Tuesday, March 17, 2015

10 Easter Basket Filler Ideas for Toddlers (And PreSchoolers)

Growing up, I always looked forward to Easter. Not only was it one of the very few holidays of the year that I was allowed to wear my beloved shiny patent leather shoes with the heel (oh, that glorious "tap tap tap" sound!) but it was also always marked by three of my favorite things: a ridiculously large and delicious family brunch, powder bunny footprints and an Easter basket full of treats and toys galore. 

As a self-proclaimed chocolate addict from an early age, Easter was the second cousin of Halloween- that's how much candy filled my basket. I'm sure someone out there will surely chime in, "treats and toys? Obviously not the point of Easter!" And yes, they would be correct, not the point at all. But despite the spoils my parents so graciously and lovingly bestowed upon me during the Easter holiday, I still managed to grow up a devout Catholic with a strong sense of faith.

Go figure. And thus the tradition continues with my children. 

Powder bunny prints and Easter baskets full of love quickly found their way into our home once we started having children. As the boys grow older, they'll note that the ratio of toys to candy will grow significantly smaller, but while they're still young, I love filling their baskets with small handfuls of things that I know they will love and appreciate. 

Always looking for new ideas, here's what you'll find stuffed inside the boys' baskets this year. Consider this an official (candy-free) "Easter basket fillers for ages 1-5" list. 

1. Books, specifically of the Pete the Cat and Llama Llama variety. I'll find any excuse to buy the boys new books and both the Pete the Cat and Llama Llama series's are major favorites in our house.  If Pete the Cat and Llama Llama aren't your bag, you can find a whole huge list of other fun Easter books for Toddlers on Amazon. 

2. Swimsuits (SwimZip): With summer right around the corner and the beach house calling our name, I thought it would be fun to add a swimsuit to each of the boys' baskets this year and these matching Crabby suits from SwimZip are the perfect choice for my fair-skinned beach bums. Tagless and long sleeved with no pinch zippers and full UPF 50% coverage, these suits allow me to worry just a little bit less about their precious skin getting too much sun.

3. Hide N Squeak Eggs
4. Finger Puppet Tattoos: It's crazy just how much fun we have with these finger puppet tattoos! What began as a stocking stuffer has quickly morphed into an Easter basket stuffer as well as a fun add-on to many a classmate's birthday gift. You can never go wrong with fostering creative and imaginative play!

5. Bubble Machine: Bubbles are always a huge hit with my boys and we've had one of these machines since my oldest was a toddler. I think it's about time to replace it with a new one- and extra points for not having to blow hundreds and hundreds of bubbles myself! 

6. Toy Gliders (Jets): At nearly 3 and 5 years old, my older boys have taken sudden interest in all things paper airplane. Now that the weather is nicer, I know they'll go absolutely crazy for these toy gliders.    

7. ezpz Happy Mat:  A must-have at meal time in our house, we love the ezpz Happy Mat. Made from a single piece of durable, BPA, PVC and phlalate-free silicone, this mat suctions to the table and doesn't allow for the plate-flinging that has become synonymous with meal time in our house. It's even deep enough for cereal with milk or yogurt! 

8. Green Toys Jump Rope: After the winter that nearly crushed my sanity, I think it's evident that this year's Easter basket theme is "GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY!" Especially with this jump rope and the following garden set and bug catcher!   

9. Melissa & Doug Garden Tool Set: This will be the third (fourth?) year that we grow our own backyard garden and the boys love getting their hands dirty and helping to plant the fruits and veggies we'll enjoy all summer long.    

10. Bugnoculars Bug Catcher: Because, bugs! Growing up, I had a very similar catcher with attached magnifying glasses and it was the bomb. I carried that case all over my neighborhood and I can't wait to equip the boys to do the same! 

I would love to hear your ideas also! Tell me, what's filling your Easter baskets this year?   
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  1. Great ideas! I finally ordered an ezpz mat for Liam. I really do hope it helps with the plate and bowl throwing!!!

  2. Thanks AP!!!! I needed these ideas!


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