In the interest of full disclosure, my kid’s Easter baskets will not be candy free. That’d be cruel. I do try to make it not all about the candy though.
Here are the guidelines that I use when filling their baskets:
- Is it easy? I don’t have the time to go to five stores looking for just the right thing. So I keep it simple. I try to pick up things from places that I would be going anyway.
- Is it affordable? I’m filling three baskets and next year, it will be four. Everything in their basket will either get eaten, used up, or played with for a short period of time, so I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on it. We save larger purchases for birthday’s and Christmas.
- If it’s a more expensive item – is it useful or needed?
- Is it exciting? We hide the baskets and they have to find them Easter morning. I want them to be thrilled.
My favorite ideas for non-candy fillers
- Books – Books are always a winner. You can get inexpensive books at the Dollar Store or the $1 bins at Target. We all love books, so I am usually willing to spend more to get special ones. Nursery rhyme books are a great option for little kids.
- Spring clothing items – Easter feels like the beginning of spring. The timing is perfect for new bathing suits, flip flops, hats, and sunglasses.
- Buckets, shovels and other beach supplies – We need new stuff in this department every year. The old buckets and shovels are inevitably broken or lost.
- New art supplies – My kids go through crayons, markers, construction paper, play-dough, paints, and brushes like wildfire. We can always use more of these things.
- Glow sticks – You can’t go wrong with anything that glows; necklaces, bracelets, wands, anything. The best prices are at the Dollar Store.
- New sippy cups/waterbottles – My kids love new water bottles. Consider getting insulated ones with summer coming up.
- Gardening supplies – On a whim, I gave my kids mini-pots with sunflowers and basil last year (you can find these at Wal-mart). They were indifferent on the day of, but ended up really enjoying watching these things grow. They loved eating pesto made with basil from our garden. If you are into gardening; gloves, kids sized shovels, and hoes would be fun too.
- Sidewalk chalk – I saw egg shaped ones at the Dollar Store yesterday!
- Jewelry – This seems like it’d be more relevant for girls, but my boys love necklaces and bracelets too.
- Bath toys – I forget that these really should be replaced every once in awhile. They get yucky.
- Gift cards – This is a good idea for older kids. Mine would love a TCBY or Chick-Fil-A gift card.
- Cooking supplies– Consider child-sized cooking supplies for your little chef!
- Hobby, sport or special interest related – If they like soccer, maybe they need a new ball, cleats, or shin guards. If they are into My Little Ponies, surprise them with one they’ve been wanting. If they like to collect snow globes, I bet you could find an Easter themed one! Get creative and have fun!
- Baby Chicks – Legare Farms has a program that allows you to rent baby chicks for two weeks. You take care of them and then give them back. Check it out!
Check out CrazyLittleProjects for more cute and creative Easter basket ideas for all ages.
Have Fun and Happy Easter!