Great Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers and Little Kids

These alternatives to candy still make for a sweet treat

Great Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers and Little Kids
Wondering what to put in your preschoolers' Easter Basket? Check out these great Easter basket ideas for toddlers and little kids. kali9/E+/Getty Images

One of my favorite "jobs" to do as a parent is to fill my kids Easter baskets. Each year, a few weeks before the big day the Easter Bunny is slated to come, I come up with a different theme to follow -- for example, Arts and Crafts, Little Library, Beach Fun, Race Cars, Beauty Basket, and Movie Night -- and then fill their baskets, or a similar-sized container of my choosing, with all sorts of cute items and games related to my central idea.

And while I do include some of my children's favorite candies, my focus is more on little toys and treats rather than Peeps (although they sure are good)! Take a look at these Easter basket ideas and then share your own. 

Step One: Choose a Basket (or a Not-A-Basket)

When filling an Easter basket for a toddler or a preschooler, first, think about what kind of container you'd like to use. Certainly a traditional basket is a great choice (they are popular for a reason after all!), but there are lots of other different types of treat holders you can use that also will work well long after you've put away all the Easter decorations and eaten all the candies. Plus, if you choose something untraditional, it can also help with your theme (e.g., a bicycle helmet would be great filled up with bike-riding themed goodies, such as reflective stickers for a bicycle or a small toy bicycle). Consider filling up something that your little one can play with or put to use later such as:

  • beach pail (get ready for the beach this summer!)
  • big pocketbook
  • play grocery cart
  • toy wagon sized for dolls (or, if you like, go large!)
  • a large hat or baseball cap
  • jewelry box
  • any size or shape storage container
  • toy dump truck with a large bed
  • suitcase or travel bag (especially if you have a vacation in your future)
  • bicycle helmet or bicycle basket
  • backpack or canvas tote bag
  • lunchbox 
  • a new pair of shoes (rain boots are very cute for this!)
  • upside-down umbrella (makes for a cute spring theme)
  • kid-sized garbage pail
  • large plastic bowl (you can find these at a dollar-type store!)
  • small laundry basket
  • sturdy cardboard box, decorated with stickers or drawings

They key is to "think out of the basket" and choose something that is both useful and fun!

Step Two: Fill It Up!

Now that you have your basket ready, it's time to fill it. And while an Easter basket wouldn't be an Easter basket without a chocolate bunny or jelly beans, you may want to try some of these alternatives. Definitely consider your Easter container when choosing what to fill it with -- themes work really well in this circumstance, and they make it easier to choose appropriate fillers too!

  • bubbles
  • chalk
  • Play-Doh and molds
  • small toy cars and tracks
  • books
  • DVDs
  • beach or sand toys
  • bathing suit, towel, goggles, flip flops, and sun hat
  • stickers and sticker album
  • all different types of balls (baseball, tennis ball, golf ball, football, etc)
  • water gun
  • ball
  • stuffed animal
  • pajamas, slippers, stuffed animal
  • flying disc
  • toy flashlight
  • lip balm
  • nail polish
  • coloring book and crayons or other art supplies
  • brush, hair ties, headbands
  • cute key rings (great for putting on school backpacks)
  • craft supplies
  • stickers
  • action figures
  • deck of cards or another type of card game
  • gift card to a favorite restaurant, store, or play place

If your preschooler is into a particular character, that's something you may want to consider as well. Many stores sell character baskets or containers, as well as lots of accessories to go with them.

However you fill your little one's Easter basket, make sure you don't stop with what's inside! Include Easter grass or some other filler, and then wrap the whole thing up in clear or colored cellophane. Top with ribbons and bows and your basket is ready to go!

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