The Best Toys For Grandparents' House

The Best Toys For Grandparents' House

A visit from the grandkids is something all participants look forward to. Kids love the home away from home and second set of toys often found at grandma and grandpa’s house.

Grandparents adore time spent with their grandchildren. And parents can get a much needed break from parenting.

Read on for some great ways to keep your grandkids entertained and happy, whether they’re an infant, toddler, preschooler, or school age kid.

Setting up your home for your grandchild’s visits  

Keeping your grandkids entertained and happy is easier when you’ve take some steps to set up your home for their visits.

First, depending on the frequency of visits from your grandchildren, you’ll want to have various types of gear on hand. You may need a crib or toddler bed, a playard, stroller, highchair, and so on if your grandchild or grandkids visit frequently.

And of course, you’ll always need consumables like diapers, wipes, and snacks.

What toys to have on hand when your grandchild visits

One important category of kid stuff you’ll need regardless of how frequent your grandkids visit: toys.

Our first tip: Set up a cozy place for your grandchild to hang out. This can be a corner of the living room with a rug and throw pillows or a small kid-sized table and chairs. A bin or basket for toys is a great addition to this area.

Tip No. 2: Populate this special area with toys that are entertaining, educational, and that can be played with together. Remember that your loving attention matters more to your grandchild than the toys you choose to keep on hand.

PlanToys Green Dollhouse with Furniture

PlanToys Green Dollhouse with Furniture

Tip No. 3: Books. There is really nothing like story time to connect with your grandchild. Reading aloud is a highly interactive experience that builds strong bonds between participants.

Story time is great for all ages. You can even read to a baby in your arms. Reading aloud to kids helps to:

  • Improve their cognitive development
  • Increase their vocabulary
  • Boost memory
  • Enhance focus

Money saving tip: Visit your local public library to get books for story time. Or purchase used books online

Now on to the toys. What toys should grandparents have on hand for when their grandkids visits? We’ve put together a simple list of toys to have at grandma and grandpa’s house.

Toys to have on hand for your grandkids, by age

Infant Toys:

Stacking Toys. Ideal for developing motor skills and beginning to learn colors. You can find simple ring stackers, or more complex stackers in the shape of an animal or rocket ship. Older kids can learn from geometric stacking puzzles.

HABA Musical Eggs wooden eggs for infants and toddlers

HABA Musical Eggs

Building Blocks. Blocks encourage creativity and fine motor skills. They are one of the most timeless and versatile toys around. You can find simple wooden blocks with ABC’s and 123’s, or more creatively designed sets with planets and periodic tables.

Rattles and teething toys. In the early months, you’ll want to have some of these on hand for your grandbaby.

Rattles work on a baby's fine motor skills by encouraging various types of grasping skills. Babies observe that as they move their hands, the rattle sounds, and start understanding the concept of cause and effect.

Teething toys are important to soothe your grandchild’s sore gums as their teeth begin to erupt at around four months. Teething toys are often combined with rattles and other sensory elements to keep baby engaged.

Toddler Toys:

Walkers. It’s important to note here that pediatricians do not recommend seated rolling walkers as they can result in accidents. By walker, we are referring to a push toy that helps your grandchild develop gross motor skills while encouraging them to walk.

PlanToys Baby Wooden Walker with colorful wooden blocks

PlanToys Baby Walker

Many of these walker toys have added features like blocks to play with, storage compartments for a treasured lovey, or interactive learning elements.

Puzzles. As a toddler, your grandchild will begin to do simple puzzles. Wooden peg puzzles are a great way to start. As they grow, they’ll be able to do more complex jigsaw puzzles, and puzzles with geometric shapes, ABCs and counting features.

Dress up and imaginative play: Perhaps the most important category for this age and the most creative. You can find some random pieces at the thrift shop, or purchase costume sets from brands like Melissa & Doug.

For imaginative play, think any toy or item that allows your child to get into a role and pretend to be a chef, fireperson, or veterinarian. Also in this category are dolls, figures and vehicles that let your child create imaginary worlds that these toys play in.

Through imaginative play children learn critical thinking skills, how to follow simple directions, build expressive and receptive language, increase social skills and learn how to manage their emotions.

Preschool age kids:

Cooperative games. Card and board games are great for this age and you can play them with your grandchild. We love cooperative games because they encourage you to work together as a team rather than competing against one another.

HABA The Orchard Cooperative Board Game for kids

HABA The Orchard

Learning Toys. ABC’s and 123’s abound in toys for this age group. Geometric puzzles, matching games, more complicated building sets, and STEM toys.

School age kids:

Board games. There is no shortage of board games for school age kids, from the classics like Monopoly or Scrabble to the newer games released each year. Again, this is a great opportunity to grab some snacks and play together.

Arts and crafts. This is a super activity for toddlers, preschoolers and school age kids alike. For older kids, arts and crafts can be a time of intense engagement, as they are able to focus for longer periods of time and have already developed many crafting skills.

You can buy special craft or science kits, or simply provide the basics: sketch pads, colored paper and pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, old magazines, water colors, and more.  Need a recipe for papier mache? Look here.

And don’t forget to designate a special space to display your grandchild’s artwork.

Go green – shop secondhand for your grandkids

We love to plug secondhand shopping when supplying your home with toys for the grandkids. First, it’s less expensive. Shopping secondhand allows you to experiment with various options without blowing a wad of cash.

Try shopping at a local thrift shop or at garage sales. Or for greater convenience, browse one of the curated resale marketplaces online. You’ll find a wider selection and can have the toys shipped to your door.

Your time and attention are the most important when your grandchild visits

Once you’ve equipped your home for your grandchildren’s visits, you can look forward to the special time you’ll spend with them.

Remember, the most important part of your grandchild’s visit is your time and attention. Your together time is something you’ll both treasure for years to come.

Shop New, Open-box, and Quality Used Toys

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