Although this gift guide is about present ideas for parents at any time of the year, moreso now as we all cope with the current reality of staying at home for long stretches of time.
It hit me the other day while skyping with my mom, that many older folks find themselves trapped at home with little or nothing to do. Entertainment and mental stimulation are an important part of staying healthy at any age. Many of our loved ones in their golden year are faced with a grim reality: perhaps have lost hobbies they once loved due to careers, raising kids, or a myriad of other reasons.
When your “fulfilled life” is made up of watching grand kids, shopping, going for coffee, and looking forward to the next holiday, not being able to do any of these activities becomes a challenge.
I felt the need to create a round up post of items to buy our loved ones (or even your neighbor down the street!) to keep them going in this difficult time. A Netflix binge-sesh might have been a treat a month ago, but you can only watch so many movies before the desire for other stimulation sets in.
Here’s to keeping our friends and family safe, entertained, and mentally stimulated!
Gift Ideas for (Older) Parents
Go ahead, you deserve a gift. Or, gift one of these to your mom, dad, grandma or grandpa to keep them entertained during the next little while.
1) Video Calling
This may be a given, but there is no better time to invest in a good camera to video call with friends and family. One thing I really don’t like when I am using my phone or computer is that I have to physically move it around. This becomes quite cumbersome with a baby, when parents want to see all the action.
The amazing thing about the Facebook Portal is that it actually will pan and zoom to follow you around the room — so handy once baby starts crawling!!
2) Indoor Home Garden System
Many (elderly) parents will have downsized to apartment living. If this is the case, they may no longer have a beloved vegetable garden or other outdoor sanctuary. Gift them an indoor garden that they can tend to everyday. As a bonus, if food becomes scarce then having your own tomato supply may come in quite handy.
3) Custom Puzzle
A customised puzzle could not be a more perfect gift especially for grandparents that can’t be around their grandkids. Find a favorite photo of the little one and give them something to work on.
4) Learn a Language
Learning a language is fun at any age. I can personally attest to Duolingo as a good platform for learning French, Japanese, German and a whole host of other popular languages. No, I didn’t learn all those languages, but it is fun to try the language-as-a-game app! There is a free option, so direct your parents here if they don’t already know about it. My dad is currently learning Spanish and has faithfully been doing lessons every day.
5) Food Dehydrator
Going to the grocery store is less than a desirable outing, especially for older people. Why not gift a food dehydrator to keep parents or grandparents busy and healthy. Create healthy snacks like beef jerky, dried apple slices, or apricots just to name a few.
6) DIY Dream Catcher
Mom might enjoy a little DIY craft on a raining afternoon. This could be a cute addition to a grandchild’s nursery once finished.
7) Family Tree
You always hear people after they have lost a family member say, “Oh, I should have asked [insert dearly departed] about our family history”.
What better time to finally get mom, dad, or the grandparents to assemble the family tree.
Most libraries have online services where you can loan a book. However, if you parents are avid readers they may fancy getting lost in a kindle book.
9) Amazon Fire TV Stick
Television is everyone’s long lost best friend. If your parents don’t have a smart TV, or they would like access to more apps, the Amazon fire stick may be a good option to keep them busy. Of course, a subscription to Netflix is also a good alternative.
10) Manicure Set
by Keiby Citom
Manicure … what manicure?
Looks like you are going to have to fend for yourself this summer if you want nice looking tootsies. Make sure mom has the equipment to get the job done right.
11) Gin Making Kit
Time for experimenting with your at home bar. Why not let mom and dad try their hand at making gin? Perhaps a future business venture if they succeed. 😉
12) Professional Hair Cutting Sissors
Mom is already taking about cutting my dads hair. I’m not a hair dresser, but I am pretty sure the kitchen or nail scissors are not going to cut it (no pun intended.) Make sure they have the right equipment before they make the first cut. Also, I would highly recommend watching a few youtube videos, and even try practicing on an old doll if possible!
13) Paint by Numbers
Who said you had to be a kid to do a paint by numbers?
Get mom or dad painting their own masterpeice and make a competition out of it.
14) Gift Certificate to Create a Custom Photo Book
A great way to organise photos from a memorable trip is to get them a gift certificate to create a photo book.
15) Online Course
There are loads of online classes being offered right now. If your parents would like to take part in high calibre online classes then check out a gift certificate to MasterClass. Stream lessons at your own pace from 80+ world-class instructors.
16) Embroidery Kit
Another afternoon project on a raining afternoon could be doing some beautiful embroidery.
17) DIY Candle Making Kit
DIY candles might come in handy if power is lost at home. Also, it is just another fun craft to do while stuck inside the house!
18) Putting Green
Dad can’t go golfing?
Not a problem. Finally a putting green that can be put to good use.
19) String Art
These are so gorgeous and easy to do. Again why not make it a competition by get two different kinds and see who is the best at string art.
20) Learn to Churn Butter
During the height of the pandemic lockdown, buying staple grocery items was an issue in some places around the world. In my parents hometown of Vancouver, butter was scarce. Work your magic and make your own with this butter churner. A new hobby I bet your parents never thought they would learn!
21) Nintendo Switch
Not for everyone, but my dad would definitely appreciate this one. I fondly remember spending many hours playing Nintendo together my dad when growing up.
22) DIY Chunky Knit Blanket
Okay I had to put learning to make a chunky knit blanket on this list. This is no old grandma’s knitted blanket, and is currently quite stylish. Although knitting has made a comeback with the younger generation (nothing quite like a chunky knit blanket) that skill died off many moons ago.
23) Board Game
We can’t forget to laugh through this whole process. Sometimes taking out an old boardgame, or trying a new one, is just what the doctor ordered!
We hope you have found this list of gifts for your older parents (and grandparents) helpful. Those are just some of the ideas you could gift a love one to let them know you are thinking of them, brighten their day, and give provide something to do during these changed times. Besides, who doesn’t love getting a surprise gift?!
Stay safe everyone!
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Despite her dreamy wedding blogger lifestyle, Meredith's day job is running ClassicVeils.com and a full-time mom to an active toddler. If she could, Meredith would spend her days taking cruises, helping animals in need, and watching Big Brother!