During the last couple of years around Easter, I've shared posts that offer up some alternatives to the traditional candy and plastic toys that fill Easter baskets and those plastic eggs these days.
Don't get me wrong: I love candy. And I don't mind my kids having some candy. But, as I've written before, I'm tired of the never-ending candy train that starts around Halloween and continues through Easter.
On those junky plastic toys that kids often get as party favors ... I just don't want any of them. They get about two minutes of play and then are forgotten ... or broken. And then they quickly end up in the trash.
I shared the first Egg Hunt Idea post two years ago. It was followed by another last year. Follow those links to get some more ideas if you're looking for candy alternatives and don't want to bring in any more plastic toys into the house.
And here are five more Easter basket and egg filler ideas ...
Things they use ... and love ... and you'd have to buy anyway: How about some summer items that they need anyway? Maybe flip flops for the beach, goggles for the pool, sunscreen for all summer. Or, you could fill it up with some of their favorite lunchbox treats - granola bars, Goldfish crackers or, my younger one's favorite, Pirate Booty.
Books: Buying lots of books can get pricey, but you don't have to pay top dollar. Thrift stores are one of my favorite places to find books for as little as 25 cents a piece. And, often, they look new.
Water balloons: Fill up those eggs with water balloons and then, after the hunt, fill those balloons up with water for a family water balloon fight. (Just be careful with babies and toddlers, who might stick the balloons in their mouth).
Interesting stones ... and some paint or Sharpies: I wrote last week about Raleigh Rocks, a new Facebook group where people find stones, paint them and then leave them in a public space for somebody else to discover. Similar community art efforts are in Fuquay-Varina, Roxboro, Orange County and Granville County, among other places. I think this would make such a fun family activity to paint the rocks and hide them together.
Tokens to play games at a favorite arcade: For me, when I give gifts, I try to focus on experiences, not things. And, my kids and their friends love playing arcade games. Yes, I know that the tickets or points racked up playing arcade games can often be turned in for candy and plastic toys. But, if you're not filling up those eggs with candy and plastic toys, at least you're not starting out with a bunch of sugar and junk ...