Spring has arrived, and so have the promises of that pesky little bunny with his eggs full of chocolate and jelly beans! Indulging in a few delicious seasonal treats is always fun (Cadbury Eggs, anyone?), but a basket of giant chocolate bunnies and bags of sugary candy + a kid usually doesn’t make for the best day.
You can avoid the sugar high-driven meltdowns and inevitable crashes and sluggishness by thinking outside the basket for this year’s Easter treats. That’s why I created a list of my top 10 non candy easter basket ideas! Easter is a great time to give kids a basket of thoughtfully selected small items that will help them look forward to the spring and summer weather or provide them with refreshed craft, art or reading supplies.
My book, 52 Small Changes for the Family is all about easy and achievable tweaks you can make to your family’s life. This is an easy change that I hope will pay off in beautiful day for family time, minus the melt-downs. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite non candy Easter basket ideas that your kids will absolutely love while avoiding candy and cheap plastic toys.
There are so many choices here. This is a great chance to give a family favorite that your child will treasure or add to his or her favorite series collection. Selecting a story that is connected to being grateful or kind or generous to others is always a relevant choice around the Easter holiday. Some of our favorites include The QuiltMaker’s Gift, Stone Soup and Have You Filled a Bucket Today. For older kids, consider something inspirational like Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life.
Gardening Tools and Seeds
It’s spring and that means time to garden! We’ve written before about our favorite gardening tools for kids and this is a great chance to give your kids some of those options. Pair the tools with some seeds and you can create a whole easter basket designed around getting outside and growing your own produce and flowers.
Mantra Jewelry or Clothing
In Chapter 21 of 52 Small Changes for the Family, we talk about helping your children discover their True North. Creating a strong sense of values is a gift that you can give your child throughout their life, and I love the idea of mantra jewelry or a fun mantra t-shirt to help remind them of those values on a daily basis. Pick out a mantra that you think is just the thing your child needs to remember or hear, and this piece of jewelry or clothing will help them stay focused on it all day long. On that note, I recently found the cutest graphic t-shirts and onesies for babies and kids at Target with sayings that include ” Awesome Brother”, “My Mom is My Hero”, “Unity”, “It’s Cool to Be Kind” and more.
Buy a Kindness Rock kit or a rock painting kit for your child (or assemble your own ) for a fun project that allows kids to create acts of kindness for others. Challenge your kids to hand out their kindness rocks to friends, family, schoolmates and others along with a word or two about what they appreciate about the recipient.
Marbles are a fun, versatile toy to give kids. They fit in a small bag in their pockets and can be used to play games or to create their own marble runs from items they find around the house (paper towel rolls and duct tape go a long way). They can also be used for counting and sorting game.
Arts & Crafts
We know that introducing art and creativity to our children is important. Easter baskets are a great opportunity to give kids the supplies to get creative. Paper, sidewalk chalk, paint, crayons, markers–whatever their favorites are and a few new items is a great way to create a basket that will create for weeks to come.
For many in cooler climates, Easter signifies the return of warmer weather and it’s a great chance to re-up your supply of simple warm-weather outdoor toys like jump ropes, hula hoops, sidewalk chalk, yo-yos, water guns, outdoor pools or water tables, sprinklers and more. This will encourage your kids to get outside and won’t clutter up your home with more toys or chocolate!
For older kids, journaling can be an effective way of expressing feelings. Consider getting a journal personalized with their name or with a cover featuring a color or print you know they’d love to get them started.
Compass, Magnifying Glass & Nature Book
For kids who are ready to get outside and explore nature, consider creating their own little nature kit or buy a pre-made nature kit. Include a compass, a magnifying glass and a book about nature–maybe bird or tree identification, for example. Add a pencil and notebook for them to make observations if they are old enough and poof! Your kiddo is a nature detective.
Mad Libs (or Make Your Own Comic Book)
Stretch your kids’ brains and have lots of fun as a family with good old-fashioned Mad Libs. Where you might give a coloring book for little kids, these are great for school-aged kids and give them a chance to work on reading, writing, grammar and spelling all in a fun group activity.
For the resistant elementary age kids, purchase the blank ‘make your own comic books’ so they can draw, practice letters and even learn to write stories in their own way.
I hope these ideas will help you and your family save your sanity on easter by using these non-candy easter basket ideas!
Looking for more ways to change your habits and create a healthier life for your family? Check out my new book 52 Small Changes for the Family, available now.