Sitting on top of my fridge is a large plastic container – the kind you buy bulk pretzels in, although the pretzels are long gone. It is now our “candy bucket”. Every year the night before Halloween the container is emptied out of the previous years candy then, after the kids have finished trick or treating and are tucked away in bed, their Halloween bags are dumped, the hard candies are tossed out and the rest is added to the “candy bucket”.
Throughout the year candy from birthday parties and Valentine’s Day will fill in any remaining space in the container. Occasionally the kids will have a piece as a special treat, but once all of the M&Ms and Twix are gone the container is mostly forgotten. Until Easter. Easter, with it’s assortment of colorful candies and bunny shaped chocolates, Easter is when I begin glaring at the already excessive amount of candy going stale on top of the refrigerator.
Over the years I’ve been slowly replacing the candy in their Easter Baskets with bubbles and chalk. Unfortunately the back of my car no longer holds groceries because of all the bubble and chalk containers. This year I was determined to come up with candy free Easter Basket ideas that were fun and maybe a tiny bit educational too!
So here are 22 candy free Easter Basket ideas I’ve come up with to fill their baskets with fun!
1. Safari LTD. Toob Animals – Instead of filling plastic eggs with candy we fill them with these miniature animals! This is actually an idea I got from a Safari Ltd. rep at the NY Toy Fair earlier this year. The Toob series animals are the perfect size and it’s become on of my favorite ways to fill up lots of eggs! (This year we got Farm Babies, Zoo Babies and The Galapagos and the Easter Bunny is also leaving this adorable Farm Tote & Playset for them to store and play with all of their new animals.)
2. Coupons for family activities and special treats – You can grab my FREE PRINTABLE EASTER COUPONS here!
3. Grow Your Own Crystals – Turn small gel cubes into beautiful crystals with this kit.
4. My First Bird Book – Use the included bird feeder to attract birds, then read about them in this book!
5. Melissa & Doug Stamp Sets – From zoo animals to alphabets, these sets are great for young kids!
6. Melissa & Doug Big Picture Coloring Floor Pads – These giant easel size pads will wow kids!
7. Alphabet Blocks – These classic toys are great basket stuffers for toddlers and preschoolers!
8. Grow a Hedgehog Kit – Paint a hedgehog planter and then grow grass from seeds inside of it!
9. Science Experiments You Can Eat Book – Kids explore kitchen science in this book, perfect for the science lover and future foodie.
10. Rocket Balloons – Launch these balloons and see who’s flies highest!
11. Paper Airplane Kit – My son is always asking me to make paper airplanes, and I’m always telling him I have no idea how to, so this kit will be educational for both of us!
12. Squirmles – Fuzzy little “pets” that magically jump and crawl (hint: there’s some fishing line involved).
13. Escape From The Overworld – For the Minecraft obsessed, get their heads out of the screen and into a book with a Minecraft themed novel!
14. Crystal Rocks – My kids love crystal science, and these kits are small enough to make the perfect basket stuffers.
15. Chalk! Whether it’s sidewalk chalk, Giant chalk or a toddler’s First Chalk Set kids can never have too much chalk, just ask the trunk of my car.
16. Art Supplies – Easter is the perfect time for us to restock our art bin!
17. Firestorm Bow – I did a review of these around Christmastime and we all loved them. We’ll be buying refill arrows for Easter, but if you don’t already own one – they are perfect for using outside as the weather gets nicer!
18. Hatch & Grow Dino Egg – We include these every year and the kids never get tired of them, plus the egg shape makes them perfect to stick in a basket!
19. Minecraft Blind Boxes – These tiny Minecraft toys are fun to collect.
18. Dig & Discover Dinosaur Excavation Kit – Little ones become an archaeologist as they unearth Dinosaur fossils.
19. Reusable Sticker Pad – Create fun scenes over and over.
20. Grow a crystal tree – Grow a magical tree in under 24 hours!
21. Books! Fill their baskets with some new Easter themed books.
22. A Toothbrush! That may sound strange for an Easter basket, but we already know they are going to receive candy and jelly beans from friends and family, so the Easter Bunny takes the opportunity to remind them to take care of their teeth!
I love the challenge of finding small and inexpensive surprises to fill up the baskets, although my 4 year old gave me a run for my money this year as his current interests are basically Minecraft and candy! What fun surprises will the Easter Bunny be leaving for your little ones?