Prediction: you still haven’t figured out what to put in your kids’ Easter baskets. No problem. (You’re in good company!) Josie Ortega offers a plethora of easy, fun ideas!
Easter Basket Memories
I absolutely remember the Easters of my childhood: my brothers and I posing for pictures in our Sunday finest in front of the azalea bushes, egg hunts at our cousins’ house with a large metallic golden egg as the grand prize, and, of course, my Easter basket with its delicious and delightful contents.
My brothers. I was alive when this picture was taken, but perhaps I was off with my candy.
Sorry to tell you that one year, the Easter bunny brought me an abundant supply of pink bubble gum in my wicker basket. Instead of maturely discarding each piece once the flavor was gone, I swallowed all of it. Later that Easter evening, we witnessed an unnaturally, amazingly bright regurgitation, the likes of which I’ve never seen again. Ahhh, memories.
In the immortal words of Nora Ephron: “I have a theory that children remember two things—when you weren’t there, and when they threw up.”
Probably, like generations of children before them, my kids will remember significant vomiting occasions. But here’s hoping they also remember joyful Easter mornings, with sunshine and flowers and delightful Easter baskets.
We’ve talked about fostering memorable, meaningful family traditions by thinking of Easter as a Christmas-level holiday. As with stockings hung by the chimney with care, there are a variety of strategies and traditions surrounding Easter baskets. From high-end keepsakes like jewelry, to, ahem, more affordable treats like Easter Egg Oreos, whatever stuffers are in the basket should delight and surprise on Easter morning.
Stockpiling for Easter Baskets
Pro-tip: On next year’s calendar, create an official reminder at the start of Lent, and begin saving items for Easter. If you’re picking up cute hair ties or other normal little goodies you might find at the drug store, resist instant gratification and hide them away in your closet. (That’s where my parents hid gifts; that’s where I hide gifts; I’m assuming you hide gifts in your closet . . . but do let me know if you have a different, better spot!) You’ll have forgotten all the trinkets that you stockpiled in six weeks, and you’ll have a jumpstart on an abundant Easter basket.
More Ideas for Easter Baskets
- Seed packets
- Watering can
- Cute gardening gloves
- Child-sized hand shovel
- While you’re at it, child-sized rakes might come in handy later in the year!
- Joanna Gaines’ new book We Are The Gardeners
Baking and Cooking Supplies
- Cute measuring cups, measuring spoons, and spatulas
- Child-sized aprons (begging to be monogrammed)
- Child-sized oven mitts
- Cookie cutters in spring shapes
With warmer weather here, or at least around the corner, there’s ample opportunity to fill baskets with clothing items you’ll be needing either now or in a month or two.
- Umbrellas (My kids are annoyingly obsessed with umbrellas.)
- Rain boots
- Hair bows (Because: No bow, no go.)
- Beach towel or Turkish towel (again, monogrammed would be nice!)
- Buckets and sand tools
- Freshen up gear for a child’s sport or activity: new ballet slippers, a new soccer ball. My daughter would go wild for pink soccer socks.
- Tegu blocks in perfectly Easter-y pastel colors
- Legos, blocks, and other open-ended toys!
- Egg shakers
- Fresh art supplies: pastels, markers, crayons, etc.
- Card games like Uno
- Beanie Babies that have been at your mom’s house since 1995, waiting patiently for their value to increase.
Things That Go Away
This is one of my favorite categories, and it’s also a great rule of thumb for hostess gifts.
- Bath paint
- Bubble bath
- Sidewalk chalk
- Nail polish (goes away eventually, I guess?)
- Temporary tattoos
- Paper products like sticky notes
- For a budding writer or a kid you’re trying to trick into practicing handwriting, try these real, authentic menu pads, or these genuine reporter’s notebooks.
- Take a cue from Christmas stockings and fill in the baskets with those little items your family needs anyway day-to-day, but that, surprisingly, kids can be really excited about. Spiderman band-aids are a prime example in our house. There’s also:
- Lip balm or lip-gloss
- Fun hair ties
- My kids get oddly excited about toothbrushes . . .
- One of my kids needs a new water bottle; one needs a lunch box. It’s Easter! Time to hit Target and spare no expense!
- Books, especially Peter Rabbit or anything by Beatrix Potter
- Wind-up chicks have been winners at our house
- A precious lamb stuffed animal
- A child’s Bible, or this sweet board book, Psalms of Praise
- A ceramic wall cross from a local potter would be a lovely keepsake for a child’s room.
Whether or not your kid would rejoice over a toothbrush, clearly, the best basket filler is candy.
- You’ve got to have a chocolate bunny.
- Jelly beans
- Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans for the Harry Potter fans
- Bubble gum (OBVIOUSLY ONLY IF YOUR KID KNOWS HOW TO SPIT IT OUT. I’m haunted by my memories.)
- Annie’s cheddar bunnies, graham cracker bunnies, or fruit snacks might be a good option to be able to remain festive with the bunny theme while taking blood sugar or other dietary issues into account.
Easter Baskets for the Whole Family
Don’t leave the grown-ups out.
If you’re the one who normally does the gift shopping for the family, take the opportunity to celebrate, too. Like a fresh pair of slippers at Christmas, I’m thinking these water-proof Birkenstocks might need to replace my garden/pool/beach sandals from last year. For Easter, you know. One year my husband received a six-pack of The Duck-Rabbit beer in place of a basket. I guess the Easter bunny just knows him well.
It’s also an opportunity for a whole-family gift, especially something to enjoy together outside. Think: a bird feeder, a fire pit, a corn hole or bocce set, small soccer goals, huge outdoor Jenga blocks.
Of course, if the whole family’s been fasting from ice cream outings, go enjoy sundaes with cherries on top!
Again, as with Christmas, don’t be upset if and when kids exhibit more excitement to get their chocolate eggs than for the resurrection of Jesus. Do everyone a favor and emotionally prepare yourself for the sugar rush. For practicing Christians, this is the most important Holy Day of the year, and if your family is following along with what’s happening at church, your kids are learning more and more.
The truth is that they were made to want good gifts like chocolate, so they’re exercising that muscle. Consider the Easter basket an education to joy, and let it lead to more enjoyment of all God’s gifts to us—as CS Lewis said, “where all the Beauty came from.” (If you feel like the meaning and enjoyment behind these things is lacking, take heart. All of us will have the opportunity to revisit our plans and practices for Lent and Easter next year.)
OK. This serves as your permission to go bonkers with your baskets on Easter morning. If you’ve gone mostly without desserts for six weeks, this will be even more exciting. Go, therefore, and curate the most delightful Easter baskets in all the nations.
What are your Easter traditions? Share Easter basket ideas with family members through FamilyApp‘s messenger, and use the calendar to coordinate the family egg hunt!