Think Outside the Basket!

Spring is here! And before you know it you’ll be scrambling to fill your child’s Easter baskets with goodies. Don’t wait until the last minute! Instead of picking up those candy items in the checkout line or heading to the huge candy section at the drugstore, let’s try to be a little more fun, creative, and think outside the basket!

I’m not saying there won’t be any candy in our Easter baskets this year, but to avoid the sugar high and sugar crash, I decided to look around and find more interesting goodies that will last more than the two seconds it will take to unwrap and devour. Here are some of the creative ideas I came up with:

1. Make it a “Beach-ster Basket!

I cannot take credit for this. My husband actually came up with this a few years ago, and it is one of his best ideas. Since summer is practically here, why not use this holiday as a perfect time to stock up on your beach toys? All of the big box stores are basically stocked up for summer – you could even use a beach bucket as a basket! What to include? This is easy:

  • Bucket and sand toys
  • A kite
  • An awesome towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Water toys
  • Bathing suit, hat, and flops

I also get a “beach-ster” basket, which usually includes the above items minus the toys 🙂

2. Bunny Crafts & School Supplies

The Easter craft sections at Michael’s and Joann’s are awesome. You can find crafts ranging from $1-$10. Our favorites are the wooden and ceramic ornaments that come with paint and the foam shapes that include stickers (we did bunny heads yesterday). Not only are they cheap, cute, and fun, but they are also TIME-CONSUMING! If you are staying indoors with family on Easter Sunday, these are great activities for the entire family.

This is also the perfect time to replenish your school supplies!

  • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
  • Easter coloring books
  • Learning/Activity Books
  • Construction paper
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Notebooks

3. Bath Time Fun

Ok, if you have an older child they may be upset about a basket full of soap. However, you can find some really cute things to add in that will still get them excited for bath time. These owl mitts from abbycove on Etsy are super cute. And I love all those fun toys from Skip Hop, Alex, and Boon. Target, of course, has a huge section of bath toys, but also check out the local toy stores for those really unique gifts- The Green Alligator in Avondale and the Bay & Bee on Atlantic and San Pablo.

4. Everything but the Kitchen Sink (aka candy)

This is my catch-all list of things that I thought of and wanted to share.

  • This bubble machine: best.toy.ever. Gazillion Bubble Blizzard. Interactive and head-rush free!
  • Hair bows and accessories. Kyds is an awesome local boutique to check out!
  • Fun socks
  • Bouncy balls
  • Plush animals  (I got my nine-month-old a pink stuffed bunny from Target today)
  • Easter stickers
  • For the older kids, a DVD or CD, iTune gift card, or a gift card to their favorite froyo shop, or even movie tickets.
  • Healthy snacks!
  • Personalized items like sippy cups (or cups) and placemats
  • Books. There are so many Easter-themed books- The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Pat the Bunny are great ones. This would also be a good opportunity to include a book about the origins of Easter, and why it’s not just about eggs and candy. What is Easter? is a great one.

As I said earlier, this won’t be a completely chocolate-free Easter. But my thought was to go quality, not quantity and get one or two (or three?) awesome treats from Peterbrooke.

Does your family have an Easter basket tradition? Please share!

Vicky Lane
Vicky Lane is the co-owner and co-founder of Jacksonville Mom (formerly Jax Moms Blog). Since 2012, she has been overseeing the content and technical side of Jacksonville Mom. In this role, she manages over 30 writers and works closely with the managing editor to provide the most relevant content for the Jacksonville parenting community. In her previous career, Vicky obtained her Masters in Education and served as University Registrar at the University of North Florida. Wife to adoring husband John, her love for all things “Mom” began in 2010 when their son Brendan was born. Vicky chose to put her full-time career in higher education on hold to spend time with her new baby, giving her a new respect for motherhood and parenting. In June 2012, John and Vicky welcomed sweet Audrey to the family. Vicky has created an amazing circle of Moms who are continuously seeking new ways to enrich their children’s lives in and around Jacksonville. Being part of the creation of an online parenting resource and small business that serves the great Jacksonville area has allowed her to flourish in a successful career while remaining present for her family.


  1. We’ve done all of the above! Beach-ster baskets are always a big hit, and they usually love new craft things! Even when we put candy in the baskets, we end up throwing half of it away! Seriously when getting ready to move, I threw away several chocolate bunnies. So except for the waste of money, if you put chocolate for the tradition it might not all get eaten anyway!


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