Each year as the boys grow, I find myself trying to decide what to do for Easter baskets. My goals are not to overload the boys with chocolate and to take the opportunity to give gifts that are meaningful or useful (or at least will get a lot of use). I try to be mindful about purchases, so I don’t end up buying a bunch of plastic pieces I’m going to end up throwing out in a few months.
The ideas below span a large number of years from preschool to preteen:
1. Clothes – We usually give the boys a set of color coordinated dress shirts – sometimes those go in the baskets sometimes they help me pick them out ahead of time.
2. Buckets instead of baskets – When the boys were smaller they spent hours in the sand box every spring and summer, so we used plastic buckets as their easter baskets. Buckets still seem more useful for boys.
3. Garden or sandbox tools – The plastic shovels that come with buckets usually aren’t very sturdy so we’ve put higher quality tools in their buckets when needed.
4. Sidewalk chalk – Easter is a great time to replenish the sidewalk chalk supplies.
5. Puzzles – Some years it’s just too cold to be outside yet and working a puzzle is a good way to keep our hands busy.
6. Spring books or Field guides (especially the pocket size guides) – As we start getting outside for nature walks we are always finding new animals and plants we want to learn more about. Pocket sized field guides are perfect for our backpack or keeping in the car.
7. A bible – What a great time to give a special bible of their own.
10. Bike supplies – water bottles, cycling gloves, a new bell, a strip that keeps your pant leg out of the chain, maybe a bike computer or other accessories
11. A butterfly kit or net
12. Sports supplies – hat, batting glove, socks, new balls
13. Bug Podz I thought this looked like a goofy toy, but it stayed interesting. It was great for fireflies and other insects.
14. Camping / exploring supplies – binoculars, fishing net, magnifying glasses, flashlights
15. Art supplies – Fresh markers, pencils, sketch books or other art supplies
16. Swimming gear – goggles, towels, dive sticks or rings and other pool supplies.
17. Science kits – if you happen to have a few days off around Easter it can be helpful to give the kids a project.
What about ideas for things to hide in the eggs besides candy?
1. Lego minifigs – One year I purchased a box of Lego mini-figs and divided them up in the plastic eggs. Huge hit with the boys.
2. Gum – sort of like candy but longer lasting.
3. Money – Great way to recycle the change jar AND gives the kids practice counting change.
4. Tiny post-it notes
5. A compass
6. Tiny flashlights
7. Playdough or Polymer Clay
8. Coupons for special treats
9. Hex bugs
10. Egg decorating supplies – if you are hunting eggs before decorating you could include some decorating supplies like googly eyes.
13. Scavenger hunt clues – Instead of putting little things in the eggs, make it all into a big scavenger hunt to find a gift or the main basket. Come up with word scrambles or other puzzles to make it fun.
What do you do to keep the baskets interesting?