Friday, March 6, 2015

Easter Basket Ideas...NO Candy!!

My kid is crazy active. Really active. My friends (who also have kids around my sons age) ask me how I can possibly want more kids and how crazy life must be on a daily basis with my son and all of his energy. My response usually includes something about wanting to pull my hair out some days and how wine really is the cure-all for Mamas, but mostly that I'm just used to it! Luckily, little man is not a sweets eater-he never has been, if he were, I'd be in BIG trouble! Hyperactive kid + sugar = crazed mama!
The only sweets he eats are the sugar cookies from the bakery at the grocery store and Nutter Butters. I'm happy he doesn't love all kinds of junk food (his love for Cheetos is another story), however it does pose a dilemma at Easter time. Most parents fill their kiddos baskets with chocolates and sugary snacks (mmmm peanut butter eggs...), but I don't have this option, so I have to get creative! I suppose I'd rather have this problem than my child being all hopped up on sugar and me actually pulling my hair out! Although the bottle glass of wine I'd be rewarded with at the end of the day does sound appetizing!

In the past with my step daughters, I've had the same opinion on kids and Easter baskets--they don't need a basket full of sugar. The Grandparents in our family seem to supply plenty of candy and I never felt the need to add to it. So I thought I'd share some of my non-candy ideas for Easter baskets in case others had the same feelings but lacked ideas! I somewhat broke it into 3 lists, boys, girls and gender neutral, but some items are also age specific and may not work for your kiddos.

Hair Bows/Headbands/Hair Ties
Costume Jewelry
Fashion Scarf with super cute designs
Nail Polish
Baby Doll
Accessories to Baby dolls or Barbies they already have
Lip Gloss

Hot Wheels

Art Supplies ( We LOVE Crayola Color Wonder products!)
Swim Suit
Beach Towel
Flip Flops
Summer Outfit
Crayola Bath Fizzie Balls
Flash Cards
Sidewalk Chalk
Sports Balls (soccer balls, playground balls, etc)
Kids Golf Club Set
T Ball Set
Gardening Tools (LOVE this super cute set! Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Tootle Turtle Tote Set)
Flower pots
Tooth Brush (with their favorite character, of course!)
Squirt Guns
Hula Hoop
Jump Rope
Bedroom Decor--Fun picture frames, wall stickers, throw pillows
Outdoor chair (folding or Adirondack style)
Music Instruments (plastic maracas, tambourines, recorders)
Small fish tank with fish (beta fish in a bowl are super easy!)
Craft supplies
Sticker Books
Play Doh
Crafting Kits (loom bracelet kits, etc)
Science Project Kits (grow crystals, ant farms,Bag Of Science Kit, etc)
Board Games
Video Games
Personalized Cup/water bottles (This one is perfect for summertime!)

Here's a few ideas for the itty bits in your life!
Teething Toys
Gerber Puffs
Floor play mats
Stuffed Animals

In our family, tradition is to have an egg hunt first, then open baskets. For the egg hunt I will use things like fruit snacks, goldfish and the small graham crackers to fill them as well as coins for the kiddos to put in their piggy banks. I've also gone to Party City and picked up some of the little toys and things they have for 5 or 10 cents each. When you are dealing with a variety of ages of children, I've found its best to designate one color egg for each kid to ensure the older ones don't grab up all of the eggs before the littles can even get 2. Then I just fill the same # of eggs for each kid (smaller babies/toddlers may not need as many as they usually take longer to collect theirs) and let them go at it.

One thing that my mother in law does that I have always liked is that the "eggs" you hunt get smaller as you get older. So babies/toddlers get the large plastic eggs, then you move down to the regular sized ones, then things start to get more fun. She will move down to the small chocolate eggs, then to M&Ms, then to Nerds, then the big ice cream sprinkles, and I think the last year we were with her for Easter, my husband was looking for the tiny sugar sprinkles (you know those ones that are almost translucent and about the size of a crumb? Ya, those!)!! It keeps the hunt fun for the older kids and allows mom to torture all of us as we relentlessly search the living and dining room for specs of dust! I plan to keep this tradition alive as our kiddos get older if we don't find ourselves living back near family.

What other ideas do you have for candy-free Easter basket fillers?? Leave your ideas in the comments below, I'd love to hear them!


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