Thanks to the Easter Bunny, there’s at least one morning every year when your kids wake up to a sugar feast. By lunch? They’ve crashed and burned.
By dinner, when they’ve spoiled their appetite by sneaking another jelly bean (or 10) here and a mouthful of chocolate there, and you’re left wondering why you ever did this to yourself.
So here’s the thing: Your kids’ baskets don’t have to rot their teeth or sugar-fuel terrible moods. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
1. Chalk it Up Outdoors
Spring means sunshine and more outdoor fun for everyone. Sidewalk chalk is inexpensive and consumable, so you aren’t just adding to the clutter. And kids LOVE it—especially when a parent or older sibling joins in the fun. Bubbles and jump ropes are also home runs for warmer weather playtime.
For the older kids, consider Nerf gun ammo, parachute dudes, balsa airplanes, kites, a mini drone or swim goggles.
2. Spring Greens
Encourage your kids to explore and observe the magic of nature with a packet of seeds you can plant together. Choose something that grows fast such as radishes, carrots, lettuce or onions.
3. Games to Go
The kids are likely getting antsy for summer and the end of the school year, especially if a family vacation is on the horizon. What better way to begin building the anticipation and excitement of summer vacation than with a few portable pastimes tucked into the Easter basket?
Portable card games like UNO or a tile game like Bananagrams can be cleverly tucked into a backpack and pulled out in the car or on an airplane for short bursts of face-to-face family fun, giving everyone a healthy break from their digital devices.
Some other fun ideas include a Magic 8 Ball, a Rubik’s Cube, a yo-yo or story cubes.
4. Make it Furry
… And stuffed. A small stuffed animal will delight any age. Even big kids can appreciate a soft, cuddly plush bunny, lamb, dog or bear peeking out of their basket. A universal gift of affection, a small plush toy won’t take up too much space cluttering bedrooms, and kids love collecting them. Plus, they’re easy to let go of a after the Easter fun is over if they lose interest.
5. Some Bunny Love Books
Finding a new book in their basket can become a tradition kids will look forward to, evolving from board books and picture books for toddlers to chapter books as kids get older.
6. As Colorful as Easter Eggs
Have a kiddo who loves to make things? Art and craft supplies are always a great option. Replace their broken crayons, dried-up markers and colored pencil nubs with new sets. Watercolors, coloring books, stickers, Play Doh and silly putty are also good options. For older kids, consider stationery, thank you cards or a new journal.
7. Spring Season Accessories
For your little fashionista, try fun socks, sunglasses, jewelry, lip balm, nail polish, a new comb or brush, hair accessories or a fun keychain to attach to a school backpack.
8. Collectibles Over Candy
Almost every kid I know collects something. Whether your kid is intent on accumulating enough Legos to fill his entire bedroom or she’s one My Little Pony shy of a million, they’ll love the new addition to their collection.
9. The Gift that Keeps on Giving
A gift card to a local restaurant, favorite store or theater is a great idea for older kids who are learning to make their own choices and becoming more independent. Having a gift card they can use when out with friends to grab a sandwich, to see a movie or to shop for sporting goods or other accessories is a fun treat that makes them feel more grown up.