Devise a basket plan
Do you remember Easter morning as a kid? Scurrying down the stairs to see if the Easter bunny had ushered in spring with a basket of goodies? Did you tear back the cellophane and pull everything out before tasting a single thing? Think about how you want your children to experience the surprises of Easter morning ahead of time, so you can plan accordingly.
Parents may be less likely to fill a basket with 18 kinds of chocolate for their kids but there are plenty of alternatives to candy that can make the basket extra special. You can substitute puzzles, dolls, art supplies and more for the traditional marshmallow eggs and chocolate bunnies.
A tisket, a tasket
Size is a big consideration when choosing an Easter basket. If you choose a basket that's too small, you will need to leave some items out of the basket. If you go with a larger basket, then you risk having it look like the Easter bunny forgot a few things if you aren't able to fill it. Sometimes the best plan is to choose a basket first, then choose the treats and surprises to fill it. Young children who don't yet understand the concept of Easter are fine with a small basket and a few fun surprises. Lillian Vernon offers a cute, personalized Easter basket (LillianVernon.com, $30) your child will love for years to come.
For preschoolers, you can go a little bigger. This gives you enough room to include some bigger toys or interesting books to make it special. This large Madras basket (World Market, $30) has enough room for bigger surprises and a chocolate bunny — or two.
Buying a new Easter basket each year is wasteful, and who wants to store them every year? Fortunately, the traditional basket is easily replaced with something more creative — and useful year-round. Let your creativity rule and choose another container that can have life beyond the bunny. Think things like a plastic container for Legos, a collapsible mesh hamper or a metal lunchbox. For a beach-themed Easter basket, start with a brightly colored pail and shovel. You can fill it with beach-friendly fun like a Frisbee, bubbles, sunglasses and even a cute towel. For older kids, trade the pail and shovel for a beach bag.
Another fun alternative to a basket is a tote bag. Lands' End has cute traditional tote bags, or scour the racks at Target, Marshalls and other retailers to find a cute one. You can fill it with the traditional Easter stuff or goodies that relate to your children's interests, such as art supplies or outdoor play gear.
If you are planning on any road trips this summer, the Easter bunny would be very thoughtful to drop off a backpack filled with gear to make car rides fun (and perhaps a bit of candy too). For girls, a cute bucket purse could include some delicious chocolate and sweet girly makeup.
Pre-made Easter baskets
If you are down to the wire with Easter, and don't have time to pull together a fun and cohesive basket for your kids, there are many cute pre-mades available. Check the Easter section of drugstores and retailers like Target and Walmart for already-packed baskets with fun gear.
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