Parenting

12 candy-free Easter basket ideas for kids

Skip the sugar high and fill their baskets with fun toys and trinkets.

A girl sitting on the floor putting eggs in her Easter basket Credit: Getty Images / g-stockstudio

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With all the natural energy that my kids seem to possess, I'm not too enthused about stuffing them full of sugar come Easter Sunday. I can barely keep up with them on a normal basis, let alone when they're on a sugar high.

For the last several years I've done candy-free Easter baskets for the kids. Call me a party pooper if you will, but there's nothing I find less enjoyable than parenting sugared-up children. Plus there are plenty of fun things to put in Easter baskets that won't result in your kid having a sugar crash in the middle of Easter dinner.

Here are 12 candy-free items to put in your child's Easter basket:

1. Bubble wands

Bubble wands
Credit: Joyin

You can't go wrong with a giant bubble wand.

I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't like bubbles—even ones who think they're too old to still enjoy them. Sure, there's a 95% chance that your kid will dump out all the bubble solution about 10 seconds after they open it up, but this set comes with 24 wands so you'll always have extra on hand.

One of the best things about bubble wands is that your kid doesn't actually have to be able to blow a bubble to use them, because they are large enough to catch the air and create bubbles that way.

Get a 24-pack of bubble wands on Amazon for $14.99

2. Sidewalk chalk

Egg chalk
Credit: Maisonette

A set of sidewalk chalk will inspire their creative side.

With warmer weather comes more time spent outside, and what's a better activity to welcome spring than drawing with sidewalk chalk? This adorable set looks just like a set of beautiful Easter eggs, and it even comes in an egg carton.

Get the Six Eggs sidewalk chalk set at Maisonette for $40

3. Stickers

Stickers
Credit: Savita

Lots and lots of puffy stickers in all different themes are an inexpensive basket filler.

I have a love-hate relationship with stickers. On the one hand, I cannot stand how the stupid things always end up stuck to everything—car windows, rugs, toilet seats—and how difficult it is to remove every trace of the sticky stuff, but on the other hand I love that stickers are a great way to entertain my kids for at least 10 minutes. Throw a couple of different sheets of stickers in everybody's basket and let the kids sticker their plastic eggs to their heart's content.

Get 10 rolls of assorted stickers at Oriental Trading for $18.59

4. Matchbox cars

matchbox cars
Credit: Matchbox

Matchbox cars are a classic toy that never goes out of style.

Matchbox cars are one of the best inexpensive toys around. Kids of a wide range of ages love them, and they're a great toy to keep on hand for entertaining antsy toddlers at restaurants. They come in all different colors and types, they're inexpensive and portable, and they encourage your kid to use his or her imagination. They also fit inside plastic Easter eggs, which means fewer jelly beans inside your kid's tummy.

Get a Matchbox 5-car pack at Target for $4.99

5. Band-Aids

Band-Aids
Credit: Band-Aid

They'll love having their very own box of Band-Aids sporting their favorite characters.

Band-Aids are pretty much just accessories for kids. Order a few boxes of your child's favorite characters, and let them enjoy wearing as many as they can all at once.

6. Glitter wands

Glitter wands
Credit: Star Magic

Glitter wands are soothing, beautiful, and great for imaginative play.

I loved these as a kid, and even as an adult I find watching them to be rather zen. Get one in your child's favorite color and enjoy their looks of wonder as they watch the glitter move from end to end. Pro tip: Keep an eye on older siblings who may be inclined to use the wand as a weapon.

Get a glitter wand at Child Therapy Toys for $4.95

7. Play-Doh

Play-Doh
Credit: Play-Doh

Play-Doh minis fit perfectly in Easter baskets.

The bane of every parent's existence is opening up a jar of Play-Doh only to find it empty or, worse, dried out. Sure, you can make your own for pennies on the dollar, but that requires a chunk of time and effort. Order a giant batch of Play-Doh, throw a jar or two in each child's bunny basket, and stash the rest for emergencies.

Get a 15-pack of Play-Doh minis at Target for $4.99

8. Kid-friendly nail polish

Piggy Paint
Credit: Piggy Paint

Non-toxic, unscented nail polish is ideal for little hands and feet.

We've been doing a lot of at-home manis and pedis these days, so I'm planning on putting a few bottles of non-toxic nail polish into each of my children's Easter baskets. I'm partial to Piggy Paint for their color selection, and for the fact that it's odorless.

Get a Piggy Paint nail polish set at Target for $9.99

9. Scented markers

Scented markers
Credit: Mr. Sketch

These scented markers have vibrant colors and fruity scents.

You can't really go wrong with a new set of markers—especially if they smell like fruit. I usually only allow washable markers in my house (hello, white couches), but the desperate times call for a relaxation of the rules, and I know my kids will love coloring with these.

Get a 22-pack of Mr. Sketch scented markers at Target for $12.99

10. A craft kit

easter craft kit
Credit: Maisonette

They can craft all kind of fun with this adorable kit.

If you have a kid who loves to craft, they'll be thrilled to find this Easter-themed craft kit in their basket. Filled with everything they need to create cute decorations, this is sure to keep them occupied for at least part of the afternoon.

Get the Easter Craft Kit at Maisonette for $16.99

11. Peeps-y bath bombs

peeps bath bombs
Credit: Etsy / FIZZBIZZ83

What kid won't get a kick out of a giant Peeps bath bomb?

Bath products are always hit with my kids, and I know they're going to love receiving a giant Peeps-inspired bath bomb in their baskets. Each color has its own unique scent and these are sure to inspire longer bath times in even the most water-averse child. At the very least your kid's will get a kick out of the fact that the scent of the yellow one is "Bunny Farts"—really just vanilla cake aroma.

Get a Peeps Bath Bomb on Etsy for $5

12. A festive hair bow or bowtie

hair bow and bowtie
Credit: Etsy / MamaBearsandCubsCo. / FourHappyHearts

They'll love these seasonal accessories.

Whether your child prefers a hair bow or a bowtie, there's a festive option for any Easter basket. We love these handmade seasonal accessories, and your kids will love accessorizing their Easter dinner finery.

Lest you think I'm a total buzz kill, I do admit that I always put a dark chocolate bunny in each of my children's baskets. Because it's never too early to learn about quality chocolate—and that way I have something decent to pilfer when my chocolate cravings hit.

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