Easter is a time for celebration, but the religious concepts that are the basis for the holiday are a little too advanced for a toddler. You can start to build associations for them though – that Easter is a happy time, it involves family and Springtime – a time of renewal and rebirth (and also chocolate and the Easter Bunny because why not let them be kids for a while…)
Maybe its because I have a newborn and want to be sure my oldest doesn’t feel forgotten, or maybe its because the day I went shopping for Easter was my first time at a store in weeks after the birth of my daughter, but I did go a little overboard with my sons Easter Basket this year. As I went back over all the items I had to actually assemble the basket, I saw that some of my choices were better than others.
Here are the best items to assemble a well-rounded, fun, and affordable Easter Basket.
Sand Toys – Summer is around the corner, and there’s not much that little boys (and girls) like more than playing in the sand (and getting dirty in general). If you don’t have a traditional Easter ‘basket’ you can even use a sand pail as the basket itself which would be super cute.
Books – Basically any occasion that calls for gifts (holidays, birthdays, etc) I include books. My son does love to be read to, but I also want him to associate books with presents – so that he’ll be excited to get a new one. There’s nothing I like more than getting a new book (I’m actually guilty of buying books constantly. I read obsessively, but my ‘To Read’ list is long and the stack of books in my nightstand waiting to be read is substantial – which makes me happy). For the basket, I wanted to include some Easter books but also just some books I know he’ll love. Here’s what I chose:
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit – a great book and perfect for Easter and Springtime
- The Little Engine that Could – a classic with a great message!
- Happy Easter, Curious George – an Easter book with one of his favorite characters
- Baby Shark book – he LOVES Baby Shark
Puzzles – puzzles actually have a ton of benefits for early childhood development, and yet they are disguised as toys! Some of the benefits:
- Cognitive – Color, letter and spatial awareness skills
- According to the Child Development Institute “a child’s brain development is influenced significantly when a child acts on or manipulates the world around him or her. Puzzles provide that key opportunity. Children learn to work directly with their environment and change its shape and appearance when they work with puzzles”
- Confidence – the sense of accomplishment that comes with completion of the puzzle brings a ton of satisfaction to a child. Overcoming the challenges involved in solving puzzles gives them a sense of pride and self-esteem.
- Motor Skills Development
I chose this Fire Truck puzzle for my son’s basket (he LOVES firetrucks) but also had a custom one made from Shutterfly, where you can add any photo you want to the puzzle, this picture is the moment he met his sister for the first time 🙂 and dinosaurs, of course.
Candy – He doesn’t get much candy, but he sure enjoys it when he does! He likes gummy bears and chocolate, but his Easter basket will have bunny chocolates (and the bag is cute too). Fun fact – 59% of Americans eat their chocolate Easter bunnies ears first.
Play-Doh – my son loves play-doh, and we need to keep replenishing the supply. I’m happy for him to play with it as its creative and quiet 🙂 These are perfect because they come in eggs and pastels for Spring!
Bubbles and Truck – For my son, if there wasn’t a car or truck involved then you’ve failed. He’s just obsessed. After a recent trip to the zoo, when I was asking him about which animals he saw and what was his favorite thing, all he could talk about was the tractor he climbed. Yup, that’s my son. I also included the bubbles because he’s finally old enough to hold it and create the bubbles himself, another activity that’s perfect for nice weather.
Stickers and Coloring – More creative, quiet, and affordable items – win, win, win! This sticker book is perfectly Easter and the Thomas (invisible ink unless you color on the page) will be a big hit!
That’s it! Throw it all in a basket (or bucket) with some Easter grass and have a great day! Maybe buy some extra chocolate for yourself too 🙂