Easter candy makes me happy and makes me smile. It comes in pretty colors, delicious chocolate bunnies,eggs, fruity flavors and of course, Peeps. I could go crazy in the Target Easter section! But I try to rein it in. As you can tell, I love candy! I don’t just have a sweet tooth, but a bunch of sweet teeth! While I love candy, I am not ready to let my kids have candy, especially not by the basket-full; they are 1 and 3 years old. Is this hypocritical? Yes, but I’m the mom!! I will eat mine when they aren’t looking ! If you must know, my ultimate favorite Easter candy: Cadbury Mini Eggs. It has taken every ounce of will power not to buy them when I am at Target!
Since my kids are little, I thought it best to find non-candy options to fill their Easter baskets. I think I will continue the this non-candy tradition as a they grow. With Easter 2 weeks away, I need to get cracking figuring out what I will put in their baskets this year.
There are lists out there boasting over 100 items, but I want to focus my list on gifts my kids really love (Kid Approved), gifts that are green and/or socially responsible and items specific to toddlers and preschoolers. So I am breaking my list down into those categories. I think picking 1-4 items from Kid Approved or Green and Socially Responsible and 2-3 items from the age appropriate sections would make a great basket.
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Kid Approved Easter Basket Ideas
These are items that I have given over the last two years and my oldest little guy just loved them. These items are good for boys and girls in the toddler and preschooler age range.
1. Bubbles: always a huge hit. Bubble wands are our favorite! We usually have several bubble wands around the house and at least two in the car. Bubble machines are also really fun, don’t forget the bubbles.
3. Magnets: were a huge hit the last two years! We love the Melissa and Doug animals and dinosaurs magnets. There are the ABCs, numbers and a ton of other cute options. Tip: get a small magnetic dry erase board so kiddos aren’t under foot by the fridge all the time.
4. Books: I never feel bad about buying books for my kids. Here are some of our favorite Easter books: Llama Llama Easter Egg, Thomas Saves Easter, Bunny Rabbit Show ,Duck and Goose, and Peter Rabbit. We also love the Indestructible books, we have Mama and Baby, and at least 5 others.
5. Tooth brush and toothpaste
6. Cup or water bottle
8. Art Supplies
9. Stuffed Animal
10. Crayons and coloring book
5 Green and /or Socially Responsible Easter Basket Ideas
Going through our toys to take pictures for many of the items in this post made me realize we have some green/socially responsible items, but we have a lot of conventional ones. I would like to shift more of my buying to toys that are better for the environment, made locally or have an element that gives back. Will I cold turkey stop buying all conventional things, honest answer, probably not, but will I really think about what I am buying and check to see if there is a better option out there, yes! Here’s to small changes!
11. Tegu blocks: We were lucky enough to get these cool blocks as a birthday present. They are magic blocks, I don’t know how they get the magnets inside. The blocks are seamless. The boys love them and would be a great addition to an Easter basket since they come in these beautiful bright colors. Tegu blocks are made with responsibly sourced wood, while not made in the U.S., the company works to pay their employees a living wage. Here is the link to their site if you want to check them out, https://www.tegu.com .
12. Alaffia Bubble bath: This is our favorite bubble bath. It smells great and it is gentle on the boys’ sensitive skin. 100% Fair Trade Empowering and Educating communities in Togo Africa http://alaffia.com/
13. Green Toys : We have a number of these Green Toys and love them!! Best part, they are top-rack dishwasher safe. Our favorites are the Dump Truck and the Recycling Truck. The Green Toys are made with 100% recycled materials and made in the U.S. We love our Green Toys! www.greentoys.com
14. Hand Made Wood Toys: Manzanita Toys: beautifully made in Seattle, WA, these toys would be an awesome addition to any Easter basket. http://www.manzanitakids.com/
15. Experiences: Some of the best gifts we received from grandparents have been memberships to the zoo and children’s museum. Is there an indoor play-space you like to go to? See if they offer a punch card. What about taking a class with your child, cooking or crafting would also be a lot of fun. Make your own coupons for a special afternoon with you.
Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas- Toddlers
17. Bath toys: We love the Elegant Baby bath tub line, we have trucks, dinosaurs and sea party animals.
18. Spring Accessories: sunglasses and new sun hat
Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas-Preschoolers
20. Underwear: My 3 year old is doing great with potty training and loves Star Wars, despite never viewing any of the movies or shows (Stars Wars and their marketing machine). These are the Star Wars underwear he is loving right now.
21. Bandages with favorite characters
22. Stickers or sticker-book
23. Card games: My oldest got one set of memory cards in his Christmas stocking and the other set in his Easter Basket last year. We love playing with these trucks and numbers cards, bonus, each set of cards makes a big puzzle. Trucks Memory Game and Floor Puzzle and the Numbers Memory Game and Floor Puzzle.
24. Melissa and Doug Water Wow. These are a life-saver at restaurants! You just need water and the colors will appear!
25. Die-cast cars or trucks. As far as my older son in concerned, you can never have enough Disney Cars cars or Blaze and the Monster Machines.
I hope this list has given you some ideas of things to put in your own Easter baskets. I would love to hear if you have a different Easter basket tradition!