Easter is just around the corner. The pastels have been unpacked, and the floral decorations are up. Now it’s time to fill your toddler’s Easter basket with goodies.
As you think about what your toddler needs, you keep coming up empty. You have no ideas, except for the obvious… candy.
Oh, the dreaded candy. It’s hard to avoid when Easter candy teases us from every single shelf in the store. But with the right alternatives, it’s possible.
So that just leaves the question…
What in the world do you put in your toddler’s Easter basket that isn’t candy but still gets them excited on Easter morning?
Here’s a handy list of ideas that will excite your kids without breaking the bank, while also crossing off a few seasonal necessities at the same time.
Let’s get down to it.
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We like to put a book or two in the girls’ Easter baskets. This is a great way to update their bookshelves with some new Spring content – and get them excited about reading.
Books with their favorite characters are also great options, too!
I recommend getting board books for toddlers to read on their own. This way, you aren’t worried about them ripping out any pages when you look away.
When Spring rolls around, we get excited to spend more days outside. My toddler loves blowing (or trying to blow) bubbles when we are outside playing. This is such an inexpensive and exciting thing to add to her Easter basket. Plus, they have so many cool bubble toys and dispensers these days, like these glove bubbles we love!
3. Small Toys
Toys like popular figurines or matchbox cars are great additions to any kiddo’s Easter basket. My Lily loves any Fisher Price Little People toy, and she loves characters from her favorite shows, too.
Small toys and toy figurines are also inexpensive, which allows you to afford throwing them into the mix with a bunch of other little goodies. It also gives them something to play with throughout the rest of the day!
Here are some small toys that my toddler loves right now!
Lily is really into puzzles lately. Toddlers are developmentally able to do so many more fine motor activities, so puzzles are a great idea to add into their Easter basket. You can try some more complex chunky puzzles or even puzzles that are less than 24 big pieces, like this cool Baby Shark one.
Melissa and Doug also make great chunky puzzles that you can purchase to match your kid’s interests. These are great options to allow both self-play and even play with mom or dad!
5. Craft and Coloring Supplies
This is such a simple gift that keeps on giving! Coloring supplies, like coloring books with their favorite characters, crayons, markers, paint, construction paper, and coloring pencils, are a great way to spark creativity!
We love these Mess Free Crayola coloring sets (and right now, they’re on sale for $3 off!). You can take them anywhere without worrying about the mess. They are also great activities for kids to do while you’re cooking dinner or folding laundry, which makes them great for parents too.
6. Bath Toys
My daughter LOVES her baths, so any type of toy that makes bath time even more exciting will make her happy. Most kids love the water, so it’s great to add a few bath toys to the mix. These come in so many different styles, like little floating boats, squirties, basketball hoops (we have this dog one!), foam shapes and letters, and much more. Just make sure you clean these toys so they don’t get moldy over time!
These can also double as water toys when you play outside, which makes them great gifts for this time of year.
For any kiddos that are all aboard the Baby Shark train, this Baby Shark singing water toy is sure to be a HUGE hit. We have it, and my daughter has loved playing with this in both the bath and the swimming pool. Rest assured parents, it’s water activated, so once it’s dry, it stops singing!
Here are some bath toy products we’ve loved that have lasted us a long time!
7. Food Pouches
Fruit and veggie pouches are a fantastic alternative to candy. These provide a nutritious snack on-the-go, making it easy to calm any screaming toddler who hates their car seat (please, tell me that it’s not just mine!).
These are great to pack for an outdoor playdate or even just a quick snack before you leave the house. I recommend these Go Go Squeezes, because they offer apple mixed with a variety of fruit or veggie flavors. These are a great way for me to squeeze a veggie serving into my stubborn toddler’s diet! They are also delicious AND affordable when you buy in bulk.
Fruit pouches are crowd-pleasers among the toddler population, which makes these a popular addition to any Easter basket!
8. Play Jewelry
My daughter is 2 and a half, which means she is right on the cusp of loving all girly things. She’s become interested in my lotions, makeup, and jewelry. It’s a real battle to get ready when she’s nearby!
Recently, I got her a cute little necklace from the store since it was on sale – and she loved it! I am planning to add a few pieces of play jewelry into her Easter basket this year since she is showing interest in this type of role-playing stuff now.
These Melissa and Doug Dress-up Necklaces are already in my cart! I love all their products for my girls – they offer such great quality.
I’ll just have to be careful that the jewelry doesn’t break, because we still have our little baby Jana to worry about.
9. Outdoor Play Toys
My daughter loves to play outside! Any toys that she can use outside are great options for Easter baskets, because spring brings the good weather here in the Northeast. We love to play with sidewalk chalk, sand toys, and anything with wheels.
Another great thing about these toys is that they come in a range of sizes to allow you to fit some inside baskets – or just sit some next to the basket to let your toddler know they are from the Easter bunny too.
If parents are looking for a larger gift option (that still fits in your budget), you can get your toddler this play slide! It is only about three steps to the top, and it is a great addition to any backyard. This simple little slide provides hours of backyard entertainment for my little girl!
10. Summer Essentials
I’m sure you’ve noticed that summer products have started to line the shelves of all the stores. This gets us all excited about everything pool, sun, and sand related, but it also means that you’ll have to spend on a whole new wardrobe for your growing kids. You can implement some summer essentials into your toddler’s Easter basket. Choose fun items, like sunglasses, wet-dry bags, wide-brimmed hats, and swimsuits. These are fun little items that can get your child excited about the summer activities ahead!
This wide-brimmed hat is one we’ve used for over two years now. We LOVE that it ties under the neck to keep from blowing away, dries quickly from accidentally letting it drop inside the water, and has SPF protection!
11. Socks and Underwear
Okay, so at first glance, socks and underwear may seem like the most boring Easter basket gifts ever. However, kids LOVE their characters. They are also likely new to underwear, or about to go through potty training (like my incredibly stubborn and resistant Lily). Some underwear with Paw Patrol or Trolls characters will sure get them excited. I even spotted a pack of Baby Shark underwear that Lily would absolutely love! I’m definitely throwing a pack of underwear in Lily’s Easter basket this year, and hopefully this will inspire her to move along with the potty training process.
The same goes for socks. Lily will only wear socks when they have her favorite characters on it. Say goodbye to those affordable multi-packs. Instead, we buy Paw Patrol and Frozen socks just to keep her feet warm. If your toddler is anything like mine, socks with their favorite characters will still get them smiling as they discover them in their Easter basket.
12. Sippy Cups, Plates, and Utensils
Another fun, yet practical Easter basket idea is to use sippy cups, plates, and utensils as gifts. This is easy, because you use these every single day anyways! Similar to the socks and underwear, you’ll want to choose cute items that have your child’s favorite color or characters on them. This transforms the gift from “oh, cool” to “Look, Mommy, it’s Poppy!!”
We’ve tried a lot of sippy cups, and these by Zak designs are, by far, my favorite. They are spill-proof but also have a straw, which is great for toddlers!
13. Hair Accessories or Hats
Bows are a great Easter basket stuffer that is both inexpensive and necessary (well, as necessary as being super cute is!). Another great thing about bows is that they are so affordable and easy additions to any outfit.
We love ordering our bows on Amazon, as they come in bags with TONS of colors, and they never seem to run out, no matter how many times I misplace them.
For example, this bag of 30 bows is only $8 right now AND they are good quality. We’ve been using ours for over a year and a half!
Hats are a great option too, as they are a summer essential, but they can also be so much fun as well. Lily actually loves all things hats! She has a Pitt hat (thanks to my Mutti!) that she talks about constantly. She’s always saying “football hat” when she wants to wear it. She also has a cute girly hat with a rainbow on it from Carter’s.
What can I say, the girl knows a good hat when she sees one. For this reason, I HAD to add hair accessories and hats to the list.
14. Playdoh Kits
Play-doh is such a great Easter basket addition, because it is extremely affordable AND it pleases almost every single toddler I’ve ever met! It’s an instant hit. Just be ready to open them as soon as they find them hidden in their basket.
There are countless Play-doh kits out there to match every interest and personality. They have character Play-doh kits, ice cream shop kits, Disney kits, and much more. Take a look for yourself!
15. “Pretend Play” Outdoor Toys
Toys that activate your kid’s imagination while they are playing outside are great options for Easter basket gifts. Encourage your child to learn about real-life applications to give them an opportunity to learn. Toys like play gardening sets that allow them to water flowers, rake dirt, and tend to their “plants” are fun for kids. We also love the pretend lawnmower or grill. They love to act like mommy and daddy!
16. Stuffed Animals
Stuffed animals are wildly popular ideas for toddler Easter baskets. They love to snuggle and cuddle these furry (and fake!) friends. Bunnies and ducks are popular options, but be sure to keep your kid’s interests in mind. Lily loves Paw Patrol and anything Disney, so I would likely get her something that matches her interests.
She loves to fill her bed with various stuffed animals, especially these Paw Patrol stuffed animals. She’ll often cling to a particular one, or more, for a certain period of time.
This gives me the satisfaction that I chose the right gift for her.
Stuffing your toddler’s Easter basket doesn’t have to drain your bank account or clutter all your toy shelves! Keep these suggestions in mind to make practical and exciting selections to make your child’s Easter special, while still making sure they have some updated necessities they can enjoy.
All of these ideas will surely put a smile on your toddler’s face, which will give you a happy, hoppy Easter morning celebrating with them.
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