I’m the original minimalist mama. I do natural, sustainable, frugal, recycled. On holidays, I made simple, DIY gifts. Here are candy-alternative Easter basket ideas I’ve used for our daughters.
Quality. Instead of filling her Easter basket with cheap toys made by slave labor, choose items she can use and enjoy all year: bubbles (here’s my Easter party article with a cheap, homemade bubbles recipe), sidewalk chalk, jump rope, playground ball, Chinese jump rope, lawn games, craft dough (here’s my article on recipes for homemade Play-Doh, Moon Sand, Silly Putty).
Multipurpose. My little girls always got new Easter outfits, so I repurposed new clothes and accessories as Easter basket fillers. I added frilly socks with hand-crocheted tops, days of the week underwear, umbrella, beaded purse, pair of white dress shoes.
Pretty. Add jewelry: rings, bracelet, necklace, rings (I bought inexpensive fair trade jewelry from Greater Good). Make homemade Easter bonnets by decorating cheap hats with silk flowers and ribbon from scrap bin. Our two-year-old loved trying on new wardrobe on as she went, You should have seen her frolicking in just her Sunday undies and fancy hat!
Healthy. Teach hygiene and personal care, by giving soaps, body wash, lotion, chapstick, toothbrush and toothpaste, nail care sets, ponytail holders, brush, comb, mirror, ribbons and hair toys.
Artsy. Fill Easter basket with markers, paints, bead sets, craft kits, construction paper, decorative edge scissors, tape, glue stick, crayons. The 64-count Crayola box goes on sale around Easter. That larger set has such fun colors as gold, copper, magenta and Macaroni and Cheese!
Educational. Playing cards, Memory, bingo, puzzles, Old Maid, Crazy 8s, Apples to Apples–there are loads of educational games, even for non-readers. Check DL-TK Printables section for free printable memory, bingo and dominoes games
Literate. Books find their way into every single gift I give. Add the next book in a series she likes or one by a favorite author. Give magazines, coloring books, word games, crossword puzzles, Enchanted Learning has free printable mini booklets on just about any children’s subject. Print and let children color. I recommend parents, homeschoolers and teachers pay the $20 annual site fee for unlimited access to Enchanted Learning. There are printable learning activities for every subject. It pays for itself immediately.
Set a budget for your Easter giving and don’t deviate. I never spent more than about $10-$15. And since clothes were part of it, I got double value for my money.