Monday, April 18, 2011

Alternatives to candy for Easter baskets

For most kids, one of the highlights of Easter is unpacking an Easter basket full of treats -- mostly, candy like jelly beans and chocolate rabbits. Because my preschooler has several food allergies and intolerances, though, he can't eat most candy. And my one-year-old definitely doesn't need a lot of junk food, anyway.

For my sons' Easter baskets this year, I shopped mainly for cute toys I know they'll love. Toys and books are good basket fillers -- they take up more room than most candy so you don't have to buy as much -- and they last longer!

I found these Easter basket goodies at Target: Hot Wheels cars inside plastic eggs, bug catchers, Thomas train Easter sets, sunglasses and books. I plan to divide the Hot Wheels eggs between the boys.

I know some girls like these things, too -- but if not, then little plush animals, Zhu Zhu pets, hair clippies and dolls are nice.

At Toys R Us/Babies R Us, I found some magnetic letters that will replace some of the ones that have gotten lost under the refrigerator (and likely sticking to the metal under side of the fridge, which is why I can't find them, ugh!).

My little guy is crazy for stickers.

And my preschooler, who between the two boys is the most obsessed with trains, will be surprised with an engineer's cap (also from Target).

Other ideas: coloring books and crayons (or my favorite, the Crayola Color Wonder markers and coloring pads), small containers of Play-Doh, jewelry, fun socks, trading cards, DVDs or even a rolled-up T-shirt.

What other non-food things have you put into a kid's Easter basket?