12 Inexpensive Gifts For Grandkids That Won’t End Up In The Back Of The Closet

Not every grandparent has a ton of money to spend on presents but they still want to show their love. These inexpensive gifts for grandkids will be appreciated and loved but don't require a loan to buy them!

Here are my Top Picks:

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It is sometimes hard to find items that your grandkids will adore, especially if you are working with a limited budget. The great thing is that there are AWESOME gifts out there waiting to be purchased, you just have to know what to look for. If you want to purchase something that will not end up languishing in the back of the closet, here are 12 ideas to add to your list of possibilities.

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Inexpensive Gift Suggestions for Younger Grandchildren (3 – 7)


  • 3 PACK OF WATER WOW; ACTIVITY PADS: This 3 pack of Melissa & Doug Water Wow; reusable water coloring books for kids includes Farm, Safari, and Under the Sea
  • 4 REUSABLE PAGES: Each of these coloring with water books is a spiral bound pad that has 4 reusable pages and a refillable water pen that stores in the cover, making it a great take along activity for travel
  • PROMOTES MULTIPLE SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Our water painting books for kids promote fine motor skills, early writing/reading skills, and visual discrimination
  • GIFT FOR AGES 3 TO 7: Our Reusable Color with Water Activity Pad 3 Pack makes an ideal gift for kids from ages 3 to 7 years; Add the Melissa & Doug On the Go Magi color Coloring Pad for even more screen free play and learning
  • “THE GOLD STANDARD IN CHILDHOOD PLAY”: For more than 30 years, Melissa & Doug has created beautifully designed imagination and creativity sparking products that NBC News calls “the gold standard in early childhood play”

Before you start grunting and telling yourself about how silly this idea is, listen for a moment. This is not a typical coloring book and you will not have to worry about the wrath of your son/daughter because there are crayon marks all over the walls and carpet. These books use a special pen filled with water to color the pages, so there is no mess. In addition, you can use these over and over again.


  • A great gardening set for all kids who want to have fun taking care of and tending to their garden.
  • Great Beach Toy! Exciting tools set can be used for more than just dirt, you can also take them to the beach and build sand castles!
  • Made from non-hazardous materials and the items do not have sharp edges. You will not have to worry.
  • Set includes Tote Bag, Rake, Trowel, Fork, Gloves, Watering Can. All come in nice pastel colors .
  • Easy to clean and designed for longtime use.

One thing smaller kids love is emulating those who are much older than them. This is one of those gifts that will make them feel big and mighty. Plus, there is no chance of them making a total mess. This set comes with a shovel, a trowel, a rake and a handy bag to carry all of their tools around in. If you are a senior who enjoys gardening, having them use these tools to help you is a great way to have some extra bonding time.


  • Single unit - Image display is for various colors
  • Small World Toys All is focused on developing and delivering the safest and highest quality products for children.
  • Small World Toys believes that play is an integral and necessary part of a child's development and education.
  • Small World Toys prides itself in developing products that encourage creativity and building self confidence through play
  • This tough little dump truck is revved up and ready for action

What child does not love the idea of going outside and playing in the dirt? While this may not seem like a while lot of fun for the adults in their lives (who have to do laundry), it makes it fairly easy to find a good gift. The Small World Toys Sand & Water dump truck can be used at the beach, in the park or while spending a little leisure time in the back yard. It may not seem very exciting, but many little ones enjoy scooping up water and sand, then watching it fall back to the Earth.


  • ​Set includes 5 Little People figures and 5 Little People roll-along vehicles
  • ​Each toy vehicle comes with a Little People figure to "drive" the fun!
  • ​Push the vehicles along to roll from one adventure to the next​
  • ​Figures and vehicles sized just right for toddler hands to grasp
  • ​For kids ages 1 - 5 years

You probably purchased Little People for your own children, so why not give your grandkids a chance to have a little fun? These have not changed too much over the years and kids still love them. Those who have huge imaginations can have hours of fun with these and they will not break the bank. If this particular set is not the best choice, there are other Little People vehicles to choose from.

Inexpensive Gift Ideas for School Age Grandkids (7 – 12)

cratejoy for kids

Monthly Subscription Boxes for Kids

Maybe you can’t come up with a lot of money at once but have a few dollars to spend each month. If so, subscription boxes are a great idea. Your grandchild will get a small present each month delivered wight to their home and it only costs you a few dollars each month. You can find several boxes at Cratejoy.com that are under $10/mo. Some are less than $5 even. A few of my favorites are the Monthly Coloring Club Box, the You Matter! Box with uplifting items, and the Custom Hot Wheels Car Box. They have subscriptions for grandkids of all ages.


  • Make your own color changing slime! three incredible colorants that quickly react to hot and cold.
  • Just the touch of your hand will turn purple to pink in seconds! .
  • Ages 6 yrs. +

Slime is of one of those things that many parents do not understand, yet children seem to adore it. This contains everything a child would need to concoct a bunch of slime creations. From beads and glitter to items that will make their slime smell nice, everything is in this set. You can typically find this in stores for less than $20.


  • Organize your LEGO building bricks and take them wherever you go in this bright yellow LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase!
  • This LEGO Classic portable building block case houses a world of creativity for kids and includes a selection of colorful LEGO Classic pieces, including, bricks, shapes, wheels and eyes
  • Suitcase measures over 10-inch (26cm) high, 11-inch (28cm) wide and 2-inch (6cm) deep
  • 213 pieces – For boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 99
  • LEGO Classic toy building sets are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for creative building

You may have seen the astronomical prices that are often associated with Legos, but they are not all created equal. It is actually possible to head to your local department store and find Lego sets that do not cost more than you pay for your monthly mortgage. The great thing about Legos is that they are perfect for kids of all ages. Each of the boxes will let you know who they are most appropriate for. Make sure you pay close attention to this since those intended for older children to to have very small pieces that could be dangerous for toddlers.


  • GROW YOUR OWN HABITAT: Experience the wonder of nature with the Grow N' Glow Terrarium! This kit allows you to craft, plant, water and grow your own terrarium tabletop garden.
  • COMPLETE KIT: Comes with everything you need for two full plant life cycles! Kit includes: plastic mason-style jar, decorative lid, potting mix, organic chia and wheat grass seeds, garden figurines, decorative sand, river stones and a plant mister to keep your terrarium watered.
  • DECORATE YOUR TERRARIUM: Watch your terrarium glow! Add dimension to your terrarium with translucent glow-in-the-dark stickers that light up your terrarium at night!
  • EDUCATIONAL KIT: The perfect STEAM activity that mixes science and art. Create your own eco-system and learn about botany and the life cycle of plants. Your habitat will begin to grow in as little as 3-4 days
  • KID TESTED AND SAFE: Since 1976 Creativity for Kids has proudly created safe, innovative products that meet or exceed U.S. safety standards as determined by independent laboratory testing. Recommended for ages 6 to 96

If you have grandkids who love science, this would be the perfect gift for them. This set comes with seeds, potting soil, figurines and a container with holes that will allow their plants to breathe. This is far more exciting than the pet rock or ant farm you brought your child, so you can pretty much guarantee that this will not end up hiding on the floor behind some dirty socks.

Inexpensive Gifts for Teenage Grandkids

ALSO READ: Games to Play With Your Teenage Grandchildren


  • Amazon.com Gift Cards never expire and carry no fees.
  • Multiple gift card designs and denominations to choose from.
  • Redeemable towards millions of items store-wide at Amazon.com or certain affiliated websites.
  • Available for immediate delivery. Gift cards sent by email can be scheduled up to a year in advance.
  • No returns and no refunds on Gift Cards.

Many people think of these as a random gift that requires no imagination, but they are perfect when it comes to figuring out what to buy a teenager. If you are not sure what they like, yet you want them to love their gift, consider getting them a card to a store you know they frequent. If you have no idea, you can always get a VISA, Walmart or Amazon cards since this will give them all kinds of options. At Amazon you can typically get eGift Cards for as low as $1, so you should be able to fit this into your budget with ease.


  • #1 Compact and high-speed power bank powered by INIU Leading technology.
  • 1. [High-speed Charging] Smart IC charge 1. 4X faster than standard charger, 2. 4A output each USB port (QC 2. 0/3. 0/PD fast charge protocol not available).
  • 2. [10000mAh High Capacity] Fully charge your iPhone 8 for 3 times, or Samsung S8 for 2 times. Best for all day trips and no worry about out of battery anymore.
  • 3. [Two USB Ports] Charge two devices for you at the same time. Enjoy sharing the battery with your family. Compatible with all smartphones. (Note: Micro USB cable included in the box, USB C cable/lightning cable/adapter sold separately)
  • 4. [Convenient LED Flashlight] Perfect design for camping, travel, business trip and more. Simply press the power button twice to turn it on/off.

One thing that any teen will tell you is that their mobile device means more to them than anything. Everyone knows that teens are not always the most responsible, which is why this is a great gift. This will ensure that their mobile device are charged all of the time. Yes, even though you buy them this it doesn’t guarantee that they will answer when you call, but at least they will think of you every time they save their device from going black.


  • ☛HIGH SENSITIVE TOUCHSCREEN: Featuring high sensitive conductive material on thumbs, forefingers and middle fingers, you can wear the gloves to touch screen of your smartphone, tablet, iPhone or other touch screen devices
  • ☛TRIANGLE SILICONE ANTI-SLIP: Fully covered with triangle silicone on palm, you can grip the steering wheel firmly when driving or hold your phone steadily without worrying about it slipping from your hand
  • ☛WARM LINING AND COMFORTABLE: Made of soft napping wool the inner lining, the gloves are extremely comfortable and warm considering they aren’t bulky! Also with the stretchy snug fit, you can type a text just as fast as you would without gloves
  • ☛WELL FITTING AND ELASTIC CUFF: Thickened elastic wrist keeps the glove closed around your skin and keeps the snow or wind out in winter. And the gloves are stretchy enough to fit your hands perfectly
  • ☛GOOD GIFT FOR YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS: These gloves are unisex and stretchy and have two sizes to choose, you can send one as a gift to your family or friends without worrying about the problem of size. They will love it very much

This may not sound like the most exciting gift, but they will absolutely love it. While most people place their hands in their pockets in the winter, the average teen is too busy trying to update their social media accounts. These gloves will help them keep their hands toasty while allowing them to use their devices without any finger slips.

ALSO READ: Things To Do With the Grandkids in Winter


  • COMES W/BONUS CAP – PLEASE SEE PHOTOS. Each bottle comes with two lids. The Hydro Cell Water Bottle comes standard with an attached stainless-steel screw cap which creates an air tight vacuum seal and is great for travel and outdoor adventures. The Hydro Cell also comes with a bonus Sport Cap w/ Straw, this lid is not 100% air tight due to the moving parts and is great for athletics and urban specific activity.
  • NO SWEAT, NO PROBLEMS – This water bottle comes with the highest grade 18/8 Stainless Steel available which is fully resistant to oxidation and corrosion. The anti-slip layer of Powder Coating ensures you hang on to your bottle during a work out, hike or yoga. Hydro Cell is perfect companion for all activities.
  • ENGINEERED TO KEEP LIQUIDS PERFECTLY COLD OR HOT – The water bottle comes double walled and vacuum sealed to make sure you experience zero condensation and the temperatures of your beverages last in an insulated chamber. Cold liquids stay cold for 24 hours, and hot liquids will stay piping hot for up to 8 hours making it the perfect sports or commuting bottle. Our manufacturing process has been innovated to ensure your bottle NEVER sweats or leaks.
  • BPA & BY-PRODUCT FREE- The stainless steel will allow you to avoid BPA and Plastic By-Products found is so many bottles today. The Hydro Cell ensures your reusable water bottle avoid the polymers, plasticizers and other synthetic elements found in other bottles.
  • HIGHEST QUALITY GUARANTEED - The Hydro Cell is unrivaled in quality and the brand is committed to purity in base materials and production standards. The Hydro Cell Team offers superior customer service, high-quality materials, and a life-time warranty.

Teens want to be trendy and nothing says “Hey look at me I am cool,” like a huge water bottle. These keep beverages cold for an entire day and hot for half that. There is also a guarantee included that promises this bottle will last a lifetime. Bonus points if you get them a color they adore.

Summary and Final Recommendations

It may seem impossible to please the young people in your life without spending more money than you can comfortably afford. The great thing is that all of the gifts here will be well loved and they are all reasonably priced. Many of these gifts are also good toys to keep at your house for visits. Everyone loves grandma and grandpa, but they will adore you even more when they get a gift from you that will not take up any more space at the back of their closets.

Have you given any inexpensive gifts to your grandkids that were a big hit? Any that flopped? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

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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