Easter is right around the corner, and it’s time to fill those baskets! This year, I’m doing one basket for my two nieces to share, and one for my pretty baby. I finished holiday shopping early for once, and boy, does it feel good. Baskets were assembled with three weeks to spare, and I’m impressed with what I’ve put together. The majority of Easter basket fillers are candy and sweets, but I wanted to keep the sugary stuff to a minimum. I’m sure my niece’s will receive plenty of treats to satisfy their sweet tooth from the Easter bunny, and my little one is barely old enough for rice cereal, let alone candy.
Finding Easter basket goodies that weren’t dipped in chocolate or made of mallow was surprisingly easy. Among the aisles and aisles of seasonal candy, were little hidden gems of fun. I just had to rummage a bit and think outside the obvious Easter box. The finished baskets look great, and I’m excited to see my girls dig into them. These aren’t just more Easter baskets full of cheap toys and candy. My baskets aim to get them outside, get their imaginations going, and make their minds work a little.
- Books! My absolute favorite gift to give. Lily will receive a book for any and every holiday that involves gift-giving. The great thing about books, is that they don’t have to cost a fortune. Target always has a good selection of seasonal children’s books, or you could check out your local used book store. I found a super cute Easter themed book at my local TJ Maxx.
- Outdoor gear. Kites, bubbles, pool toys, sand toys, backyard games; the list goes on and on. You can find many of these affordable items just about anywhere, even your local dollar store! I stuffed my nieces’ Easter basket with this cool tie-dye and glow-in-the-dark sidewalk chalk I found at Target. Lily get’s a bubble gun, because what baby doesn’t love bubbles?
- Craft kits. No better way to keep those little hands busy than with a craft project. Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Target carry seasonal craft kits for kids. For my nieces, I found an adorable felt egg craft kit at Cost Plus World Market.
- Beauty essentials. Pretty things like nail polish, eye shadow, and lip gloss are always fun to give teenage girls. For tomboys (I never dreamed of wearing make or painting my nails as young girl. Messy hair and high-tops all the way!) and boys, self care items such as character themed chapsticks, or even a fun toothbrush, make great fillers. I got my nieces Easter themed nail decals from Cost Plus. They are cute, and unique enough that I’m pretty sure the bunny won’t bring duplicates.
- Garden goodies. Spring is the perfect time to get the little ones outside, and what better way to do that than with plants? Gardening accessories for kids can be found just about anywhere this time of year, and they are pretty affordable. If you’re already set on gardening gear, how about seeds to grow from scratch, or a plant to tend to? I got these adorable little Easter themed grow kits from Target for $2.50 each for my nieces.
- Bath toys. Who doesn’t love a good bath toy? They work for just about any kid, and they are cheap. Bath crayons, bath bombs for kids, and rubber duckies of every assortment make perfect basket fillers. I got Lily a two pack of waterproof books for the bath from Target.
- Clothing. Small items of clothing make great gifts for any holiday, and you can pretty much find seasonal options at any retailer. Holiday themed bibs, socks, and underwear are all affordable and usually super cute. I’m not a huge fan of seasonal shirts that kids will only get to wear once and grow out of before the following year, but sometimes you can find these items for around $5 at places like Old Navy.
I’m sure there are plenty of moms out there who think Easter baskets are ridiculous, that they are unnecessary and do nothing but spoil kids with pointless crap. Well, I like any excuse to give the kids in my life a little something without going overboard. I want their childhoods to be full of fun, without fueling an entitled mentality. That’s why I keep goodies like these cost effective, and I try to choose items that will be useful and encourage good habits, like reading and playing outside!