Easter appears to start earlier and earlier every year. Shopping centers and store shelves are packed tight with easter candy and chocolate starting in March now. Now don’t get me wrong a few mini eggs happen over the Easter holiday, but I find as a mom the junk food is coming from every direction. Schools, friends, and grandparents which appear to come for a week leading up to and post-Easter, it’s just too much.
I knew I did not want my kids to be excluded from holiday celebrations but I wanted them to associate celebrating with fun, family, and good times and not just sugary treats. A few years ago, I began completely revamping how I make my kids Easter Baskets and including more games and toys than food. Easter is often a sign that spring is around the corner, so providing them outdoor games and activities is a great way to get excited about spring.
A common misconception is that this would be too costly, but I can tell you that I spend no more on these game filled baskets then the sugar filled ones. The dollar stores are a great place to get started for all your candy-free fun items. Another location I like is the clearance bins in Micheals, those bins are always under $3.00 and they have some cute things. I grab their 50% weekly coupons too which helps too. It is really easy to keep it cheap when you keep your eye out.
Some of my favorite non-food goodies for the Easter Baskets include:
- sidewalk chalk
- markers, crayons, paint
- coloring books
- water guns
- skipping ropes
- card games
- pool noodles
- sandbox toys
- stuffed animals
- $1 store outdoor sports games (i.e. velcro paddle ball, skip-it, badminton, lawn bowling)
- Craft supplies
- Pots with seeds (start planting & growing food together)
When I do include food, some of my favorite items include:
- Annie’s natural snack products (bunny crackers & gummies)
- Organic Dark Chocolate
- Health food stores also carry a small assortment of natural gummies, licorice, or candy. A few pieces to share goes a long way.
This year I am putting together an Easter basket for my son, my daughter, and my little nephew who is not yet 2-years old. I thought I would showcase some of the items I got and the total cost. For my little nephew, I got a sandbox pail so he can use that at the park, a lamb book, a soft football, a little bunny (no hard eye’s for safety), a silly pair of bunny sunglasses, and a Star Wars kite (cause he is already a fan). His little basket cost me $7.50, with no sweets needed.
My daughter and son, reuse the same basket every year. This year they got a water blaster, sidewalk chalk, popsicle bubbles, slinky, crazy eight and go fish card games, and light up bouncy balls. They each get a clay pot, that means they get to come with me to the greenhouse and pick what veggie they want to start growing indoor that will be transported into the garden next month. And of course an Emoji pillow! They were at Micheals for $8.00 each, so I used the 50% off coupon and got it for a steal at $4.00. In total each basket cost me $12.50.
Get creative! Have fun! Have a happy and healthy Easter.