37 fun, useful, and generally worthwhile gifts for your kids’ Easter baskets

37 fun, useful, and generally worthwhile Easter basket gift ideasJust like with the Christmas stockings, I love filling my kids Easter baskets–but not when I feel like I’m throwing my money away on cheap, disposable crap they’ll forget about by Easter Monday.

I try to get my kids a good mix of essentials (spring/summer shoes, books, socks), seasonal items (garden gear, seeds, sidewalk chalk), and impractical fun (glow sticks).

I’ve learned through experience that I need to plan ahead, or we end up with nothing by Easter weekend, when Mama is too exhausted to put together four Easter baskets. I’m keeping my eyes out now for Target and dollar store specials, planning ahead and ordering shoes from Amazon and Zappos, and stealthily stockpiling the goods on a hidden basement shelf.

37 fun and useful Easter gift basket ideas that your kids will use after Easter Monday

To read:

1. The Jesus Storybook Bible. (Our favorite.)
2. Tomie de Paola books. (He has a series of great religious titles, and a few Easter books such as My First Easter board book (it’s a bargain book for $2.40 while supplies last) and Petook: An Easter Story.
3. Books about spring, love, and bunnies, such as The Easter Egg (Jan Brett), Guess How Much I Love You, The Parable of the Lily, and A Beatrix Potter Treasury
4. Field guide
to birds, trees, insects, mammals, or your state or region. 

To play:

5. Play silks. (We made our own.)
6. Puzzle books. (This is our favorite.)
7. Glow sticks.

8. Silly putty or thinking putty.
9. Play doh.

Outdoorsy

10. Gardening tools (pruners, trowels, shovels).
11. Garden gloves.
12. Garden clogs.
13. Seed packets.
14. Sidewalk chalk.
15. Jump rope.
16. Bubbles.
17. Frisbee (our fave).

Sweet stuff:

18. Chocolate bunny.
19. Bunny food.
20. Fair trade chocolate.
21. Altoids
.

To wear: 

22. New shoes or sandals. This is a great time of year for new flip flops or Salt Water sandals. (Am I the only one who always got shoes for Easter growing up?)
23. Hairbows and headbands.
 (Try Gymboree’s sale section before you try to make them. They’re so cute and you can’t make them for the sale prices.)
24. Cute panties or boxers.
25. Cute socks.

To write:

26. Blank journals.
27. Notecards. 
28. Pens. (Like individual Le Pens or Sharpies in pretty spring colors.)

Personal care:

29. Rosebud salve.
30. Chapstick or lip balm.

31. Hand lotion.
32. Nail polish

Crafty:

33. Markers/crayons/colored pencils.
34. Washi tape. (I was shocked to spot this at my last visit to the dollar store.)
35. Stickers.
36. Post-it notes (especially the shapes).
37. Small craft kits from Kiwi Crate (or Kiwi Crate for Target).

Tell us your favorite Easter basket gift ideas in comments. 

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Comments

  1. Shannon says

    What a fun list. My favorite (besides chocolate!) was the year my mom/the Easter Bunny gave me colored mascara (I’ll let you guess the year!)

    This year our family is heading to Hawaii not long after Easter so the girls will be getting stuff for the trip – either things for the plane ride or little things for a tropical vacation (lip balms with sunscreen, new sunglasses, etc.) I’m super excited about it.

  2. D says

    We will do our traditional foil-egg hunt. We live where there is still snow at Easter and foil eggs hide beautifully indoors.They get hidden the night before so the kids wake up and start hunting before church.

    My husband suggested having the baskets contain a lone chocolate bunny, and some items that are more like an object lesson (a bottle of water labelled with john 4:13-14, for example). Maybe we can strike a good compromise.

    I really like a lot of your suggestions, especially the shoes. I never got Easter shoes.

  3. says

    My kids are mostly teens now, but one year I spent the money and got the kids each a beach towel with their favorite character on it. Then I just did some candy in a family basket. It seemed like a lot of money at the time because I bought 6 $10 towels in one trip to the store but I probably saved a lot because I didn’t have to fill 6 baskets with lots of 1-3 dollar items. They loved the towels!
    I’ve continued the family basket with some of everyone’s favorite candy in it (enough for everyone to enjoy). I hate all the little kitchsy stuff that just ends up in the garbage when I haul it out of their rooms later in the year and the candy is all they really want. However, last year my then 10 yo informed me that she’s getting too old for her Dora towel and maybe it’s time to update the beach towels…

  4. says

    I always had an issue with how Easter had ramped up into Christmas as far baskets go. I like the suggestions you offer because it allows for simple, fun, and frugal giving.

    Tomie de Paola books? Swoon! Our girls each have a collection from Christmas’ past that are signed, because Tomie lived just a few towns over in NH, and did local signings every year. His books are so terrific, and he was very sweet.

    Are you familiar with Marianna May and Nursey? I think it’s out of print, but it’s an adorable story of a little girl who was unhappy because she wasn’t allowed to do anything that might dirty up her white dresses.

      • says

        Heh. Yes, we were, especially at the last place I lived and worked. When I walked at lunchtime, I passed his house was my regular route.
        He held a yard sale every year, too. Needless to say, it was a HUGE event. :-)

  5. Jen says

    Great list! A few I might add, deck of cards, especially something like Uno or Skip-Bo, cd’s or audiobooks. I keep it pretty simple: 1 book, 1 sweet treat, 1 practical thing like gel pens or socks, an egg with their name on it and that’s it. This year I have an idea to decorate one plastic egg for each, and slip a note inside telling them something I love about them, etc.

  6. Amoret says

    For a variety of reasons, we won’t have much candy in the baskets this year, but the kids (ages 4 & 6) are getting swimming goggles and some fun percussion instruments (sticks, a triangle, a woodblock, and castanets)

  7. says

    I didn’t grow up with Easter baskets and its not a tradition I’ve started with my girls but I love your list! We’re planning a big road trip in May/June and I’ll be using some of these ideas for our travel bags. Thanks!

    • says

      That’s such a good idea to fill up the travel bag. We always got spring-break themed things (for our road trips) growing up, but Easter’s so late this year that doesn’t really work. But looking ahead to summer is a great idea!

  8. says

    I just love your gift lists. It would never occur to me to get some of this stuff. I especially love the personal care and book ideas. :)

  9. Crystle Monahan says

    A fun idea for those who want to combine this list and an egg hunt would be to put tokens or pennies in the eggs, then have the kids pool together their rewards after the hunt and divide it by child so they each wind up with the same amount. Then, with their newly acquired tokens, trade them in to the parents for a prize of their choosing.

    The downside is that puts the focus on money, which is not the point of the holiday. So maybe that would be good for another occasion? Or maybe someone can take this idea and make something better from it?

  10. says

    I’m a pretty practical person, so growing up when we would get random what-am-I-going-to-do-with-this-why-did-you-spend-money-on-this sort of things, I would feel bad.

    I usually buy things throughout the year to keep in a box for stockings or Easter baskets. Since we are having a no-spend month this April, all of our Easter basket goodies will either be from the box (I’m no even sure what’s there) or handmade. I also try no to overwhelm my kids with too much at Easter (or Christmas) so they can focus on what’s important and so I don’t set too high of a precedent.

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