Easter Baskets For Kids
Easter baskets are something that I started doing for our nieces and nephews many years ago. Originally it was very easy, one of my brothers only had 1 or 2 kids and that was it. Over the years 1 kid has literally turned into 7 (about to be 8 plus Matt’s little brother who is 1 years old). However, since I had started putting together easter baskets, I continued to do it as more babies were born into the family. My parents always think I go over board and I very may go over board, but my want for children has transpired into me spending money on our nieces and nephews.
Giving easter baskets is 100% not expected of anyone. Easter is suppose to be a religious holiday but as turned into a holiday about a bunny dropping off chocolate eggs. However, I love everything easter symbolizes in the world outside religion. It is a huge signifier of the changing seasons. Winter can be a brutal time in Canada (even in southern Ontario), and with Easter comes Spring.
So there is a new season and warm weather to look forward to. As well as gardening and spending more time outside. But my favourite part of Easter is getting to spend it with my family. Having a big family dinner and watching the kids have an Easter egg hunt. Or on my husband’s side of the family, watching the dogs do an Easter egg hunt for little beef liver pieces in plastic Easter eggs. Trust me, it is so fun and the dogs love it!
So for the Easter baskets I like to keep them all fairly equal. Especially with the siblings and cousins on each side of the family. I find it is best to do this so there is no arguments and then you are roughly spending the same amount of money per child. You definitely don’t want any child to think you’re playing favourites. However, one way we sometimes switch things up is the nieces and nephews on my side of the family may get slightly different things than our nephews on Matt’s side of the family. This mainly comes down to the ages of the kids and that their needs/wants may just be different.
I have broken down everything into 4 categories, What They Need – Clothes, Educational and Fun – Books, What They Want – Toys, and Some Treats.
What They Need – Clothes
I don’t know about you but I find that kids grow like weeds! Whenever I ask our siblings what their kids need, the number one answer is clothes. Kids are hard on their clothes. From playing in the dirt, arts and crafts, and just plain old eating. They get messy, clothes get stained and then they grow out of them. I also try to get them clothes when possible, holidays and birthdays especially.
This can sometimes be hard if you don’t see the child often. My family live just over an hour away and I don’t see the kids very much. So I am constantly asking my sisters in law for the kids sizes. Communicating with the parents always helps with sizing and knowing what clothe stems they need. When in doubt ask, get a gift receipt or get a gift card!
Matt’s little brother is 1 years old. His dad remarried and is now having more kids which means we have a little sibling we are also buying for. At Christmas I made the mistake of now asking for the little guy’s current size thinking if I sized up everything would fit, right? WRONG! Only one of the many things I bought fit. I also didn’t end up giving Matt’s step mom a gift receipt. We ended up coming up with a solution but that will never happen again. For the little man’s birthday I ended up giving books and a gift card. Gift cards aren’t as fun but they are so very helpful for parents.
The clothes for these Easter Baskets I went with bathing suits and pyjamas. I love little kid bathing suits and I find it is easy to predict theorizes for these. It’s only April but choosing their current size or one size up is usually a good idea. The pyjamas were something almost all of our siblings said their kids were in need of. Many people focus on everyday clothes but forget to purchase pjs.
Where to Shop
I bought all of the clothes we are gifting from Carter’s Osh Kosh. They have sizes from Newborn to 14. I also did some of the shopping in store and the rest online (due to COVID-19). I also took serious advantage of some sales. If you’re looking for clothes for easter baskets, or just in generally I highly recommend using them to shop online. Sign up for their emails to get 10% off your first purchase, as well as receive emails for sales all year round.
Educational and Fun – Books
Books are something I never have a problem spending money on. They are get educational tools and they can also be really fun. The key with books is to buy ones that the receiver will truly enjoy. Sounds obvious right? But if you get a book that is way too hard for your little reader, they may not like it. It is also important to pick books that are either generic in the characters or a popular character that the child already knows and loves. For example our nephew is 9 years old and loves Minecraft. Therefore we purchased him a Minecraft book that he can read himself and also will want to read because he loves the characters in it.
For some of the others I did Easter books since it is the Easter holiday. This way they have some books that they can read every year around Easter. I love doing themed gifts and keeping in the Easter theme seemed appropriate. Just make sure you find books that the child either can read themselves, or if they are too young books they will recognize the characters in.
Where to Shop
To cut down on costs of books I highly recommend shopping on Amazon. I always go on there and add what I want to my shopping cart, I think move the items to my saved list. Whenever you go onto your amazon account, there will be notices about price changes. If you’re lucky, the items in your cart or saved items will decrease in price. It is when this happens that I then purchase the items. Start way in advance so that you get the best deals. Hopefully you are not shopping for as many children as we shop for. However, if you are, this really helps. You can also search for books based on the Childs age which really helps.
You can also look at Indigo online for sales. Their books are generally priced a little higher than Amazon but they have different rewards programs that can save you money. Either their Plum points system that you earn points to receive money off one time, or their opt in Plum Rewards program. You pay a fee once a year and then receive 10% off your purchases for the year. The one you choose will depend on your shopping habits.
What They Want – Toys
Toys are something we try very hard to refrain from buying. It’s something we usually only reserve for birthdays. For holidays we try to stick with clothes and books. Imagine having 3 kids and every holiday they each get one new toy. They really starts to add up in cost, the space they take up and frankly they just don’t play with that many toys. We live in a very digital world these days, many kids have their own tablets and personal video game systems. Not to mention tv and the computer. While I don’t plan to let my children have free rein on their screen time, I know that in reality a lot of kids are spending a great deal of time in front of a screen.
My siblings especially always ask that no one purchases their kids toys. I know they regularly go through their current toys and give some as donations. But they still have too many. That is why this Easter will are only giving one child toys and that is Matt’s little brother. Otherwise none of our nieces and nephews are getting toys regardless of their age. I have included this in the list though because the situation may be different for you. Your family may like to give toys as gifts and that is totally okay. I just know that it is not a necessity nor a want from our family.
Where to Shop
So the one family member as I mentioned that will be receiving toys is Matt’s little brother. He just turned 1 about a month ago and he is like I said growing like a weed. We have opted out of giving clothes or a gift card for this holiday. For Christmas and his Birthday we gave clothes and gift cards and we wanted to mix it up. So we have some a couple Easter themed books and some educational development toys.
All the toys we bought for the little man are from Indigo online. Keeping to his age we purchased him four toys. A grey bunny, it is quickly becoming a tradition that we buy him one every year. Pastel Sensory Blocks from Plan Toys, also a Stacking Ring from Plan Toys. As well as a Yellow Rubber Duckie, which doesn’t sound exciting but it has no holes so that bacteria cannot get into it like traditional rubber ducks.
Of course what you purchase will be based on what the child in your life needs/wants and their interests. I do find that Indigo is a great resource for toys and books and they have very quick shipping. Right now majority of stores are closed down so shopping online is your best option and Indigo allows you to shop for many people at once since they have so many different products available.
Easter wouldn’t be the same if there weren’t some treats involved. We try not to give the kids too much junk or candy but that can be very hard with a holidays like Easter and Christmas. One of our nieces has an intolerance to cows diary so we can’t give her any chocolate. This means that for her and her brother we only purchase non-dairy base treats. We also have a nephew that is allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts. So we focus on treats that are vegan or plant based for him. All of these allergies can make planning Easter Baskets a bit tricky.
What we have planned this year to do treats within families. So our nephew and 2 nieces from my one brother will receive chocolate bunnies and skittles. My there brothers children (the one with the cow dairy intolerance) will receive lifesavers and skittles. Lastly, our nephew that can’t eat dairy, eggs and peanuts will receive Annie’s Berry Patch Fruit Snacks. We will also be giving these to Matt’s little brother in his Easter Basket. They check all the boxes in terms of allergies and are a bit healthier than regular fruit snacks. They are also great for toddlers and are prepackaged in portion sizes for those busy times on the go.
Treats aren’t something that is necessary for Easter, especially if the kids are doing an Easter egg hunt from the easter bunny. But I always love giving them something small so that they still find some fun items in their baskets. Especially if you’re not including any toys. Homemade treats are also a great idea to get away from the unhealthy stuff you purchase in the store.
Making Easter Baskets
All the Items you will Need
- The gifts (clothes, books, toys, treats, etc.)
- Filler (tissue paper, coloured plastic grass, crinkle cut paper, newspaper, etc. OPTIONAL)
- Temporary/Removable Glue Dots/Tape (optional)
- Ribbon (store bought bows or curling ribbon)
- Name Tags (purchased or homemade)
Putting the Easter Baskets Together
Cheap vs Pricey Baskets
There are no Easter baskets without a basket! Either you can hit up your nearest dollar store and grab some inexpensive plastic baskets to put everything in, or you can go baskets that are a bit more pricey. I did an in-between, I purchased these bunny rabbit ones from Walmart for about $6 each. Yes that adds to the cost of them but I love the fabric, style and they are reusable.
I did something similar at Christmas with reusable sacks, so that way I can use them again next year. We can do the same thing with these Easter baskets, therefore even though they are a bit more expensive upfront in the long run you save money. You are also helping the environment by cutting down on items that will only be used once.
You will want to collect all of the items that you need. Once you have decided on all of your items try and place them into the basket as you want them. I try not to use fillers because it just adds to cost and waste, but it may be necessary if you have a deep basket or you are gifting only a few items. Filler makes the basket look fuller and props up all of the items. You can always put the clothing on the bottom to hold up the rest of the items.
Glue Dots / Tape
Try and place the items so that they are all showing a little bit and facing forward. It’s okay if some are hiding, this is more fun the the child opening the basket, as they are able to dig deeper to find their gifts. If some stuff isn’t sitting very well you can consider using temporary glue dots or tape. This way you can stick together the items and it looks really professional. But then when the basket is opened the items can easily be taken apart.
Ribbon and Bows
You can either buy remade bows or curly ribbon at the store to tie the top of the cellophane together or you can make some at home. Since we have so many baskets to make we opted to buy a roll of curling ribbon. We only bought white since the baskets are different colours and we will be doing different coloured tags. However you can get so creative with the mixing and matching the colours of the ribbon and the easter baskets themselves,
It is very easy to curl your own ribbon and here are a couple steps on how to do it:
- You will need one roll of curling ribbon and a pair of good scissors
- Cut about 20 12-18inch strings of ribbon from the roll of curling ribbon. All around the same length.
- Place them all together and hold them in the centre (halfway down the strings)
- Tie all of the strings into a knot together. This attaches them all together so that when you start curling the ribbon you don’t have to worry about lose strands.
- Starting on one end of the knot, take one strand of ribbon in your left hand.
- With your right hand hold your scissors closed.
- Place the single strand of ribbon flat along the scissors outer edge, place your right hand thumb on top of the ribbon strand.
- With your left hand still holding the ribbon, start to drag it across the scissors outer edge at a 45 degree angle (right hand still holding the scissors and the ribbon flat on the scissors).
- As you drag the ribbon along the outer edge it will curl the ribbon.
- Repeat this with all of the other strands until all of them are curled.
- After you have curled all of them, if you feel like you need more, repeat the entire process to create more. Then attach the two curled sections together.
Curling ribbon sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. Your first one may turn out a little funky, but the more practice you get, the better your ribbon will turn out. If you’re still confused check out this video for help.
Name Tags aren’t necessary, especially if you’re only giving the Easter baskets to one or two kids. However, since we have so many we are gifting to and we will also be doing contactless drop off, it is easiest to have name tags on them. You can purchase name tags in advance. Many places have them such as Michael’s or Walmart. Or you can make them yourself.
It’s super easy to make them with some cardboard or card stock, markers and string. They don’t need to be super fancy. You can easily make them cute with drawings of animals or stickers. I want to make ours on the Cricut and used some card stock that I already had at home, but ran out of time. So I used some store bought tags and wrote all of the names out with coloured sharpie to match their basket colour. Then used the same ribbon to attach the name tags to the pinched cellophane that I used for the curls.
We always buy cellophane bags to make our lives easier. You can buy the rolls but I have never been very good at using those. With the bags however you want to make sure that you buy big enough ones. I purchased mine from Michaels but you can also purchase them off Amazon.
Place your finished basket into the bag. Gather the cellophane at the top of the basket. Use a piece of the ribbon to tie the bag shut one you have your desired look. Take your curled curling ribbon and attach it around the synched cellophane with another piece of curling ribbon. If you have long ends of the ribbon you used to attach everything you can also curl these pieces so they look like one cohesive piece. Then take your name tag (if using) and loop it onto a piece of ribbon, and attach that to the ribbon you used to tie up the cellophane bag. Once you have put it all together you are done!
I hope you are happy with the final product. You can use these same steps to make baskets for so many different events and gifts. Generic gift baskets or raffle baskets are always a hit. But I especially love making Easter baskets.
Easter Looks a Little Different this Year
Sadly, all the things I love about Easter we will not be experiencing this year. Due to the pandemic we are all living through, it would be very irresponsible to get together for a big family dinner. Just the extra trip to the grocery store could put you and your house at risk for bringing in the virus. That is why my family will not be celebrating Easter as a family this year. However, I have been working on the kids Easter Baskets since January (another way to save money!) so I still want them to receive them on time.
As I mentioned above I live about an hour away from my family. So the plan is to meet my mom halfway between the two cities and do a contactless exchange. Then she will be doing a contactless drop off at my brothers houses. We will do contactless drop offs to the siblings houses in our city. This is a great idea for anyone still wanting to give gift to their family members but are unable to see them due to self-isolation. It’s also a great idea to still have dinner together but virtually! Everyone can set up a phone or computer and plan to eat dinner at the same time but from the comfort of their own homes.
Easter may look a little different this year but that doesn’t mean everything has to be different. You can still show your family and friends you love them, especially with easter baskets. Have dinner together, virtually of course. The weather is finally turning for the better and hopefully soon it will be summer, coronavirus will be a thing of the past and we will all be able to have family get togethers again.
I hope that you have found some inspiration from the post and that it helps you create Easter baskets of your own. If you’re looking for ways to keep yourself busy during your self-isolation check out list of Books to Read while Self-Isolating. Or if you’re wanting to keep your house smelling fresh and your family’s stress down, use one of our Top 5 Diffuser Blends!