I loved Easter as a little girl. I lived in a sugar deprived house but on Easter, my basket was overflowing with jelly beans, creme eggs and malt balls. Yet, here I am, decades later, looking for ways to fill my kids baskets with a little less candy. In the interest of full disclosure, their baskets will not be candy free. That’d be cruel. I do try to make it not all about the candy.
Here are the guidelines I use when filling their baskets:
- Is it easy? I don’t have the time to go to 5 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 4. 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 – You can never go wrong with books. 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 rhymes are a great option for little kids.
This book includes a CD plus it has texture which is great for little kids.
- Spring clothing items – Easter feels like the beginning of spring. I like to get the kids new bathing suits and flip flops. Hats and sunglasses are also fun ideas.
Elle’s new suit from Target. I got suits for the boys too.
- Buckets, shovels and other beach supplies – We need new stuff in this department every year. The old buckets and shovels are inevitably broken.
- 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.
These bottles from Hydroflask are the jam. They keep water cold for days, even in the summer. You can order different lids to make them easier for kids.
- 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 yucks.
This is the coolest bath toy we’ve ever had.
- Gift cards – This might be a better idea for older kids but mine would totally recognize a TCBY or Chick-Fil-A gift card
- 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 out Legare Farms here.
- Cooking supplies– If you have a child that likes to cook, getting them their own utensils would be really cute.
- Hobby, sport or special interest related – If they play soccer, maybe they need a new ball, cleats or shin guards. If they like animals, introduce them to Beatrix Potter and Peter. If they collect snow globes, find an Easter themed one. Get creative and have fun!
CrazyLittleProjects has assembled a group of cute and creative Easter baskets for all ages. Check it out here.
I have to disclose my mom fail of the week. I had the day off on Wednesday and went to a couple of stores to get stuff to fill their baskets. I found some great stuff and was feeling really good about not waiting until the last minute. I put everything in a tupperware bin on the front passenger seat of my car. I had to go straight to pick the kids up from school. When we got to Elle’s school, I told them to get buckled up immediately (they always unbuckle when we get there because we do a car switch-a-roo with another family). I told them I’d be right back. I walked back out 2 minutes later to see Fleet digging through the bin and holding up his findings for Luke (who actually listened and was buckled). I was so mad! I ran straight to the car, yelling at them! I probably looked like a crazy person. Really, they were just being kids. I was upset that they disobeyed me but mostly that I was going to have to return all those goodies and get new stuff. It’s hard to find time to run errands like this when you have kids because at least one is usually with you. And I’m not ready to burst their Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy bubble yet.
Follow me on instagram @laurenjcorbett and facebook @embracingtheessentials