With the holidays approaching, it may be time to start thinking about gifts for the family. Do you know what you’re going to give everyone? How about the grandkids? If you’re looking to shake things up this year, consider an educational gift! An educational gift can offer a lasting and meaningful impact for years to come and be the “gift that keeps on giving.” Consider this list of educational gift ideas that will teach your grandchildren something new without feeling like “homework.”

Classes: Extracurricular classes have considerable physical and mental health benefits for children. They can promote self-esteem, socialization, creativity, academic performance, and refine discipline and patience. Talk to your grandkids, family, and teachers about whether music, dance, photography, drawing, swimming, cooking, rock climbing, botany, theatre, a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program, or something else would be a good match for their interests.

Memberships: It’s easy to picture the wowed face of a kid at the natural history museum looking up at the giant bones of a dinosaur or their curiosity at the zoo when staring into the face of a chimpanzee. Capture a child’s imagination with the gift of an annual family membership to the zoo, aquarium, natural history museum, children’s museum, botanical garden, or other local institution where they can learn and discover new things throughout the year to their heart’s delight.

Subscriptions: Subscriptions can come in the form of magazines or boxes that are mailed monthly or biweekly. There are many types of subscriptions, and plenty of educational options. Kids love getting things in the mail, and it’s a great way to get them excited about learning.

  • Magazine Subscriptions: Encourage your grandchild’s reading with a magazine subscription. There are dozens of magazines to choose from, such as: Highlights, National Geographic Little Kids, or TIME for Kids.
  • Subscription Boxes: Subscription boxes typically arrive monthly and are filled with any number of things. For example, Kidstir teaches kids how to cook by sending monthly recipes and everything needed to make it. With Bitsbox, kids learn how to code and build apps. And Historyunboxed teaches kids about history through art, crafts, and myths. Everything they need to help them learn is in the box!

Books: Books are probably a no-brainer educational gift. If your grandchild is a bookworm or maybe you just want to buy them the same book that meant a lot to you when you were younger, consider giving them a book or two.

Events: Consider giving your grandchild an educational or cultural experience and attend a kid-friendly play, opera, symphony, art exhibit, magic show, or chess tournament, and explain some of the fun historical or significant aspects of the event that they may find exciting.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Kits: Do youremember Paint by Numbers kits? They can help art newbies better see shapes and color, and learn about aspects of painting. They’re one of many types of kits that come with all of the necessary materials in one package for do-it-yourself creation. Other kits, like My First Sewing Kit can introduce kids to sewing, and electronic DIY kits teach kids how to build things like a watch, transistor radio, or blinking lights. Many science and certain electronics stores carry these.

Recipe and Ingredients: Bring your grandchild into the kitchen and teach them how to cook a simple, kid-friendly recipe. Chocolate chip cookies, homemade pizza, or pancakes are some fun things to cook with kids. Simply print out a recipe, purchase all the ingredients, place in a basket, and set a date.

Outdoor Supplies: There is so much that can be learned in the outdoors. Depending on where you live, set a date for an outdoor or backyard adventure with the family. Consider getting some fishing tackle, gardening equipment, or a book on identifying trees, flowers, bugs, or birds and then try to discover those things during an easy hike in the woods.

Games and Puzzles: Games can help children think strategically and creatively by solving problems through play. Kids typically enjoy all sorts of games, whether they’re video games or traditional board or card games. At Common Sense Media, you can find ratings, reviews, and recommended ages for certain games and apps to help make sure they’re appropriate.