Things Grandma Likes

Grandma’s Stuff – How could Grandma not recommend her products? Grandma has books, dvds and cds, and t-shirts available for use in your family life or as gifts to friends.
Here’s MORE things that Grandma likes!…

We found a set of these alphabet letters while working with our grandkids in China. Use them with preschoolers to 2nd or 3rd grade to learn letters, letters sounds, alphabet order, spelling, etc., WHILE THEY PLAY. FUN! I’m not sure if this is the same manufacturere as ours are also magnetic which makes it easy to have lessons on a board or the refrigerator and gives a handy place to store them when they aren’t being used. Ours have held up through 5 grandkids in perfect shape.




These cups work perfectly for toddler painting!  You don’t really need more colors, so 4 is perfect, and 4 fit in an easel tray.  The cups provide for both paint storage and less mess when painting. The “bulb” brushes that are also available fit their preschool hands perfectly.





These are the brushes that fit preschool hands so well!






Graco Bumper Jumper – Not only do I remember wiggly babies of my own, but I have grandbabies that wiggle and jump and get frustrated that they can’t do life on their own yet. This jumper keeps both my grandbabies and their house safe while their parents get some sanity time. Another great shower gift!





Nursing Apron/Bib – This was a shower gift for our first grandson and I’ve been giving them away at showers ever since. GREAT!






Bumbo Baby Sitter – To tell you the truth, I wasn’t nearly as impressed with the bumbo seat when my grandchildren were babies.  Now that they are toddlers, I love the way it helps them sit in the big chair both at the table and at the kitchen counter.  You still have to keep a good eye on them as the bumbo doesn’t tie down.





“The Jesus Storybook Bible” written by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illustrated by Jago, c. 2007 by Zondervan – Every story in this book, from Genesis to Revelation, helps us see how Jesus rescues us and restores our relationship with God. Although our 2 year old grandson (a linguist!) enjoys having a story a night read to him from this book, generally kids ages 3 through early readers would enjoy it and be able to understand the stories. There’s a lot of insight in it that we adults can pick up too, and readers (8-12 year olds) could read it with/to you.




This is a great way to let your child (0-2 or 3) know that you love them and God does too. I haven’t used the whole curriculum, just the parts that are for adult/child interaction. “I Love to Look” is a series of 12 Bible story picture cards with instructions on how to use them. “I Love to Wiggle and Giggle” has short daily activities that you can do with your child. “I Love to Sing” has great music for your child to hear, then sing. I got a set for each of our kids to use with their kids. They make a great baby shower gift! The “I Love to Sing CD” is only available through Gospel Light.




The Book of Kindergarten Puzzles #1 – by Gospel Light – Children, ages 3-7, will be able to enjoy working through these Bible activity pages with you. Together you’ll be learning to count, draw, color, do mazes, make choices, etc. Not only are these great learning activities, but they are reproducible so you can copy them off in sets and reuse them over and over again. I like lots of grandchildren but can’t always spend lots of money, so this is a great book for me. There is a second book – The Book of Kindergarten Puzzles #2 – if you need more puzzles.




Kazoos are so much fun!…and inexpensive. The youngest child and the oldest grandma can play them. Once you learn how to make sounds, practice rhythms by taking turns and/or finishing each other’s “music”.  Then you can work on holding notes and adding harmony parts.  A great musical instrument to being to learn music and to begin learning to play together. The kazoo with the “horn” is really loud and great for the leader/teacher or the melody. The smaller kazoos are a great buy for ALL those grandkids or all the kids in your grandchild’s classroom.




Anne of Green Gables DVD and Collection – Here is a movie that will last for a lifetime of entertainment, fun, emotion, and family discussion. Some might think of it as a “chick flick”, but it is so much more. It is full of situations in which you should step back and ask yourself (or your child/teen) “What would I do in that situation if I was…?” and name any of the characters involved. A family should watch this over and over and over again throughout the years. To help with that, grandma has a list of discussion questions to help you.




The Runner from Ravenshead – Great movie for families and church groups about grace and a city of refuge. Our 7 year old grandson wanted to watch it again right away. Fun with a great message. We’ve put together some discussion questions that you can use after watching the movie.





Connect Four – Although this game is rated for ages 7 and above, it can be used with younger children to teach them color sorting, taking turns, and making patterns.  I have a wonderful time helping our under 3 year old grandsons “play” this game together.  Be sure your kids are beyond the “everything goes in the mouth” stage!





Zingo – Grandma loves bingo!!  You can learn so many things while having bingo fun.  That’s why I love this new game that is a form a bingo.  Zingo helps young children learn to read while they are playing a game.  (Playing a game helps them with discipline too!)  Zingo is like bingo, but has draw tiles that have both pictures and words on them.  You can even get Zingo in Spanish and Hebrew!





100 Things for Little Children To Do – We stayed in another house for a time with our young grandchildren and they LOVED working through these cards.  They are simple and creative and have a large variation.  They need only a  tissue for erasing and a white board marker (erasable marker) to use for hours of fun.  Use them at home or while traveling.  You will have to read the instructions for your young children, but elementary kids will enjoy reading and doing these cards on their own. These aren’t expensive, are pretty sturdy, and are reusable.  A big YES!




The Ancient Mystery of Tangrams – Grandma got this book LONG ago for use with the kids in her life.  Now her older grandchildren (ages 4-5) are enjoying it because they are able to build the shapes off the “answer” pages.  Grandpa enjoys trying to build the shapes from the “real” pictures.  It is a great tool for building spacial intelligence and puzzle skills at any level. If you get this book used, be SURE it has all 7 of the tangram pieces.





Roomba Robotic Vacuum – I don’t know about you, but I like clean floors because I am barefoot most of the time. Before I got my Roomba, I didn’t have clean floors very often because I didn’t have the time to vacuum. I’ve had Roombas now for about 15 years. My current one is an # 805, much quieter and more effective than previous models.  I’ve found that setting it to go off by the timer daily (or nightly!) helps the battery last longer.  I can also vacuum while I work in the yard,  do a project, take a walk, play with my grandkids. Our kids have had them, and they clean around the toys just fine. You do have to watch that the grandkids don’t try to ride them! Robotic vacuums seem expensive, so look for a deal that fits you. I get so much more time and pleasure because of my roomba that I’ll always have one around. I also have a Braava for mopping!



I no longer buy replacement batteries from Roomba. I have found that the TENERGY batteries last longer and have more power.






I now have a BRAAVA (used to be the mint) to mop my floors. It is SUPER QUIET! I could eat off my floors!  Try a robot!






Kitchen Aid Mixer – My wonderful husband gave me one of these because I love to bake. I’ve had the same mixer with absolutely no problems for about 20 years. We’ve had so much good food from it that our kids also have them. We even like the recipes that come with it! This mixer saves time and is full of reliability – both of which are musts in my world.





Lemon Squeezer – Grandpa likes to drink lemon water in the mornings and he likes it warm. I was processing the lemons from our tree in big batches and freezing ice cubes for him, but lemon juice is sticky and they tended to clump. We found this easy to use lemon squeezer and got it for Grandpa for his birthday. He loves it! I’ve been squeezing and freezing ¾ c. of lemon juice and ¾ c. white sugar in a quart freezer bag.  It’s easy to store, and when you want lemonade you just put the contents into a ½ gal. pitcher.  Add water by rinsing out the bag with cool water and placing it in the pitcher too.  That way you are sure to get all the lemon juice and sugar into the pitcher.  You can put the bag back in the freezer for reuse or toss it.



Pastry Blender – When growing up I was taught how to use two table knives to blend fat into flour. More flour always ended up on the counter than in the bowl! As an adult, I had seen pastry blenders, but some of them are quite flimsy. The one in this picture isn’t quite like the one I have had for years, but it looks close. Look for both a sturdy handle and for blades that don’t bend with the cold fat that comes straight from the refrigerator.





Can Opener – Grandma’s hands sometimes have trouble with can openers. This style grips the can so all you have to do is turn the knob. Grandpa got me one for my birthday a couple of years ago and it is a hit in our kitchen. (Yes, Grandma likes useful gifts like that, even for her birthday! However, Grandpa did also make dinner for me.)





Nut Grinder – Both Grandpa and I love nuts. I do a lot of baking with nuts and Grandpa puts nuts in the hot cereal we eat each morning. We’ve had this style of nut cracker for years because it allows us to do a little bit or a lot. We keep it in the refrigerator with nuts in it, ready for the next use. It doesn’t do unblanched almonds well, but seems to tackle everything else, even cranberries for nutbread!





Toilet Seat – A toilet seat is the last thing I thought I’d care about, but I want to replace the rest of our toilet seats with this one! (It is hard to go back and forth between a toilet seat that closes quietly and one that YOU have to close quietly!)  The bathroom is a quieter place because this seat closes quietly no matter how hard you push it.  AND we found the quick release feature was wonderful when the whole family came down with the stomach flu (a wonderful thought!).  You just turn the connections to the left and pop the seat off for a quick clean in the shower/tub.  A cleaner and quieter bathroom makes grandma  happy!




Silicone Spoon Spatula – Grandma was given one of these and she loves it!  It is perfect for mixing, stirring, and cleaning out a bowl.  You can use it while cooking and it goes in the dishwasher to get cleaned.  It is a lot better at many more things than the old plastic one in the drawer that is falling apart, and not very expensive.  Great gift for mom or grandma or the special cook in your family!





Thermal laminator – If you are doing any teaching projects, this is for you!  It is a mighty worker at a small price.  Grandma laminates her reusable lesson materials with this machine.  At first she thought she had to have a rim of plastic left around each part.  That was both frustrating and a waste of time and plastic.  Now she knows she can run a full sheet through and just cut up the pieces and they are well “preserved”.  Great for bingo games and word slides and match games and trading cards and MORE!





Of course, you’ll need some of these too.  You can cut these bigger pages down if you need to, and save the extras to use too!






Plastic Nipple Extractor – This product is amazing!  For years grandma and grandpa have spent hours toiling over sprinkler risers that have broken off in the main joint.  It just happened again and this time we googled for a solution and found that there is a tool just for this purpose.  It is SO EASY!  No toil and no sweat.  The only thing you need to know is that the parts thread on it backwards so that you can turn it the right way to remove the riser. Grandma was a bit slow in figuring that out.  This is the perfect gift for anyone who has a sprinkler system.  We got ours at a hardware store because we needed it right away.  You can probably find one there too if you are in a hurry.



Joint Drilling Fixture – Grandpa and I were trying to figure out how to put together the gates for our new fence with the tools and parts that we already had when we remembered we had bought this drill jig.  It is amazing how easy it is to use and how well the joints turn out.  If you are a “handy” person, this is a great tool to have around!






Quick-Grip 546 Mini Bar Clamp – Grandpa & I worked on putting up a new fence and found that we couldn’t always be in the same place at the same time.  Even if we were in the same place, we often needed more hands that we had between us.  Our kids came through with these handy clamps.  They are so easy to use and position and come in a bunch of sizes that will work for either the crafter or for someone who works on the really big jobs.  If no one in your family has any of them yet, this would make a great gift!  (We’ll be borrowing them from our kids again and again!)




Citristrip Stripping Gel – It had been years since I had stripped any furniture, so I wasn’t sure what product to use.  We ended up buying some Citristrip and it was wonderful.  You can’t strip without getting messy, but it is nice to know you don’t have to be smelly too!  It took me 2 coats of Citristrip over about 2 hours to get 3 coats of polyurethane off.  Worked great!






Cordless Screwdriver – We’ve had a cordless screwdriver for some time, but it was always a “manly”    one – plenty of gumption and speed for the BIG jobs, but too heavy to get out for the little ones.  I always thought that the “little” ones were on the “worthless” side.  That opinion changed when I spent a week with my mom (GREAT!!..grandma)painting and doing small jobs around the house.  She had a small cordless screwdriver that worked great and was easy to use.  So, I got one for our house.  At first, Grandpa wasn’t sure he would ever use it, but now he is always asking me to put it in with his tools so it will be available for jobs wherever we are.  These are SO useful and not very expensive, so they also make great gifts.



Corel Draw – Grandma loves this graphics program.  She uses it to build her bingo and match games.  She also makes greeting cards with it.  Grandma finds it simple and easy to use.






Debt-Proof Living – Need help with finances?  I’ve given this book to two family members and it has helped them enormously.  Mary Hunt has been in debt and found a way out. She writes in a commonsense style that will enable you to understand what she is recommending and why it will work.  Her “cheapskate” tips are also practical. Although I haven’t read all her other books, I give this one five thumbs up!





Nurture Shock – We come into this world with some presets (nature) and we control and grow those presets within our environments and interactions (nurture).    This book helps us discover some of the fallacies and assumptions of our nurturing processes.  It is written in a plain and simple style (for Grandma!) and yet cites and explains many scientific studies (for Grandpa!).





Picture Me with My Grandma – I’ve received this wonderful book with great sentiment from my grandchild.  It has holes where the faces of the grandma and grandchild go.  You put your own pictures on the last page so they show throughout the book.  There are several other “picture me” books available, so you could do one for grandpa, mommy, etc., and personalize several other stories with your own child’s picture in them.  My kids found mine at a garage sale and added pictures over the ones that were there.  These are special and heartwarming reminders of the relationships we are building with each other!!!




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tags: ideas for gifts, Things grandma likes, recommendations for preschoolers, recommendations for home, book recommendations,