Non-Candy Easter Basket Fillers

With parents being more mindful of what goes into their kids’ bodies these days, coming up with Easter basket fillers that aren’t pure sugar can be a lofty task. On one hand, you don’t want to be a killjoy, so you want to make sure the contents are fun. On the other hand, this isn’t Christmas, a birthday, or any other major gift-giving holiday. Whether you want to make one of your own or just add some extras to a pre-made Easter basket, here are some easy, non-candy fillers to consider:

Outside Toys, Games & Accessories

Sidewalk chalk
Jump rope
Sandbox & beach toys (shovels, castle molds, buckets, sifters, etc.)
Small, inflatable pool or pool toys
Birdhouse craft kit
Reusable water bottle
Beach towel

Indoor Fun

Art supplies (crayons, markers, watercolors, etc.)
Temporary tattoos
Mini puzzles
Sensory/Calming bottles
Kids’ film soundtracks
Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
Simple card games (Go Fish, Old Maid, Uno, other decks of matching games)
Notebook and special pen or pencil
Jewelry-making kits
Sun-catcher kits
Shopkins (or ponies or whatever your child is into now)
Musical instruments
Magic tricks
Gag gifts, like a whoopee cushion
Books & coloring books

Toiletries, Accessories & Fashion Items

Lip balm or gloss
Sunscreen (Brightly colored or glitter sunscreen is always a hit!)
Scented hand sanitizer
Travel-sized body wash, shampoos & lotions
Hair clips & headbands
Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings
Bubble bath & bath bombs
Nail polish, remover & manicure kits
(Consider using a makeup or toiletry bag as the basket to hold all of the other items if you go with this category as a theme.)

Healthy Treats & Snacks

Chocolate chip granola bars
Fruit strips, leathers or snacks
Kettle corn or Cracker Jack
Fruit pouches & juice boxes
Individually packaged pretzels, crackers and chips
(If you have a little baker in your family, roll up a child-sized apron, a bag of brownie or muffin mix, and a brightly colored whisk.)

Use a combination of these little surprises or go with a themed basket. Know you’ll be going on a specific vacation soon? Fill the basket with little gifts appropriate for the beach, theme park, road trip, or whatever it is your family will be doing together. Take age and personality into consideration and remember, even teens like waking up on Easter morning to a basket of goodies.  Aside from healthy teeth and a kid who isn’t bouncing off the walls, the benefit of having a basket of non-candy treats is having a selection of activities to choose from on spring’s rainy and snowy days. (I’ll take any help I can get in limiting screen time for my daughter!)

Above all else, don’t feel pressure to give your children an elaborate Easter basket. Across all cultures and religions, I think we can agree this day is about more than another opportunity to spoil our kids. In fact, go ahead and stick with a combination of Peeps, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, but perhaps add a few of the items from this list just to limit the amount of candy you’d have given in years’ past.

What are your favorite non-candy Easter basket fillers to give?