9 Gifts That Are a Big No-No for Grandkids


What are some of the worst gifts to give to your grandkids?

Have you ever been at a loss for what to give as a gift for your grandkids? Maybe that pricey doll you saw on the toy store’s shelf, or maybe that tiny car with a remote. But these seem like they will be easily forgotten soon after you give them to them. So what’s the solution? Are there any tips to follow while browsing for the perfect gift?

While we cannot give you a straightforward answer to help you find what your juniors want one thing is for sure! We’re here to help you avoid the “no-go zone” and be super cringy because you want a grin, not a phony thank you grandma or grandpa.

Before you go over the list, keep in mind the unwritten rule of gift-giving: Never purchase something super expensive and noisy without first getting the parent’s approval!

grandkids, gifts for grandkids
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Sticky things

Let’s start the list with one of the worst gifts for grandkids, which is everything sticky. These things may be slime, stickers, or putty. While they can be super fun for kids, their parents might not appreciate them as much.

These items just seem to find their way into inappropriate places like wooden floors, sibling hair, furniture, and other toys. Several times, I’ve had to scrape cute, tiny stickers off my hardwood flooring. There’s some Play-Doh wedged in the crevices of our dining room table forever.

Since these things can become a hassle for adults, kids are only allowed to play with them once a month, under supervision. So instead of creating unpleasant situations, avoid giving this stuff to your grandkids.


Giving their grandchildren a unique ornament for the Christmas tree every year brings satisfaction to many grandparents. But if the grandkids are small, you can bet they’ll want to play with the present first and you can only imagine what will happen next. They’ll probably smash the present.

If kids open a gift from their grandparents and their mother says, “Do Not Touch it!” because it will break they will probably be upset. It’s great to think about giving kids ornaments that are age-appropriate!

Sets (or everything) that contain small pieces

Everybody loves puzzles or Legos but who loves cleaning after the kids made a whole mess playing with them through the entire house?! Nobody! Avoid any toy that advertises itself as a “20-piece set” or something similar, unless it was requested expressly or has an educational purpose.

Within a week, ten of the twenty pieces will disappear due to little children. You wonder, where do they go? Sincerely, I don’t know any more than you do, but I have a suspicion that it’s the same location where little socks vanish.

Jokes aside, kids’s attention span is short. Instead of buying sets like these, opt for plushy animals that can cuddle with at night and remember their grandma.

Age-inappropriate gifts

Every grandparent is aware that their grandkids are complete geniuses, and that the suggested age ranges for games and toys have no bearing on how smart they are. don’t want to spoil it for you but the truth is that they do mean something, though, so follow them. If the grandkids have younger siblings it’s important to keep this in mind when you go shopping.

Probably a lot of parents stash away all the Lego sets in a closet somewhere no young kids can reach them. And this is for a reason! Small pieces can be ingested by youngsters. Before buying a gift, ask your kids for their opinion to ensure it’s appropriate.

Costly gifts

Being the one who gets an expensive and unusual present during the holidays or on a birthday is the most unpleasant situation there is. But If think better there is something worse than that: When an expensive present is given to a child and it’s not appreciated or cared for in the way the person who gave it intended, parents are left with guilt and excuses for something neither they nor their kids desired.

It is recommended to avoid gifting expensive gadgets like smartphones or gaming consoles to children. Instead, leave such gifts to parents to give at an appropriate time or gift similar items to your grandkids when they are older.


Indeed, there’s nothing more adorable on Christmas morning than witnessing your grandkids’ joy upon bringing that adorable fluffy pooch with a red ribbon onto their laps. Just imagine how pleased your grandchildren will be, and all of the cute pictures you see on social media.

No, just forget about it no matter how nice it sounds! Never give your grandchildren a living, breathing animal without getting their parents’ OK! It takes a lot of thinking and preparation to adopt a pet.

Plus this is a huge commitment depending on the animal and in most cases, very young kids won’t be responsible enough to take care of the pet.

grandkids, gifts for grandkids
Photo by Ground Picture from Shutterstock

Noisy toys

Seeing your grandkids become super-talented guitarists or drummers would be cool, right? But don’t make the mistake of buying them a set of drums as a gift. No, no! That would make the parents go crazy, especially if the kids are still very young and curious. You never know when, at 11 p.m., they will randomly start kicking the drums. Sheesh!

It’s better to ask the parents if it’s okay to gift them something like this or any other toy that may produce sounds.

Hey, I know that buying the “perfect” gift for your grandkids isn’t exactly an easy task, but trust me when I say that you can never disappoint if you opt for a fun book!

Check out this jam-packed activity book that will help your grandkids develop a thing for learning new things and enjoy spending time on their own but also with the family since the majority of the activities can be done both alone and with parents. 

Of course, this may depend on the age of the kids, but it is recommended for kids between the ages of 6 and 10. It’s fun, affordable, and most importantly, educational! 

Anything that steals the parents’ glory

Don’t try to save the day by buying a bike or a jumping castle for your grandkids if you know your children are saving for it. It’s important to let parents be the ones who bring the most joy in their children’s eyes, no matter how much money you have to spend on your grandkids’s gifts.

Ask the parents what you can do to help them, or discuss starting a college fund. Or maybe they need help with watching the kids. Small gestures like these often hold more value than material possessions and are highly appreciated.

Gifts that need parental supervision

Now that’s a huge no! The time that working parents must add to their already full schedules to enjoy and assemble games, crafts, or even memberships to local venues may cause parents to become even more stressed, while grandparents may feel let down and unappreciated.

If you still insist that your grandkids need this type of toy, then make sure you’re the one who is going to help them figure out how to use it.

Curious about more insights regarding grandparenting? Check out: Life Lessons From Grandchildren: 12 Things You’re Never Too Old to Learn.

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