12 Gifts For Grandchildren That Live Far Away

When your grandchildren live far away, choosing the perfect gift for them is a difficult task. It is hard to know their interests and wants when you are miles apart. So, here are some great gifts for grandchildren who live far away that any grandchild will love and appreciate.

grandparents taking photo with grandkids

If you are a grandpa or a grandpa, you no doubt delight in your grandkids. You probably hold, snuggle, kiss, and play with them. After all, grandkids are so precious. If your grandkids live too far away to visit you regularly in person, your arms are empty and you probably feel sad.

Your grandkids might live miles and miles away, but it’s still possible to be active in their lives. If you are a granddad or granddad looking to get a gift for your sweet grandkids, here are 12 excellent gift ideas for your consideration.

Top Gifts for Long Distance Grandchildren

1. Event Tickets

Spending time together with your grandkids is perhaps one of the best gifts you can ever give them especially when they live far away from you. Pick an event that everybody will enjoy, whether it is an NBA basketball game, a food festival, the local county fair, or even a Broadway play. You can never run out of events and festivals in your city that could be fun for grandparents and their grandkids to attend.

Ideal For: School age and teenage grandkids

2. Experiences

Experience gifts are an excellent way to spend time with your grandkids, doing something that both of you enjoy. Depending on your budget and time, you can plan a day to spend with the grandkids. It may include a visit to the local zoo followed by lunch, a local amusement park, or even signing up for a cooking class together if time allows.

Experience gifts may also include a larger vacation or trip with grandkids and grandparents. The emphasis of these gifts is on spending as much time together as possible, which is why you need to set your budget and find interesting activities for you to enjoy together. You can even commemorate the day by framing a favorite picture of the day or making a photo book together.

Ideal for: Grandkids of all ages i.e. toddlers, school age, and teens

3. Memory Book

Your grandkids will love hearing stories about their family history since it’s a great way to define who they are. One of the greatest gifts you can share with your grandkids is your stories and experiences. One way to do it is filling out a book such as a Stories from Grandma/Grandpa that will ask you a series of simple questions that will help stir up interesting memories from back when you were growing up.

You might not think of your stories as being too interesting, but it’s still a special gift that will be a keepsake that will be valued by your grandkids for the rest of their lives. You might even consider using the questions as conversation topics when you don’t have much else to talk about.

Ideal For: Teenage grandkids

two girls with suitcases looking at a map before a trip

4. Supplies for an Upcoming Event or Trip

Your grandkids are always looking forward to something, whether it is un upcoming summer camp or a school trip. Find out what activities your grandkids have lined up and surprise them with a gift from grandma or grandpa to help them prepare for it.

If your grandkids are going on a camping trip, you can consider getting them a nice backpack or sleeping bag. If they are going on a road trip, you might consider getting them games to play in the car or some portable gifts such as a pair of headphones.

Ideal For: School age and Teenage grandkids

5. Care Packages

Everybody loves receiving a personalized care package full of goodies. It doesn’t even have to be something fancy – a cute little toy car, stickers, a storybook, and their favorite candy are all excellent ideas depending on the age of your grandkid.

Mail-friendly gift ideas for older grandkids include decorative coasters, gourmet chocolate, fun fridge magnets, and gourmet chocolate. You should also include a thoughtful note and package it up nicely before sending it off.

Ideal For: Grandkids of all ages i.e. Toddlers, School Age, and Teenage grandkids

6. Book/Story Sharing

You should make it a habit to call your grandkids at bedtime so that you can read them a bedtime story. If that’s not practical, you can create a recording. You can borrow children’s books from the library and record yourself reading the stories aloud.

Your grandkids will definitely love those recordings and will probably ask their parents to play them over and over again. Soon, your grandkids will only be drifting off to sleep to the sound of grandpa or grandma.

Ideal For: Toddlers

7. Monthly Subscription Box

If your grandkids are like most, they probably love getting surprises in the mail. That’s why subscription boxes such as those offered by Cratejoy.com can be an exciting and affordable gift for all grandkids irrespective of age.

All you need to do is select the theme of the monthly gift box and then sign up for your subscription. Your grandkids will then be receiving a surprise gift in the mail every single month and call you to inform you what was in the surprise.

cratejoy for kids

Ideal For: Grandkids of all ages i.e. Toddlers, School Age and Teenage

8. Disposable Camera

Send your grandkids a disposable camera and ask them to take pictures of themselves, their friends, family, pets, and favorite thing to do. You can then get the parents to mail the camera back to you. Then develop the photos, compile them into an album that you can either send as a gift or bring it with you during your next visit. You and your grandkids can spend time together while they explain each photo.

Ideal for: School age and Teenage Grandkids

9. Time Capsule

You can gift your grandkids with materials that you can use for the time capsule and help them put it together. You can include photos, newspaper ads showing prices of various items today, newspaper clippings of current events, etc.

To make it easy for you to create the time capsule, you can even buy a pre-made Time Capsule Book that you can fill out together with your grandkids to capture what both your lives are currently like. You can then seal it with the promise of re-opening it in 5, 10, or even 15 years.

Ideal For: School Age and Teenage Grandkids

10. Starting a Collection (Comic Book, Stamp, Coin)

It is always a lot of fun for grandma or grandpa to help their grandkids start and grow their own collection of special items, whether they are stamps from different parts of the world, baseball cards, rare coins, or even rare comics.

You can never lack something to talk about with your grandkids and you can help contribute to the collection whenever you see them with a new gift. The collection does not even have to be expensive. You can easily find many affordable gift ideas online or at memorabilia stores.

Ideal For: School Age and Teenage Grandkids

11. Sporting Event Memorabilia

Your grandkids will definitely love it if they can point to an autographed basketball or special t-shirt and say that it’s a gift from grandma or grandpa. Souvenirs from an event that you both attended or from something that you have a mutual interest in following (such as Formula 1) could be an excellent gift idea for grandchildren.

Ideal For: School Age and Teenage Grandkids

grandson helping his grandmother with a computer

12. Technology

Today, there’s a lot of affordable technology that can help keep you and your grandkids connected to each other’s lives. Besides iPads, iPhones, and webcams, you can consider using apps such as Instagram or Snapchat to follow each other’s day to day lives. The apps are quite easy for your grandkids to pick up and you can have parents set the privacy settings to ensure that photos and conversations shared between grandkids and grandparents stay secure.

Ideal For: School Age and Teenage Grandkids

Summary and Final Recommendations

It might be quite lonely to live far from your grandkids, but this does not mean that you have to be alienated from them. Take the advice and tips provided here, incorporate some of them into your routine, or find other creative ways to use the 12 gift ideas discussed here to connect with your grandchildren that live far away.

About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS® 305 Articles
Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather
I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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