I rediscovered this post recently and was instantly transported to Easters long ago… It’s been edited and updated to reflect some lessons I’ve learned over the years.

Our kids are all grown and (pretty much) flown now, but there was a time when they were little and Easter was a “sweet” time for them. As they grew, we replaced the sweet-filled baskets with some of these more-edifying goodies below, getting a bit more creative with the “baskets” year after year. As they became less interested in sugar-laden treats, the baskets would often be discarded, too. (I guess you could say we started thinking outside the box.) Over the years, our Easter “baskets” were bicycle helmets, tackle boxes, watering cans, organizational boxes, beach bags…you get the picture!

Whatever their interests were at the time served as our inspiration.

Eventually, however, we eschewed the whole kit-n-kaboodle to focus on Passover. But that’s a whole ‘nother story…

But even if your family has a long-standing tradition of Easter baskets, let me encourage you to try using some of these gift items below in lieu of some of the sweets. And, even more importantly, I encourage you to review the story, miracle, and gift of the Easter season with your young ones whenever you can.




Now, on to some great ideas for filling those baskets…whatever they look like!

Inspire Creativity

coloring books
colored pencils
sketch pads
paints and brushes
building blocks
–>(Legos – these ones are on clearance, Lincoln Logs)

Nurture a Connection with Nature

packets of seeds
gardening gloves
watering can
bird feeding kit
pretty rocks
fishing poles and lures
magnifying glass
bug identification chart

Encourage Family Time

movie tickets
family-themed DVDs
board games
beach gear
water guns
card games

Get ’em Moving

bicycle helmet
tennis rackets
swimming goggles
pool toys
jump rope
hula hoop


Sharpen Their Minds

crossword puzzles
fun, simple science experiments
annual pass to a local museum

Show ’em Some Old-Fashioned Fun

pick-up sticks
silly putty
Rubik’s cube
paper dolls

Promote Their Hobbies

fishing tackle
baking supplies
golf tees
yarn and crochet needles
cross stitch kits

Deepen Their Faith

bookmarks with a Scripture message
age-appropriate devotional
pocket-sized “Gratitude Journal
Bible-themed hand puppets or figures (which also nourish their creativity!)
worship CD

My ultimate prayer for you is that you and your children will cherish the gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection all year through.

Have any neat (non-candy) items you add to your kids’ Easter baskets? Or any age-appropriate Easter storybooks? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

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