserve a little more attention. Put those ones front and center with this 12-by-12-inch frame that bears a message most grandparents will enjoy seeing: “Only the best parents get promoted to grandparents.” For now, that photo could be a sonogram (in fact, many people use the frame as a delivery vehicle for pregnancy news with an ultrasound in it), but the sentiment can apply to any photo as the grandkid grows up.
5. A personalized mug that reveals their status
If Grandma and Grandpa love drinking coffee, tea, or hot cocoa, they’ll love it that much more in these mugs.
The customizable porcelain vessels say “Grandma” and “Grandpa”—or whatever name the grandparents want to go by—proudly, but in a classy, modern-looking script, so the grandparents won’t feel dowdy drinking out of it. When purchasing, you can choose between an 11-ounce or 15-ounce volume and a white, black, or pink handle.
6. Wine tumblers for grown-up drinks
Juice isn’t the only beverage that deserves a sippy cup. Whether Grandma or Grandpa is drinking wine, coffee, or tea (or, hey, even juice), they’ll love doing it in this sassy tumbler that says “Rules Don’t Apply to Grandma” (or Grandpa), which keeps beverages cold up to 24 hours or hot up to six hours. It’s available in 13 colors, including pink, white, teal, white, black, and green, and fits into most cup holders.
- Get the Rules Don’t Apply to Grandpa tumbler from Etsy for $24.99
- Get the Rules Don’t Apply to Grandma tumbler from Etsy for $24.99
7. A family cookbook to keep track of recipes
Passing on family recipes can be a nebulous and difficult task. Often, it involves hunting down weathered scraps of paper or rooting through old emails and memories to figure out the exact ratio of butter, sugar, and flour required for Great-Grandma Sue’s famous cinnamon rolls—but it’s a lot easier to maintain cherished recipes if you consolidate them in one spot.
You can do this with any notebook, but if presentation is what you’re after, the Suck UK recipe journal is a must-have. This 216-page tome has the look and feel of a professional chef’s cookbook, with a durable woven cover and ample space to label recipes, list the ingredients, and write out instructions for making them. It also has space to paste in photos, so future generations can see the scrumptious final presentation.
8. An Echo Show to make it easier to connect with the family
Most grandparents will tell you that all they really want is something that makes it simple to get in touch with their children and grandchildren. Enter the Amazon Echo Show 5, our favorite Amazon Echo with a screen. Its small-yet-useful 5.5-inch screen allows users to hop on hands-free video calls and watch streams on baby monitors, smart cameras, and video doorbells, and the device is compact enough to move it around wherever it’s needed. The Echo Show can also be used to watch videos and listen to music, but most grandparents will love the opportunity to say, “Alexa, call [insert grandchild’s name here],” the best.
9. A calendar full of baby pictures
Perhaps the soon-to-be grandparents are the only people you know who still use physical calendars and planners. If so, they'll surely appreciate a custom calendar or planner filled with baby photos. This way, grandparents can gaze at their grandkids as they mark dates and appointments down.
10. Picture books to read over Zoom
Reading stories is a great way to bond with grandkids—but, for now, most reading will have to occur over video chat. Get some picture books now so they’re ready for the grandkid when they arrive (or for grandchildren who are already around). To ensure the appeal of the books carries over through a phone or computer screen, go for brightly-colored, easy-to-follow classics, like Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or any Dr. Seuss book. It’s also a good idea to get them in board book form so the grandkids can look through them on their own once they’re reunited with Grandma and Grandpa.
- Get Goodnight Moon from Books a Million for $8.99
- Get The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Books a Million for $10.99
- Get the Little Blue Box of Dr. Seuss Board Books from Books a Million for $17.86
11. A memory book to bond with grandkids
Kids love hearing about what their grandparents were like when they were their age. Help a grandparent prepare for those questions with this journal, which contains prompts and questions about the grandparent’s childhood and experiences in school, in their career, and with their family. In addition to the prompts, the journal has space to glue in photos, a fill-in family tree, and a folder to store memorabilia.
12. A tea towel that says what your kitchen is all about
Really—what else are grandparents’ kitchens for if not spoiling their grandkids with sugar? Poke fun at the trope with this cotton tea towel. Whether it’s used to sop up messes or simply used as a display item, it’s a worthy addition to any doting grandparents’ kitchen.
13. A sign with grandkids’ names
Skip the pencil markings on the wall that display height and age and go with a decorative piece like this instead to keep grandkids top of mind. This wooden sign lists grandchildren's names and birthdays on a wooden slat in white vinyl lettering that reviewers say holds up well over the years. And if another grandkid comes along? It’s easy to get a new placard with their name and birthdate.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.