Easter Baskets Without the Candy

Easter is almost here!  Springtime and bunnies are on a lot of parents' minds … and so is sugar.  But Easter doesn't have to mean tons of jelly beans and chocolate eggs.  There are plenty of non-candy options that can be used to fill Easter baskets and Easter eggs.  

easter baskets

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Books:  Easter means spring has sprung so it's a great opportunity to fill your little one's basket with spring-themed books.  Everyone from Thomas the Tank Engine to Olivia to The Bernstein Bears celebrate Easter or go with a more simple lift-the-flap Easter Egg book.  

Legos:  Lego minifigures are the perfect size to fit into eggs.  Grab a few packs to stash inside your eggs or buy a set and use the minifigures for the eggs and give the rest of the set as a gift.  Adding fun Lego sets like Brickheadz or Lego Friends to Easter baskets ensures that your kids will have a toy that they can play with over and over again.  

ZIPITs:  These adorable ZIPIT pouches come in fun spring themes and kids love watching the pouches disappear and reform as they zip and unzip as much as they like.  

Games:  Even little kids love playing games! Try a spring-themed game like the Veggie Farm Sorting Set to help kids learn colors, counting, shapes, and more.  Other options are classic games like Jenga or Monopoly Jr. or smart games like Penguin Pool Party and IQ Focus are other good choices.  Prefer trivia? Check out these Top Trump decks for your child's Easter basket with themes ranging from emojis to Harry Potter to predators to presidents.  Maze-O is a fun game that allows kids to build their own games over and over again so it never gets old!  Or, try this Snow White puzzle game that has kid-friendly 3-D pieces and a big book with examples that families can use together.  

Promote Learning:  Sure, it's a holiday but it's also a great opportunity to fill their Easter baskets with toys that will get them excited about learning.  Babies can learn cause-and effect like this Fisher Price Fidget CubeBotley is one of the only coding toys for children to not require a screen to use and it's simple enough for young children to use.  This Fisher Price Think & Learn Count & Add Math Center  is perfect for teaching little ones foundational math skills.  Something really different is the line of Circuit Scribe pens that allow kids to create circuits with nothing more than a conductive pen. With kits ranging from the Maker Kit to just a Circuit Pen it will really seem as though the Easter Bunny brought some magic!


Imagination Toys:  Try this Imaginext DC Super Friends Battle Batcave to ensure your child has a “super” Easter or get them started with a new train set or add to an existing set with this Thomas & Friends Wood Figure Eight Set.  Dollhouses and babydolls also make great choices!   This ice cream cart that can be turned into a hot dog cart from Melissa & Doug is a great choice that allows endless possibilities for taking on various roles and creating various scenarios for play. Kids can take turns selling or buying treats and being inventive with their combinations.  Since almost every kid loves both ice cream and hot dogs, every child can jump right in and joyfully serve up, or “eat” the ample included treats – perfect for a candy-free Easter. 

A puppet theatre or even just some puppets are other great options for kids and grown-ups to create endless stories.   Want to play doctor?  Try this My Little Sports Medicine Kit for your future MD with a very realistic doctor's coat, gloves, and more.  Or, let your kids go to the racetrack with Max Traxxx which allows them to build their own tracks out of flexible tracks. New Playmobil Racers are another good bet!  These Disney Princess Little Kingdom Magical Movers sets are another good choice for promoting play and imagination – and can also fit easily into eggs. 

Art Supplies:  Most kids would be thrilled to find some new art supplies in their basket!  Crayons and construction paper are always a safe bet, but consider something a little more unusual like Blendy Pens which allow kids to create new colors with just a twist.  It's something only the Easter Bunny could come up with!


Pets:  Maybe the Easter Bunny won't bring real pets, but kids will love these low-maintenance Smooshy Mushy Pets, where each pet comes in a bottle surprising kids with what's inside.  Or, try a Stikbot Egg where kids open colored eggs to find a little bunny inside.  These are collectable and can be used to make stop-motion animations that are very popular on YouTube.    

Odds and Ends for Stuffing Eggs:  Stickers make a great item to stuff in Easter Eggs and one sheet can be used to fill several eggs.  Temporary tattoos are another good bet.  Think about other items that your kids like and would be delighted to find.  Hair clips, pencil erasers (puzzle erasers are always a hit), small toy cars, Army men, friendship bracelets, slap bracelets, and lip gloss all fit into eggs well. 

Finger puppets like this bunny puppet from HABA is a good choice for a small toy parents and children can play with together.  Whiffer Sniffer backpack keychains are another fun item that can be used to fill eggs.  Play-Doh, either in sets like this cool mixer or individual containers, is always a good bet!  Playmobil Figures also fit well into Easter Eggs and can be used on their own or with other Playmobil sets.  Trolls Collectibles are another fun treat to place into eggs!

Need more ideas?  Browsing the dollar bins at Target or your local dollar store.  

What do you think?

Easter Baskets Without the Candy

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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