Photograph-Ilustration: The Strategist. Photo by Retailers
Easter baskets are the Christmas stockings of spring — and there’s an art to filling them with a mix of delightful surprises and practical goodies without overspending. As both a parent of two kids and a Strategist editor whose job involves thinking about gift-giving all day long, I deeply understand this challenge — so I’ve compiled a list of excellent Easter basket fillers (many of which we’ve written about before, and all of which are available on Amazon) for every type of kid whether you’re shopping for a toddler, an 8-year-old, a full-fledged teen, or all three. I’ve even included a few actual baskets to hold it all, from the traditional to the extremely less-so. Read on for the ultimate Easter Bunny guide. Grab your jelly beans.
These eggs were purchased for my daughter when she was six months old. They became an instant favorite toy — and 6 years later, they’re still in rotation as an ingredient in our play kitchen.
This self-sealable water balloon is a great outdoor toy. In less than a minute, you can have enough water to start a whole-on water war.
Use this bike basket to present their Easter gifts, then buckle it to their handlebars so they can haul a water bottle, a snack, and the ever-growing collection of rocks and sticks they’ve picked up around the neighborhood. The basket is also available in blue or purple.
The simple Green Toys toy wagon is constructed from milk jugs, and offers plenty of room to store Easter goodies. The postholiday fun possibilities are endless: Both my daughters and I have ours for many years. My 4-year old loves to use it for toting around toys, despite being a little taller than the pullstring.
No matter what age group you’re shopping for, Lego has something for everyone. For Easter, I’m partial to smaller sets that tuck nicely into a basket and don’t take long to build. This bunny with eggs earns extra points for being on theme …
… this versatile three-in-one set can make two different cars or a plane …
… and this open-ended set will appeal to kids who prefer to go more off book.
It is possible to suggest them that you fly a kite in the windy spring.
Plastic buckets are sturdy enough to double as Easter baskets. They can also be used for backyard mud making and summer sand-schlepping. This heavy-duty, German-made option won’t crack even if it’s filled with heavy seashells.
Ward off candy overload with these Swedish Fish doppelgängers from SmartSweets, which contain just three grams of sugar per serving. Many of the brand’s dupes also come recommended by former Strategist writer Steven John, who is partial to the Cola Gummies but says all of SmartSweets’ offerings are “pretty damn good.”
Tony’s Chocolonely is a Strategist-favorite chocolate brand with good reason — as food writer Danyelle FreemanOnce explained, “It’s not only legitimately delicious, but the company is on a mission to end slavery and child labor on cocoa farms.”This colorful sampler, which is rainbow-hued, has something for everybody and would look great in an Easter basket.
If you’ve got a kid in high school or college, make a “basket” out of a Baggu with a quirky print — simply fill it with their favorite snacks and send them back to campus with a new bag that is as good-looking as it is functional.
Yes, this classic and heartwarmingly competitive tale of a parent and kid who love each other to the moon — and back — is a board book meant for babies, but the message gets even more poignant as those babies grow up.
My older daughter was 1 when this truck became her favorite birthday gift. There are three color options available:Pink and purple, Red and yellowPlease see the following: Blue and orange), and it won’t hold a ton, making it a perfect “basket”For younger children who are more than content with candy and trinkets.
This is our favorite instant camera and comes in 5 colors. Fill out the rest of their basket with a couple packs of film and some photogenic candy, and you’re set.
One of the best gifts for 2-year-olds, the Moluk Bilibo comes highly recommended by Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, a professor of child psychology at the University of Delaware and co-author of How Science Can Help You Be Brilliant: The Secrets to Raising Happy Children, who likes its open-endedness — it can be used for whatever comes to the imagination. I’m imagining it as an atypical Easter basket, and if your kids are anything like Strategist contributor Lauren Crosby’s, it just might become They have a new favorite toy.
It is basically a scientific fact that kids love temporary tattoos — and these ones even glow in the dark.
My kids like Piggy Paint’s bright colors, and I like the brand’s nontoxic ingredients — just the right combo for a perfect mini-manicure.
These colorful blocks from Tegu have small magnets embedded inside, so they’re easy for even the youngest builders to use.
Leigh Plessner (co-creative director at jewelry brand Catbird) told us about her experience buying Calico Critters to play pretend with her three-year-old. If you decide to do so, your child will be introduced to many classic toys. There’s a vast array of species from cats to hedgehogs to skunks — all of them clad in impeccable ’fits — as well as houses and Accessory.)
These pleasingly egg-shaped crayons are one of our bestselling gifts for 1-year-olds with a shape that helps develop fine-motor skills — but they’re also a nice option for an older kid who tends to be a little roughYou can also use traditional crayons for Easter.
Like so many parents whose kids are loved by lots of wonderful, generous friends and family members — and whose homes are frequently overcome with gifts from said wonderful, generous friends and family members — I tend to gift consumable items whenever possible. That includes a fresh box of brightly colored sidewalk chalk that’ll make for a great way to spend some time outside. My family especially loves Crayola’s vibrant shades.
This is the top-rated! “hair chalk,”We learned this information from Zibby Owens (author and mother of four), who hosts the podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books. She was shocked that her six-year old and twelve-year-old used the product to make their hair turn purple. “it packs quite a punch but quickly and effortlessly comes out in the next shower.”You can use the ten shades in this package as face-paint.
This Melissa & Doug set — from our list of the best wooden toys for kids — is just the ticket for kids who love things that go.
This one is for the whole family ScrabbleThis word game, which is a re-creation of the old-fashioned style word game, is great for kids older than 10 and can be used to transport if you are planning a vacation. These are the WildTilesEdition comes with six “WildTiles”That can be used as any other letter.
The wooden form “puzzle”The quality is excellent for the money. Children can alternate between using the photos on the cards to create their own images and following them. It’s also great for travel and keeping kids busy at restaurants thanks to the way its pieces are packed in two compact metal tins.
One of our favorite gifts for bookworms (that isn’t a book), this clip-on reading light is useful for readers of any age. It attaches just as well to slim headboards as it does to individual books — I gifted one to each of my girls, and they used the lights to give their bunkbed an instant upgrade.
Despite the brand name, these Babiators come in multiple sizes that will fit babies, toddlers, and even older kids — and they’re nearly indestructible, so they’re perfect for playtime.
Even if they are too old for the Easter Bunny, even those who have reached adulthood will appreciate receiving a drink or snack free of charge.
If you’re looking for a basket to reuse year after year, this classic style is available in five colors and is personalizable with names up to 18 characters long.
Cute storage bins make great Easter baskets that double as organizational decor once the Easter Bunny heads home (and, really, that’s a win for the parents in room). You can choose from two sizes and three colors.
This nostalgic jelly bag is another great option for post-Easter. It comes in more than 12 colors, and makes a cute beach purse.
These mini Bolga baskets are handmade from elephant grass by artisans in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana (and ideal for trips to the farmers’ market).
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