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Creative and Practical Alternative Easter Basket Ideas

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Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.

The traditional Easter basket isn't always the most practical.

The traditional Easter basket isn't always the most practical.

Planning Easter

It's never too early to plan, especially when it comes to holidays. Easter is always a fun time at my house. Every year, my son gets up early and hunts around the house to find what the Easter Bunny left.

He loves a good scavenger search and enjoys looking for eggs filled with candy and coins as well as the pièce de résistance: the Easter basket. Once he inventories his loot, we enjoy a few pieces of candy for breakfast and have a relaxing day playing games. He may almost be a teenager, but he hasn't lost his spirit and love for holiday fun just yet.

My husband and I are practical when it comes to gifts, especially for Easter. The holiday is always around the same time as our son's birthday. Some years, it takes place during the same week, while other years, there's a week or two in between. We start planning about a month or two in advance, slowly purchasing items instead of waiting to buy everything all at once.

This year, I wanted to share our process and ideas with other parents who are looking to get rid of the fluff in order to focus on more thoughtful purchases for this fun holiday.

Practical Alternatives to Easter Baskets

When you think of the ready-to-go Easter basket, you probably envision a cheap, woven wood basket with a handle filled with candy and quarter-machine toys held together with cellophane wrapping. These are certainly convenient and work in a pinch, but the toys get lost, and the basket breaks within the first few hours of its discovery. Add to that the mess of Easter grass, and not only do you start feeling the twinge of a massive headache, but you also realize you've just wasted your money.

The baskets and buckets available in the Easter section of the store are a little more promising. You can purchase one with your child's current favorite fictional character on it, and it might be able to hold toys, knick-knacks, or crayons for a year or two before you need to toss it.

When our son was little, I loved getting cute buckets. One year, our son received a Spongebob bucket that ended up in his toy box, securing his collection of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars until it finally broke a few years later. For younger children, I think these types of baskets are wonderful. I would recommend thinking ahead about potential uses for the basket when browsing through the options. Be sure to select one that is sturdy.

As our son got older, I started thinking outside of the box. A few years ago, I purchased two end tables for my son as an alternative to an Easter basket. The larger table served as a Lego platform for making stop-motion videos, and the smaller one became a nightstand.

In other years, I've chosen three or four drawer organizers. These are versatile and hold up well. While my son has packed his Legos up neatly in his closet, one of the organizers still holds his collection. The larger table now holds his computer, and he still uses the smaller one as a nightstand.

Here are some additional ideas for better Easter baskets that will allow you to get the most out of your money:

  • Beach buckets
  • Woven or plastic storage bins
  • Plastic storage buckets
  • Plastic or galvanized party tubs
  • Plastic totes
  • Side and end tables or nightstands
  • Drawer organizers with or without wheels
  • Fabric storage cubes
  • Wooden or milk crates
  • Bookshelves or other standing shelf units
  • Wastebaskets
  • Small desks
  • Purses or tote bags
Why not think outside the basket this Easter?

Why not think outside the basket this Easter?

Useful Easter Gifts to Pair With Your Practical Basket

Arguably, the second most important part of the Easter basket is what you put inside (or on top). This is where you get to be creative and customize for your child. The Easter aisles are filled with inexpensive toys and gadgets that everyone loves: Yo-yo's, stretch bunnies, fidget spinners, themed writing utensils, and cheaply made packs of stuffing. I wouldn't completely forgo these items. They are fun, after all.

When it comes to the loot, start by thinking of things your child actually needs. A cozy pair of socks, a cute pair of slippers, a pajama set, or athleisure wear all make good ideas. Then, think about your child's interests. If they love to draw, a nice pencil or marker set with a pad of drawing paper would be perfect! Maybe they would love an origami book and paper, a good coloring book, or a comprehensive art set.

If you have an older child who loves computers or video games, you can gear the loot toward that arena: a video game, a wireless mouse, a mousepad, a specific gift card, etc.

For a few years in a row, we always purchased two nice, bound drawing pads and new coloring tools. One year, we bought a nice charcoal pencil set, and another year, we purchased a geometry kit. I always add in a few token Easter items like a big pencil, a multicolored pen, slime, etc. I also like to think ahead to outdoor games for spring. A large ball, bubbles, or other outdoor toys are always fun options.

Here are some general ideas to spark inspiration:

  • Clothes
  • Art supplies
  • Board or card games
  • Legos
  • Specific toys your child would like
  • Video games
  • Small computer accessories
  • Small phone accessories
  • Books
  • Puzzles
  • Outdoor toys or games
  • Beach toys or accessories
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hygiene items
  • Hair accessories
  • Beauty items
  • Pillows, blankets, or other bedding items

The Candy Situation

Easter and candy go hand in hand. While I love candy, I do try to limit how much I consume. My son also enjoys treats but does a much better job at staying disciplined than I do. He takes after his dad. Jokes aside, we don't like purchasing an abundance of candy for Easter. We buy a bag or two of our son's favorite treats, along with a small bag of individually wrapped chocolates for Easter eggs. This is a great way to keep the candy situation under control while going easy on the wallet.

The Egg Hunt

If you're like me, you love to fill plastic eggs and hide them for your child to find. I have a box of Easter eggs that I pull out every year. I choose 12–15 to fill and hide and select a few to include in or on my son's basket. Some I fill with Hershey Kisses or M&Ms, but the majority I fill with coins.

This also helps limit candy, and children love getting money. My son is always delighted to find quarters, dimes, nickels, and, less so, pennies, but he enjoys counting out how much money he made from his scavenger hunt. This is a great math game for younger kids, too!

© 2021 Alyssa


Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 07, 2021:


How fun to have an Easter egg search for the kids in the backyard! It seems like that is a common tradition across the world. The weather is always iffy up here, so I usually just hide the plastic eggs indoors.

Thanks for stopping by! Have an awesome week!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 07, 2021:

Thank you so much Dora! I hope you have an amazing week!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 07, 2021:

Hunting for eggs in the garden sounds like so much fun! Rationing the sweets for the weeks ahead is a great idea, too. Thank you for stopping by Ann! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 07, 2021:

Thanks Bill! Happy Sunday!

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 07, 2021:

Oh how exciting! Weddings are always fun :) Congratulations to your family!

Clive Williams from Jamaica on March 07, 2021:

Easter Egg hunt. Sorry Alyssa. I rather duck hunt. But I love to set some Easter Eggs in the backyard here in JA as the kids enjoy finding them.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 07, 2021:

I'm sure that your novel ideas will be welcome by those who celebrate. Happy Easter.

Ann Carr from SW England on March 07, 2021:

My grandchildren love hunting in the garden for Easter eggs. Their Mums make a brilliant effort and sometimes there's a paper trail. It's a good idea choosing alternative baskets and thinking of future uses. We tend to stay traditional but I'm sure there are alternatives that would fit.

They too don't have too much chocolate or, if relatives give them a lot, it is rationed for weeks ahead!

Good hub.


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 07, 2021:

Sorry, we don't do Easter, Bev and I. lol But these are some great ideas, so I'll pass them along to our two married sons, who both have kids. Thanks, Alyssa, and Happy Sunday to you.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 07, 2021:

You have listed many good suggestions, Alyssa. Children always love scavenger hunts and adding a bit of change is a good idea.

I don't have anyone at home anymore, and I will watch my youngest son get married the day before Easter. It is fun to make any holiday special, and you have many ideas. Have a good day!