Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.
No-Candy Easter Gift Ideas for Kids
Easter will soon be here, and with it comes baskets full of sugary goodies and treats for kids.
While I don't mind the treats for myself, I am cringing at the thought of candy/chocolate/sugar-filled Easter baskets for my toddler. First of all, does a toddler need any more energy or another tool with which to make a mess? I dare say not!
What can a parent do? It wouldn’t be right to exclude children of a younger age from such a holiday tradition, so one must modify the Easter basket goodies. What should you put in a toddler's basket? Here's a brief rundown before we jump in:
- Small, functional plastic or woven basket
- Small, fun/usable goodies, age-appropriate
- No sugar rush
- No mess
- Lots of smiles
Easter Basket Ideas
For my kids, I find functional and practical Easter baskets. I start with a small plastic or woven basket that later can be used as a storage container for little toys or trinkets.
I like colorful or patterned fabric drawers that you can find in any store. These actually are large enough to be used as small toy or small stuffed animal containers as well. If I choose, I also can fold these up and store them away to be used again year after year.
Another basket idea would be to buy a shovel and pail combo from any store. Those could be used in the summer either in the backyard or on vacation. The choice is yours depending on how you want to use the basket after the Easter holiday.
Don't want a basket? Try a reusable bag! You can probably find personalized ones on Etsy that the kids can use year-round.
Sugarfree Goodies for Easter Baskets
Here are some ideas for little goodies to fill those baskets for toddlers (almost all could be found for $5 or less!).
- Playskool Weebles Figure 2-Pack: They’re egg-shaped and tons of fun, right?
- Coloring books: What little kid doesn't love to color? Coloring books of any kind would be fun for a toddler. Don't forget the crayons!
- Bouncy, stretchy, light-up balls: Think: entertainment for hours. They bounce. They stretch. They light up. So much fun!
- Small watering can and shovel: Pretty soon, it's going to be warm enough to play outside, but for now, the kids can pretend they're gardening inside.
- Character socks (dollar aisle!): My son loves these, especially the Disney ones. Choose a favorite character/characters and fill up that basket!
- Character sippy cups: Another favorite for toddlers that can easily be found in abundance. Make sure to buy cups with adequate spill-proof measures!
- Small ABC or 123 books: Learning can be fun! There are a variety of cute learning books for toddlers out there.
- Bubbles: Play bubbles or bath time bubbles... Need I say more? Even if it's not warm enough outside to play with them yet, they can always be used inside. Make sure they're non-toxic and hypo-allergenic.
- PlayDoh or Moon Dough: I personally prefer PlayDoh (okay, I really just like the smell...) but toddlers love playing with the squishy stuff.
- Baseball cap or sun hat: For those sunny days when you get outside!
- Kids’ sunglasses: Keep those little eyes protected.
Here are some ideas for little goodies to fill those baskets for babies:
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- Teething rings: Great for teething babies or for those who will be teething.
- Teething necklace: This would be for you to wear (do not put these on babies), but the baby will love it!
- Bath toys: "Rubber ducky, you're the one. You make bath time lots of fun!" Ernie says it best.
- Toys for the stroller: Spring is near, which means more walks with baby! Find little toys that you can attach to the stroller.
- Socks with grips for walking: These are great for babies who live in houses with hardwood floors, like my house.
- Soft books: It's a great idea to expose babies to reading at an early age, even if at this age all they want to do is eat the book.
- Sippy cups: Pretty soon the babies will be ditching the babas and using the sippy cups. It's great to have a few on hand.
- Pacifiers: Binkies can be fun to buy, especially if they sport a fun graphic or phrase. I personally prefer the "Mama is the best" phrase...
Snacks to Add
Many Easter baskets include candy, which may not be suitable for a toddler or baby. If you still want to add snacks, here are some ideas (some from the Gerber Graduates line of foods, organic, or other brands):
- Animal crackers
- Fruit snacks, made with 100% fruit
- Dried fruit pieces
- Fruit or veggie puffs
- Fruit or veggie melts
- Yogurt melts
- Goldfish crackers
- Bunny crackers
© 2011 Marissa
Celebrates on March 20, 2017:
Great ideas Happy Easter!
Amber Ludwig on February 08, 2016:
We actually try to not put any candy in our son's basket!! We do fruit snacks and fruit and then add toys!! His birthday is right around Christmas so we use easter as a time to get him some summer toys to enjoy!
Sarah L on July 17, 2015:
Good ideas here for any time gifts.
Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on March 17, 2014:
Very cute! I always loved Easter baskets when I was a child and now have a little one to think of for future baskets! :)
Marissa (author) from United States on August 23, 2013:
HolidayGiftIdea, glad you like them!
HolidayGiftIdea on August 23, 2013:
Thanks for the cool gift basket ideas. I really think I'm going to do it this year.
Marissa (author) from United States on February 21, 2013:
Jadensmommy, that's great that your son's Easter basket isn't completely filled with the traditional sugar-filled goodies. I bet he loves the little toys he gets in his basket. Also, what an awesome idea to get a craft for the two of you to do together on Easter! Those are the kinds of memories that last a lifetime. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Jadensmommy on February 21, 2013:
i've never gotten much if any candy in easter baskets because i grew up with a diabetic brother and niw i do the same for my son because frankly its better for him. A few things i usually include are sidwalk chalk, stickers, hotwheel cars, and some kind of craft project for the two of us to do on easter afternoon
Marissa (author) from United States on April 05, 2012:
hectordang, you're welcome for the ideas! Yeah, I'd say too much sugar wouldn't be wise for a child with ADHD, but funny thing is: sugar was never a problem with my sister who had ADD because it had the opposite effect on her. :) Have a nice Easter!
Marissa (author) from United States on April 05, 2012:
emilybee, thank you very much for your comment! I'm glad you liked the hub. I know I'll never be too old for an Easter basket either. ;)
hectordang from New York on April 05, 2012:
Thanks for the ideas! I like the basket idea, and I like not overdoing the sugar! It's not good for my ADHD kid!
emilybee on April 05, 2012:
Great hub on Easter basket ideas. I'm having a fun time reading through various Easter hubs right now :) I don't think I'll ever get too old for an Easter basket, but I did tell my mom to not go crazy, it's the thought that counts, not the quantity. When growing up though I never got tons of sugary things - just a few chocolate eggs and of course a chocolate bunny. That's enough for my chocolate fix :) Voted up, very nicely done.
Marissa (author) from United States on February 21, 2012:
Thank you for your kind comment, DonnaCosmato! Reusing the baskets for other things is much better than trying to store an Easter basket in a closet for a year, right? :)
Donna Cosmato from USA on February 21, 2012:
You truly are a practical mommy! These are some wonderful ideas for anyone who wants to give an Easter treat without adding to a child's sugar overload. I love the basket ideas because they could easily be used after the holiday for other things.
Marissa (author) from United States on January 11, 2012:
Sharyn's Slant, I'm glad you like my advice! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)
Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on January 10, 2012:
This is a great first hub, I love it. Great practical advice! And I love the fabric drawers - too cute!
Marissa (author) from United States on April 24, 2011:
Thank you, Truckstop Sally! Happy Easter to you as well. :)
Truckstop Sally on April 24, 2011:
Lots of great ideas! Thanks and Happy Easter to you and your kiddos!
Marissa (author) from United States on March 30, 2011:
I didn't think about teenagers! That's a good idea. If I have time today I'll think up a list for them as well. Thanks!
Chris Monaghan on March 29, 2011:
You're so creative Marissa! How about for teenagers!!