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What I Am Putting In My Kid’s Easter Baskets This Year In An Attempt To Not Give Them Garbage

Last year Easter kinda snuck up on us and without really any stores up here we scrambled at the last minute and Brian just bought them garbage candy from CVS, much to their delight. So this year I actually planned in advance. Also, we just went to the dentist for the first time in a year and we knew there would be some, uh, issues but, guys, it did NOT GO WELL. We have no one to blame but ourselves, so let’s just say while there might be a peep or two (birdie is obsessed with peeps, talks about them year-round) we are going to reduce the amount of sticky sugar for a while. Whoops. So my goal was to get them things they need, but in an “Easter way” — almost like stocking stuffers. And no, they aren’t getting ALL of these, but these are what is in my cart or I might try to grab.

1. Boys’ Woven Long Sleeve Button-Down Shirt | 2. Boys’ Batman 6pk No Show Socks | 3. Toddler Girls’ Sequin Bunny Tulle Dress| 4. Girls’ 2pk Knee High Unicorn Print Socks

We bought that bunny dress for Birdie last year and she wore it to threads. Like all day every day for months. And Charlie is starting to gravitate towards button-ups over t-shirts because he likes to be “dapper”, he says 🙂 They both need socks, so it’s a good filler for baskets. If you are in LA or have time to order, head to my friend’s store, The Reckless Unicorn, to support a small business.

1. Table Topics To Go | 2. 11pk Bright Glitter Washi Tape | 3. Paint-Your-Own Ceramic Gnome Home Kit | 4. 125ct Googly Eyes with Sticker Back

We got the Table Topics game for Christmas from our neighbors and at first I was skeptical about it, but our kids LOVE it and we play it a few nights a week at dinner. It’s a bunch of fun questions that prompt conversations and Charlie loves to read it. It feels like a game even though it’s just a conversation (questions like “what superpower would you want?”, “where in the world do you want to visit right now?”, and even questions about feelings and friends – all very kid-friendly).

We are in need of new crafting supplies as we have gone through A LOT this year, and the new Mondo Llama line at Target is SO CUTE (our kids are super into fairies and gnomes and we are definitely encouraging it). But we are low on washi tape and totally out of googly eyes (the amount of puppets we’ve made this year is wild).

1. Surprise Ride – Build Beeswax Candles Activity Kit | 2. Paint-Your-Own Ceramic Fairy House Kit | 3. Fliptomania Flipbook Animation Kit – Butterfly & Frog

The kids made these bees candles for Christmas dinner and it was SO MUCH FUN. It was a different kit, but it’s such a lovely tradition for big meals so we figured we’d carry it into Easter (and they are super easy to do and don’t drip wax). The kids just started making cartoons on large paper that doesn’t really work so Brian wanted to get them a flipbook kit to help walk them through it (and there are blank ones for them to draw their own).

1. I am Benjamin Franklin (Ordinary People Change the World) | 2. I am Frida Kahlo (Ordinary People Change the World) | 3. If I Built a School | 4. If I Built a Car

We have a few versions of the Ordinary people series and we love them. They are long reads but great for school days or snuggling in the hammock and the kids learn a lot (we love the MLK, Lincoln, Jane Goodall ones, too). And Chris Van Dusen is one of our favorite kid authors (we love love love Circus Ship and Hattie and Hudson – have read those for YEARS).

1. Vintage Grandma Mugs | 2. The Official Easter Bunny Dollar Bill 8-Pack | 3. Vintage Easter Bunny Rabbit Coffee Mug

Our kids drink from their Santa mugs year-round, so I figured that I’d buy them a bunny mug to shake it up. I bought two vintage ones on Etsy like these but there are so many other great ones!

I think getting them these bunny dollars is very fun (and could substitute for candy in the eggs for the egg hunt) and I know they’ll get very excited about it.

1. 12″ Chipwood with Liner Easter Decorative Basket Farm Pattern | 2. 5pk Nesting Easter Eggs

The pups chewed up one of their baskets (we left it out after Halloween – because they trick or treated inside with them) and I love that these are wooden and have a farm theme to get them excited about the farm. These nesting eggs are SO CUTE and are going to sub the usual plastic eggs for our hunt. I bought three sets of them and will use them year over year over year.

We’ll likely have a big hunt in our backyard, watch Peter Rabbit and make bunny pancakes like we did last year. I’m mostly looking forward to the daffodils that go CRAZY up here, crafting with the kids, and basically any excuse to make a big complicated day-long meal and drink mimosas. xx

Opening Image Credit: Photo by Brian Henderson:) | From: How To Celebrate Easter In 2020

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3 years ago

Xylitol candy. Lolliopops, gum, jelly beans. Zero sugar and actually fights cavities.

3 years ago
Reply to  hickenack

Xylitol is very toxic to dogs so be very careful if you have anything with that in your home.

Carol H
3 years ago

If your kids are into gnomes, check out illustrator Kirsten Sevig at Striped Pear Studio. She just published The Little Springtime Book of Gnomes and it is adorable.

3 years ago

Our girls are young adults and I still fill their Easter baskets. Just. Can’t. Stop. When they were young Easter was a good time to gift new swim goggles and sunglasses. Kids love having their own lip balm. There are many good books on the real meaning of Easter. Young children seem to love this one:
Bubbles/bubble wands were popular. Especially the giant ones. I would often buy goggles and sun glasses on clearance the late summer prior and store in our Easter Rubbermaid. I’m with Birdie…. love me some Peeps!

3 years ago
Reply to  Mkw

Ooh… thought of a few more basket fillers my kids liked: travel-size toothpaste, etc. I realize not environmentally-friendly but little ones seem to like grown-up items that fit their hands. Our girls also liked the individual-sized boxes of breakfast cereal. They often included varieties that were sweeter than our daily breakfast fare so a treat for them.

3 years ago
Reply to  Mkw

I love the idea of the individual size breakfast cereals since we don’t tend to eat those types of cereal, ie sugary, and they would be a perfect treat.

3 years ago
Reply to  Mkw

I agree- my kids can’t get enough of bubbles! Also sidewalk chalk is a great spring gift!

My son loves gardening and a packet of seeds or a live plant is a great green (haha) gift!

3 years ago
Reply to  Mkw

I still do easter baskets for my 20 somethings. A little tougher, but I’m up to the challenge! And I would do the same when they were little, socks were ALWAYS in there to the point it’s a standing joke with my family. And lip balm and such. Little girls were easy

3 years ago

This is a post I didn’t know I needed! Thank you! I’ll be shopping from this list over a cup of coffee this morning.

Another non-candy idea that also could get the kids excited about the move and new bedroom decor…

Personalized word garlands made of cast-off board books, from Portland-based company, Attic Journals. Sustainable and fun! The owner is a friend of mine and they’re the loveliest family.

3 years ago
Reply to  BeckyB

BeckyB, thanks for the link to Attic Journals! I just ordered name garlands for my two grandkids! I love this idea of using old board books.

this is what i’ve done for years because i don’t like plastic junk (for the sake of the environment and the sake of my own sanity and clutter) and i’m not big on a lot of sugar and candy:
snacks that they like that i don’t get a lot. they love getting their own stuff too that they don’t have to share. little bags of chips or tubes of pringles, gum (they love this), fruit snacks (those are a treat because i almost never buy them), those little annie’s bunnie graham crackers (keeps with the bunny theme too), little clementine oranges, a few tiny chocolates, whatever snacky things i can think of that they usually ask for.

Michelle R.
3 years ago

My sentiments exactly! We are also able to splurge on a high-quality, fair trade chocolate bunny for each of our kids, as well as some of those little foil-wrapped eggs to hide around the house. They are becoming little chocolate snobs now so maybe that has backfired.

3 years ago

Love all these ideas! We did swap out candy in the egg hunt for money- mostly quarters and $1 but a few ‘special’ eggs with bigger bills. I’ve never seen my teenagers jump up out of their chairs and join the egg hunt so quickly.

Reply to  Cari

yes, i do that too! quarters in eggs they hunt around for.

3 years ago

Thank you for this list because the candy never stops!!

We make beeswax candles also but a great addition to them is to buy a box of beeswax modeling wax. It is expensive but it lasts a long time and then they can put fun little additions on to their candles. Also, it is stiff at first but warms up in your hands as you model – really great for fine motor skills.
My daughter makes a candle every year for her birthday and it’s really great seeing how her modeling skills have advanced over the years.

3 years ago

In the next few days you can start a fun tradition. Line your Easter basket with a piece of plastic from a veggie or trash bag. Fill the basket with vermiculite, leaving some headspace and covering all the plastic (trim as needed). Sow hard red wheat berries (available in most food stores, often in bulk section) in a single layer on top of the vermiculite. Spray with water to moisten. Each day give your basket some time in a sunny window and keep moistened. Even the littlest kids love this task. The “real grass” will fill in in time for Easter (you need about 10-12 days). My boys would leave their grass filled baskets out for the bunny and in the morning would magically find a few flowers growing (store bought tulips cut down and inserted into the grass) and a shiny new gardening trowel with just a few jelly beans in it. We had a collection of painted wooden eggs which were hidden all over as well. I still put some of them in a silver bowl this time of year and my grandchildren love hiding them and finding them all month.

3 years ago
Reply to  Cynthia

This is so inspiring!!

3 years ago

When I first read garbage in the title I thought that you meant literal waste, like garage that goes to landfills. I love the idea of rethinking what goes into Easter baskets and also stumbled on an alternative to plastic eggs recently that I wanted to share. I love to sew and am always looking for ways to use up my scraps or to upcycle ragged clothes. Scraps can be sewed into reusable fabric eggs similar to a tiny, round envelope pillow! Pattern or eggs can be purchased here I have no affiliation- just thought it was a great idea and wanted to give credit where credit was due!

Jen Groves
3 years ago

We live at the beach, so I always take advantage and add new bathing suits, flip flops or water sandals, and a beach toy. This year my boys are a little older so I added monogrammed (I also live in the South, ha) laundry bags for travel and camps. It is fun to get more creative the older they get! Love those little candle kits and gnome/fairy houses!

3 years ago

check out Zollipops, invented by a kid, sugar free, gluten free and more — our grandchild loves them.

3 years ago

Spring, outdoorsy favorites my four boys loved were…magnifying glass, Ant Farm, Chia Pet/Gnome, Butterfly pop-up habitat…watching caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly life cycle was unforgettable!

3 years ago

For the last couple of years, we’ve done a small sketchbook and a set of tools for coloring, which is then so handy for plane/car trips or restaurants or what have you, but for some reason we didn’t use ours very much this past year – ha! Something to wear that signals “summer is coming!” is fun – swimsuit, summer sandals/shoes, but the timing of sizes can be tricky. I did realize the Hanna Andersson spring sale happens around the time of Easter basket buying, so I went ahead and got swim shirts and shorts for my kiddos’ baskets this year. Nici at Dig and Co. has adorable felt eggs (to buy or a pattern to make your own) and lots of well-made little goodies! Our kiddos were so excited the year they got toothbrushes in their baskets too, so I may need to revisit that idea.

3 years ago

Great ideas, Emily. Your readers provided some wonderful ones too – I must have kitties in pockets and bunny rattle, and a book or two from some sites suggested.

3 years ago

Many decades ago I did the sox thing, too. At Easter and also for the Xmas stocking, with each pair, I included a comb or hair brush, with a little note that said, ” I love you for the top of your head to the tips of your toes” It always went over well. She’s 50 something now and still mentions it.

3 years ago

There are so many websites about how to “kill” Peeps—in the microwave, freezing and them hammering them, trying to melt them in various liquids. Approach them as science or just for fun, but it’s a fun way to let your kid indulge in Peeps fun without the cavities.

3 years ago

Great list! My kids usually get art supplies in their basket. This year I ended up buying a pack of used lego minifigures off ebay for putting into their eggs for hunting. We also do snack type foods (special ones that we don’t usually buy, like the panda chocolate snacks) rather than candy. I also bought some polished rocks and “crystals” that I found in the bead section at Michaels for the kids egg hunt. Both my kids love collecting rocks when we hike and either adding them to their collection or pretending it is part of their “dragon hoard” while they play pretend.

3 years ago

I did this and my kids are older than you. They loved getting presents more than candy and I was shocked. When I did buy candy it would be very ornate, complicated, and high quality and not much of it.

3 years ago

Love it how Americans go all out at holidays. Here in New Zealand we just do a few chocolate easter eggs perhaps an egg hunt.

3 years ago

The “Back to the Roots” microgreens kits would be cute for Easter. I saw them in store at Home Depot individually but couldn’t find them online. Looks like Walmart also sells them as a 3 pack:

3 years ago

We tried the Colgate Magik kids brushes & app this year after a dentist visit. My 6 and 5 year olds love it, they definitely brush more thoroughly and longer. Downside is, they need to use an adult’s phone while they’re brushing.

3 years ago

For my baseball player kiddo, since start of baseball season hits right around Easter, his basket has usually been baseball themed with a baseball book, baseball cards, new batting gloves, sunflower seeds, Trader Joes “Grand Slam” snack (fancy Cracker Jacks), a new t-shirt, little bit of candy. Eggs for the hunt are mostly filled with money.

3 years ago

I sell Wooden Easter Tokens that are a great alternative to candy. The activity tokens are a fun year-round experiential gift with things like “A Day with Mom”, “1 Extra Bedtime Book”, “Ice Cream Night”, etc and the Money Tokens prevent coins from being left in the yard during the egg hunt. Here is the link to see them 🙂

Kathryn Feury
3 years ago

And there is still time for custom notecards, of your children’s artwork!
They are so much more excited to write thank you notes, when the card features their own beautiful creation! Check them out on Plum Print.

3 years ago

Hi Emily! I’m a huge fan of yours, and reading this post made my night. I helped create the Surprise Ride Bees Candle Kit and am so excited that you shared it with everyone. It’s a kit my daughter and I did together, and I’m thrilled that Charlie and Birdie loved it too.

3 years ago

We love Chris Van Dusen! So happy to see him in your space! We can still recite the circus ship by memory. A Camping Spree with Mr McGhie is such a delightful CvD book too if you haven’t read it.

3 years ago

Years ago We lived in Crestline down the mountain from you now, had two dogs and a fun three year old. We hid eggs for her and the dogs ate most of them before she found them. Just in case this helps you or anyone else😀