It’s that time of year again, when dreams of jelly beans and giant chocolate bunnies fill my kids heads. I have a pretty big sweet tooth as well, so I won’t pretend that the idea of baskets overflowing with candy doesn’t make my heart hop faster than Easter Bunny behind schedule. But we’re trying to be good examples here! And good examples can’t be caught halfway through a five pound bag of swedish fish in the middle of watching Peter Cottontail. So each year I do my own little Easter hunt, to find an amazing selection of Candy Free Easter basket ideas that are even more exciting than fluorescent sugar covered bunnies! Last year I published 22 Candy Free Easter Basket Ideas, and this year I’m facing the holiday armed with a new selection of basket stuffers!
1 . Safari Ltd. Toob Animals – Every year we fill plastic eggs with Safari Ltd. toob animals instead of candy. This year we are using two of the newest toobs: Endangered Animals and Endangered Marine Animals. This is a great tradition because the kids still get the joy of finding and opening eggs without the sugar rush – plus it’s easy to find new animals to add to their collection each year. You can see the entire TOOB collection at SafariLtd.com!
2. Dino Eggs – These eggs are pre-filled with baby dinosaurs!
4. Flower or Vegetable seeds – Since it’s the perfect time of year to start many flower, herb or veggie seeds, take the opportunity to create a family activity. Stash some seed packets, and a few cute garden markers in your baskets and pick an afternoon to spend outside planting seeds, then watch them grow together! This year I’m sticking one of these Seeds of Adventure Garden in a Box in each of the boys baskets, because they look so cute and have a nice variety of seeds.
5. Board Games! This year we are making sure Bunny Bedtime is in my toddler’s basket because we are a huge game night family. Bunny Bedtime introduces children as young as two to turn taking and other board game staples like rolling a die and moving a mover while also teaching color and shape matching and puzzle problem solving. With beautiful, childlike illustrations, wooden pieces and game play designed for young minds it’s a great way to introduce toddlers to board games and the bunny theme is perfect for Easter baskets!
6. On-The-Go Activity Books – These color with water books are mess free, making them perfect for grandma’s house or the car.
7. Wild & Wonky Plush Characters from Wild Republic – The bright colors and funny expressions on these adorable plush toys make them perfect for brightening up an Easter Basket. This year we are including the colorful Breezy Bunny and silly Saskatoon The Canadian Wild Dog. Each Wild & Wonky plush has it’s own name and profile, introducing kids to different species and a fun way!
8. Chalk – We always include chalk in our baskets, since the kids need to replenish their stash for the warmer months anyway. Bonus if it’s egg shaped chalk (which also happens to be great for little hands!).
9. Wild Republic Huggers – These adorable little critters have arms that wrap you up in an adorable hug! Perfect for wearing on a backpack or even on your wrist – or even better, wrapping around the handle of an Easter basket!
10. Playing Cards – Another great way to incorporate family fun, include a pack of playing cards and challenge your kids to a game of war when the Easter egg hunt is done! I love the selection of playing cards from Peaceable Kingdom. With fun and whimsical designs you can find the perfect set.
11. Peaceable Kingdom Matching Games and Puzzles – These mini games are the perfect size for basket stuffing! Two activities in one – first play a color match game, then flip the cards over to build a fun puzzle!
12. Guided Journals – I love this new trend of guided journals. More than just a diary, guided journals prompt kids to write about their lives, record meaningful events and stretch their imagination. My Meaningful Life Journal from Peaceable Kingdom has over 100 pages of prompts and activities – everything from recording worries and fears to making a laughter time capsule and finding ways to do good deeds.
13. Bubbles – Like these Peeps Giant Bubble Wands my kids adore so much.
14. Mad Mattr – This new modeling dough is the perfect mix between sand and play dough. If you press it into a mold it becomes very firm and holds it’s shape, but stretch it out and it flows like water between your hands! It’s really addicting to play with and a great sensory tool – plus, it’s non toxic and won’t stick to furniture, clothes or people. You can also but a brick mold that will allow you to shape your Mad Mattr into Lego like bricks that can be fit together to build!
15. Wild Republic Light Blazers – These customizable, light-up swords feature everything from dinosaurs to pirates. Your child can build their own with available kits, and add on accessories for a truly customized toy.
16. Put Me In The Story Personalized Books – These adorable books put your child into the story. We ordered one for my son’s first Easter, and look forward to reading it with him every year! It’s a great way to turn a gift into a special keepsake.
17. CuddleBright Experience – Perfect for a first Easter basket, the CuddleBright Experience is a special kit designed for baby and mom or dad that helps them deal with separation anxiety. It includes a storybook, guide for parents, an elephant lovie and a special caregiver token as well. This special system is designed to help connect, comfort and calm baby and parents when they are apart.
19. Prime Toys Hurricane Water Balls – Get ready for outdoor fun with reusable water balloons! Easy enough to fill for even the youngest kids, plus no more balloon pieces all over your yard!
20. Sand Tools – It will be beach weather before we know it, so I like to toss some new sand tools from American Plastic Toys into the kids baskets so we’re ready for the beach.
21. Paint Your Own Bird Feeder – Another great spring activity, bring local birds to your yard with a painted bird feeder!
22. Pajamas – We give our kids pajamas on Christmas Eve, so why not Easter as well? Pick some fun, warm weather pajamas for the coming months!
23. Green Toys Outdoor Wagon – Skip the basket and fill this adorable wagon with goodies! We like to make our Easter baskets something the kids will be able to use every day, and this wagon is perfect for hauling around toys in the backyard!
24. Marcus & Marcus Insulated Thermos – Available in pink and blue, these thermoses are a staple in our house. They keep food warm, or cool, are dishwasher safe and easy to open for little hands – pretty much a win-win! I like to fill them with special Easter treats before adding them to our baskets.
25. Stamp Sets – My kids love using stamps, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Some sets include pencils for coloring in the stamps as well and those are always a huge hit in our house!
27. Legos – Classic Lego boxes are perfect for avid builders.
28. Sunglasses – Another perfect spring accessory. My kids lose their sunglasses by the end of every summer, so Easter is a great time to make sure there’s a new pair on hand!
29. Memberships to local attractions – every year we put vouchers for local family attractions inside our Easter eggs – the zoo, aquarium children’s museum are always favorites that the whole family benefits from.
30. Activity Coupons – print out these coupons for family fun and special treats, then stuff them inside your eggs!
31. Experience Tickets – A night at the paint bar, a pottery or cooking class or a water park escape, this is a great way to turn gifts into memories as well! I scour Groupon for great deals in the weeks before Easter.
32. Water Bottles – We spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer, so a good water bottle is always hiding somewhere in our Easter baskets. I love these Camelbak Eddy kids bottles, they hold up so well to my kids adventures and our dishwasher!
33. Green Toys Baby Gift Set – Perfect for the littlest Easter basket, this set has baby’s first keys, stacking cups and a rolling elephant toy. I love them because they are durable and dishwasher safe – perfect for keeping clean.
Need more inspiration? Check out these 22 candy free basket stuffers!