Here are some good thrifty Easter basket ideas that are healthy and fun. Post your own ideas here!
Instead of using regular baskets, we like to use things the kids can play with later. For younger children, we have used plastic pail and shovel sets, grocery carts, wagons, etc. For the older kids, we have used hats, bandanas tied to sticks to make "hobo" baskets, purses, teapots found at yard sales or flea markets for a daughter who collects them, the possibilities are endless.
The contents vary from year to year, but they always include bubbles (yes, even the grown-ups get them and probably have more fun than the kids do lol), toothbrushes and toothpaste and some type of religious symbol so that they remember why we are celebrating. The dollar stores have several to choose from, including guardian angel pins, crosses, statues, bookmarks, bibles, nightlights, magnets, etc. We will round this out with freebies that I have gotten mostly from the net and have been saving up.
When we lived near the beach, we got a wading pool and filled it up with floaties and beach toys and had each childs "basket" wrapped in a beach towel. This year, since we own our first home, we are going with a gardening theme, we found seeds 10 for $1 at the dollar store, straw hats $1 each, and little trowel and spade sets also $1 each. Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless. Hope this helps.
Here are a few things I am planning on putting in Easter baskets, or have included in the past:
We only include a piece or two of candy, maybe a small bag of Easter M&M's, but do include healthy snacks, like granola, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Last year, I made gardening baskets for each child, packaged in containers for growing their seeds; another year, I used yard sale backpacks (in unused condition!) and filled with inexpensive camping-type items, like a flashlight, bug jar (from the dollar store), inexpensive field guides, notebook, magnifying glass, bandanna, etc., and included a note explaining that we would be going on a camping vacation. You could do the same thing with beach gear, and include a coupon good for a day at the beach; sunscreen, visor, sunglasses, beach pail with shovel, notebook with pen, roll of quarters for the boardwalk games, etc., or even get a cheap suitcase from the thrift store and fill with small travel items for a planned vacation later in the summer.
I LOVE themed gifts, partly because they are so much fun to put together, they can be done relatively inexpensively but look like they cost more, and the kids really seem to get a kick out of them!
It wouldn't be Easter without some of the typical Easter candy so our kids get some jelly beans, chocolate, eggs and such; but then I put some toys and perhaps even a new summer shorts outfit or bathing suit. I start shopping for the Easter baskets right after Christmas, when everything is on sale!
My children always want to help me cook, so I found a bright colorful apron (child sized) and wrote their name on the front and my kids loved them!
I had made a basket for a niece one year and someone at work saw it. Now I get orders every year. I make baskets that can be used year after year. I do not like to put a lot of candy so I go for things like bubbles, crayons, coloring books, play dough, jacks, jump ropes, action figures, things for the girls' hair, etc. Maybe a stuffed bunny or a chick, I try to get an idea of the child's age, favorite colors, etc.
A quick and easy Easter basket idea. Take the Wilton icing bags and fill them with orange candy or any candy, twist tie the top and glue green raffia strips to the top. An instant giant carrot!
I have four girls so I bought everyone the same thing but different colors. I went to a local store and got them little things for their hair, body glitter, playdoh, playdoh cutters. In target, they have a $1 section as well that has stickers, notebooks, pencils and pens. I might add a little stuffed animal and some candy.
I've found Beanie Babies that are really cheap on ebay that are great for a cute Easter Basket.
When I was younger, my mom always made Easter baskets for my brother and I. They were usually filled with the things mentioned above. Last year was the first year I didn't get a basket and I was pretty bummed. So this year, my boyfriend and I are exchanging baskets and I am making baskets for my goddaughters. I have found some amazingly cute picture frames, fake tatoos and stickers at the dollar store, and some fun bouncy balls, handheld games, and plastic cups at Wal*Mart.
My mom always bought that fizzly grape juice stuff from Welches that looks like champagne but isn't and a special cup each year to drink it in, so I plan on continuing that tradition. I got adorable rainbow cups for the little girls. For my boyfriend, I got a mug that goes in the freezer and gets extra cold so you don't need to put ice in it ever. I also made home made cards with Easter stickers so they can tell their baskets apart.
I have 4 children and have always made my own baskets for them with things they need. For my 3 older boys, I have used a backpack instead of a basket and filled it with sports things (shin pads, baseballs, baseball gloves, hats, socks, soccer balls, footballs, water bottles, even cleats!) Hey, it is baseball and soccer season and football is right around the corner. You will have to scramble and buy the things anyhow, the kids love it more. And you aren't just running out before the first practice to get cleats that are unappreciated, etc.
I do a similar idea for my two year old. Last year, I used a dump truck and filled it with little things. Also summer is coming, Summer camp is pricey. Last year, I registered them for Patriot "Matt Light" camp and put a computer certificate in their basket. Face it, you pay for it all anyhow so gather up as much as you can and wrap it up. :)
We use the same basket every year, I like to wrap them with netting and place a big bow on them. Items I have included have been movies, CD's, socks, makeup, doll clothes, barbies, backyard toys, books, videos, computer games and cell phone accesories. I always include a chocolate bunny as that was a family tradition for me. The big one for this year is scrapbook supplies. Arts and craft items, picture frames, throw away cameras and tiny photo albums. Oh this is so fun! Happy Easter!
My mom always hides our baskets. In the morning, we always have to hunt for them around the house. She tells us if we are hot or cold if it takes too long to find them.
I am planning on making paper mache eggs and then using decoupage on them. I will be making them for young and old alike. I may even fill a few with treats. I reuse wicker baskets that I have collected over the course of the year, most I get back for refills. Use shredded tissue paper or comics for grass. I add little things like buttons (the kind that say something) and jewelry (like beaded chains or earrings that I make).
If the children are young, small toys can go in the baskets; like jacks, jumpropes, marbles and balls. My favorite thing in my baskets when I was a child was a stuffed bunny. I kept one of them until I was in my late 20's, lost Mr Bunny in a move, he was ratty but deeply loved. Have fun!
Paste: Use 3 parts water to one part flour. Stir until smooth and creamy.
Dip each piece of paper in the paste. Apply the paper, on layer at a time.
Let dry thoroughly. Paint if you want to and seal.
To make eggs or ornaments, get a plastic egg and apply paper mache to each side of the egg, leaving the lip where the two sides connect clean. Don't apply the paper mache or paste to this part so you can connect the two sides together.
Finish both sides with paint and sealer. Once that is dry you can put the two sides together.
The possibilities are endless. You can also ball up newspaper in the shape of an egg and paper mache the ball, use a styrofoam egg or a balloon that is egg shaped.
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One of my favorite baskets I got as an adult, was from my secret sister at church. She got me a purple wire basket, it had purple grass in it, and purple nail polish, polish remover, cotton balls, files and of course candy.
Another idea that I used this year was to throw in some fun sized Pringle packs. It helps to balance all the sweets. HAPPY EASTER ^_^
In Easter baskets for my nieces (one is a teen, one is a pre-teen & love the same things) I put things like nail polish, Cutex nail polish remover pads (they are pads soaked in nail polish remover, individually wrapped & each pad can do all 10 fingers.), sugar-free candy & gums, freebie samples I get off the Internet (the more the better they like them so I can't go wrong!), toe rings, girly baseball caps, necklaces &/or bracelets, or something with their names on it, cosmetic bags, nail files. The list is endless & all these things can be used in Easter baskets, Halloween goodie bags, Birthday goodie bags or a 'I care about you" bag.
A great Easter idea is an I See Me! personalized children's book.
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My mom used to slide a message and a $5 bill beneath the wrapper of a Crunch bar. When we got older, she put a check in there. I have continued that tradition with gift certificates.
I used sand buckets one year and filled them with grass and put little beach toys like rakes, shovels. My kids are younger so I fill them with animal crackers, gold fish and fruit snacks instead of candy. You could even add a swimsuit and sunglasses to the easter bucket :)
My teen is not a normal teen. She is an athlete who is very involved in sports and working out. So I made her a basket with protein, fiber, and granola bars last year. Along with some random sentimental things. This was an easter basket she will always remember.
I am sure this isn't new to most of you clever friends out there but I ALWAYS include a new, cute (even fancy if it gets them to BRUSH longer!!)toothbrush and perhaps even a flavored toothpaste/flavored floos in the kids easter baskets! When they got older I included fun toiletries like deorderants, shavers, etc.
This was my best idea yet. I bought both my children new bike helmets filled them with goodies and wrapped them in clear basket wrap. Spring could'nt come soon enough.
This site was a fantastic find. With both my kids just back from a dental checkup and mouths full of cavities, I needed some "non candy" ideas. Thanks soooo much.
Sunglasses sidewalk chalk, bubbles, jump rope, nail polish, make up, books
Little "100 calorie" packs of snacks, flower seeds or even a small plant, favorite Knudsen spritzer cans, tiny items from Pearl River (a Chinese emporium online), stickers, Larabars, chocolate globes (earthballs) from the health food store, mini packs of goldfish (essential!), board shorts for sailing, flip flops. This year I'm thinking of using Bento Boxes instead of baskets. Then we've got cute lunch boxes for the summer. Fresh markers, playdoh and crayons often make it into our baskets. I also like to use silk (real silk) scarves from the thrift shop for inside the baskets. They're great for dress up.
I am definitely putting some of the little teen magazines in my daughter's basket this year! I love the idea of flip flops, too, so I think I'll make it a day by the pool themed basket!
A dvd, easter pencils, a watch, croc shoe, charms, a plastic bunny, and bowling set.
The Easter Bunny leaves hints for my kids that take them on a short scavenger hunt to find their baskets. It's a lot of fun and wonderful to see how they work together to find the next clue. Some clues may be easy, like "you keep videos here" or "you bake cakes here" and some might be more challenging. Typically he leaves about 5 notes/clues. The hunt takes about 10 minutes and culminates with the kids locating the baskets (sometimes in a closet, storage room, play tunnel, front porch, etc.)!
I always try to do a theme basket for my 3 kids. Last year I bought all of my kids a new swimsuit, flip flops, sunglasses, sunscreen, chapstick, etc. and a swim bag to put everything in. Each kid has a large basket that we reuse every year and I always have fun filling them up. I like the garden theme with seed packets since my girls love to help me plant flowers in outdoor pots, but not sure if the 13 yr old son would like that much? Any ideas about what to do for a teenage boy?
I love all the candy free ideas! I have done this for years. Some of my favorite substitutes are Goldfish, yogurt covered raisons, home made trail mix, and granola or nutra grain bars. one thing I didn't see posted was what to do for the little ones. Having multiple children I had to include baskets for the babies and they were always some of my most fun. I always included the needed items like bottles or sippy cups but I would add fun things too. Bath toys, Rattles, bubbles, blocks, hard books, and my favorite "baby basket" was one of those giant lego sets. I simply took the legos out of the enclosed bag and dumped them in the bucket with all the other goodies. This year I have a one year old son and he is gettinga big plastic dump truck as a basket and the soft plastic cars. I can't wait to see him in the sand box with his sister and cousins.
oh and one more thing to think about. I never use the plastic grass. I always line the basket with either things like scarves, socks, and one year I even took the funny pages from my newspaper and ran it through my shedder. It was just as colorful and I wasn't putting anything else in the land fills.
One year for my older daugthers I bought a sewing basket and filled it with sewing items and candy. For my son I got a tool box and did the same thing.
This year, I dug up some of my flowers for Easter Basket ideas. My cilias have spread like crazy this spring & have just begun to flower. I got a ton of old clay pots. I will keep them aclimated by putting them on the front porch. This project hasn't cost me a penny. I'm not sure how the cilias will work in pots, but I'm not out any money. Will cover pots with heavy duty aluminuim foil. My kids are all older & they would appreciate a bit of the family garden for their own homes.
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