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Simple Alternatives for More Socially Conscious Easter Baskets

Thinking about what to put in the Easter Baskets this year, especially if you’re looking to avoid traditional buckets of candy and disposable products? Here are four simple ideas to consider for your family. 

For those who celebrate Easter, what do you put in your children’s Easter baskets? Candy, toys, clothes, other items? While I love baking and we have plenty of sweets in the house, I’ve made a concerted effort in years past to limit the amount of candy we acquire around candy-centric holidays like Easter and Halloween.

In years past, for Halloween, I brought our boys to my office to trick-or-treat. Everyone offers candy as a parade of employees’ children stroll from cube to cube. It’s a pretty neat event because we all get to put real-life faces with the little kiddos we hear about so often. But everyone also loves giving the kids handfuls of candy.

With much intention, I brought two tiny buckets for my boys (the ones you find each season in the Target dollar section). They measure about five inches tall and four or five inches in diameter. In my opinion, this holds PLENTY of candy for preschool boys.

Half way through the “parade” around my office, their buckets overflow with candy. They think it’s great to have an overflowing bucket, while I think it’s fantastic I’m not taking home pounds of candy. Several co-workers offered the boys extra bags or buckets, and I slyly whispered that the small buckets were by design. (What a mean mom I can be!!)

For Easter this year, I’ve been contemplating what to include in their baskets. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, and I definitely didn’t want to stock up on a bunch of candy, the majority of which will likely end up in my mouth. I anticipate others might face a similar conundrum, so here’s how we are actually filling our boys’ Easter baskets this year.

The Baskets

I try my best to be “green” and upcycle certain things that make their way into our house. Both of the boys’ Easter baskets originally came to us via Edible Arrangement gifts. Lucky for me, they’re both very springy shades of blue. Like my Halloween bucket trick, these baskets are a bit smaller than many traditional baskets. (Evil party pooper mom returns!)

Because we use the same baskets each year, and my kids are definitely smart enough to recognize that now, we leave our baskets out for the Easter bunny to fill. Thus, they haven’t started to ask questions about why the Easter bunny leaves the same baskets every year.

A Letter to the Easter Bunny

I wanted to include one or two small things they’ve been asking for in their baskets instead of candy. We had the boys write a letter to the Easter Bunny to let him know what they wanted (similar to what lots of kids do for Christmas when they write letters to Santa). J’s still a bit young, but T loved writing the letter to the Easter Bunny. He got so excited about spelling and writing it out himself, adding an address and a stamp, and putting it in the blue box at our local post office.

What’s in The Baskets

Something They Want

Hockey Socks ~ Both boys asked for hockey socks (special tall socks that hockey players wear) in their Easter Bunny letters. We added a pair of these to the basket, which I know they’ll use all summer long when they put on their gear to play hockey in our driveway. Your kids probably don’t have hockey socks on their list of desires, but they may have something similarly small that they’ve been pining for and would be stoked to receive.

Something Educational

Bob Books ~ Both boys are dying to learn how to read. J is far from reading, yet he asks every night to read to me before we go to bed. I’m definitely not going to discourage it, so he memorizes certain pages of his favorite books or re-reads pages after I’ve read them once.

He really wants to keep us with T, who’s been doing a great job reading the first Bob Books series. We have two Bob Books series so far, this Pre-Reading Skills series for J and the Kindergarten Sight Words for T. I ordered the second Pre-Reading series, My First Bob Books Alphabet, for J and the next Stage 1 set, Beginning Readers, for T.

If your kids aren’t yet reading or are past the Bob Books, this cute book, Carrot Saves Easter, shares a nice story about Easter that encourages children to perform good deeds. Additionally, the author gives all proceeds from sales of the book to charity.

Something Practical

Boxers ~ As a kid (and still today), my parents always put socks in our Christmas stockings. Oddly enough, I really like receiving them, because socks aren’t something I often think to buy for myself. For the boys, I bought each of them a set of boxers from Primary, a brand of kids’ clothing that keeps things really soft and simple.

Primary has a full line of basics for boys and girls in all colors without slogans, sequins or characters. I love how simple the clothes are and that everything can be worn together. In our experience, everything has been of great quality and withstood the wear and tear of my boys, who often make their clothes work very hard. Through many washes and wears, the boxers in particular have maintained their bright colors, not pilled or worn out, and lasted well.

Something Sweet

Chocolate covered raisins ~ I contemplated traditional Easter candy, but T has a serious sweet tooth and is pretty sensitive to sugar rushes and crashes. The boys love chocolate covered raisins as much as any candy, and it doesn’t have quite the same effect on T as regular chocolate and sugar. I bought a bag of chocolate covered raisins from the bulk section at the grocery store, so it’s slightly healthier than traditional candy and it also produces less plastic waste (small wins, but better than nothing).

We put the chocolate covered raisins in plastic eggs (that we’ve had for years). We have about two dozen, and I don’t plan to buy any more. If you don’t already have eggs for the basket, check out these Eco Eggs. They’re made in the USA from 100% plant-based products. While they are reusable, they’re also compostable if needed.

As for Easter grass, I hate it. It creates such a mess. I don’t anticipate having anything in the baskets other than their gifts and snacks. But if I wanted something, I’d probably use tissue paper or shredded, crinkle-cut paper so I can reuse or recycle it when I’m done.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What’s in your little one’s Easter basket this year? Please share more ideas aside from traditional candy in the comments or over on Instagram.

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  1. Gosh! My kids’ Easter baskets are taken to church, empty, for the egg hunt after the service. That gives them plenty of sweets, and my mom also sends us each a chocolate bunny. It typically takes us 2-3 weeks to finish our bunnies, one bite at a time. I bought jelly beans last year at my older child’s request, and once the novelty had worn off, they became an infrequent snack, so we still have about 40% of them now! When we eat jelly beans, we have a policy that we each choose 4 and then we put away the jar–4 different colors feels like a special treat, but that’s not a ridiculous amount of sugar like we might eat if we left the jelly beans out in an open bowl.

    Anyway, I never got gifts for Easter, and I generally have not given my kids Easter gifts other than candy. This year, they got a stuffed bunny for sharing, just because I saw such a nice bunny at such a great price, but that’s unusual. I like your idea of giving practical gifts that the kids really want, though, if you’re going to give gifts.

    1. Ha. We don’t buy many gifts for our kids, but I used this as an opportunity to buy things I was probably going to buy my kids anyway (shh – don’t tell them – ha). They needed new socks and boxers anyway, and they’ve been learning to read with the Bob books. Maybe next year I should take credit for them instead of lending credit to the Easter bunny though – haha. Thanks for stopping by!

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