11 Toddler Easter Basket Ideas (That Aren’t Candy)

Easter is just over a week away…are your little ones getting a basket filled with goodies? Are you going to dye eggs?? As a kid, Easter was one of my favorite holidays. I loved Easter basket gifts, getting a brand new dress for church, and especially getting together with my cousins to hunt for eggs. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles would always fill plastic eggs with money; some coins, some dollar bills, and there were always a few big winners with tens and twenties. They would then hide them outside and we’d all go nuts searching. As we go through this second round of holidays with the boys I grow more and more excited about starting our own traditions with them. This year we’ll be doing Easter baskets and hiding a few treat-filled eggs around the house. I’ve had so much fun searching for little gifts with which to fill their baskets (actually these Lands’ End totes).

Let me start by saying that I think you should put candy in your toddler’s Easter basket, but it does not need to be the main attraction. Particularly if candy is truly an occasional treat, rather than the norm, as it is in our household. That said, there are so many cool, inexpensive things that you can put in toddler Easter baskets that will hold their attention for far much longer than a bag of Butterfinger eggs. I would say Reese’s eggs but I have a strict no sharing rule about Reese’s eggs. In my opinion, they are the best Reese’s holiday treat– they contain the perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio.

I love the idea of Easter baskets containing fun, small gifts to enjoy outside as warmer temperatures surface. I also like to think outside the box for the actual “basket”. Easter backpacks, storage totes, and laundry baskets are all great ideas that will be useful beyond Easter.

Below is my round-up of Easter basket fillers for your little one(s), mostly geared towards ages 1-3, but generally fun for all ages!

easter collage

  1. Flash cards | We have a few sets of these flash cards, and while they are called “My First”, they provide learning opportunities for all ages with different questions about the animal or item, as well translation of the word in four languages.
  2. Magna Doodle | You know why Magna Doodles are so awesome? Because they allow your little artists to be creative without the mess. This mini Magna Doodle is perfect for little ones.
  3. Hooded towels | You probably already have some hooded towels, but Target has a bunch of different character towels that your little ones are bound to love. The end of bathtime can be a bit dramatic around here but climbing out and into one of these fun towels definitely helps!
  4. Bubbles | We tried some bubbles last summer but they must’ve been a bad batch because they weren’t at all bubbly and did not at all keep the boys’ attention. I can attest (thanks to Aunt Lexi & Uncle Adam!) that these bubble sticks are super bubbly and fun! There are actually a ton of awesome bubble machines/toys if your kids are a little older and regular old bubbles might not capture their attention.
  5. Toddler Bible | I like the idea of giving a bible for an Easter gift rather than Christmas, because Easter gifts are generally smaller and less distracting than Christmas gifts. It seems like a bible might get lost in the hustle, bustle, and shuffle of Christmas gifts, ya know? There are so many great, picture-filled, bibles out there to help toddlers learn about God’s word.
  6. Bath crayons | I’ve read a lot of reviews about bath markers, but I see far too many horror stories about permanently stained bath tubs. We have these bath crayons and they have been super easy to clean up. Plus the boys think it’s the coolest thing to draw all over the tub. We’re down to just one yellow crayon now so we’ll be throwing these in an Easter basket for sure.
  7. Special smoothie cups | We have a clear version of these bottles and as soon as they come out of the cupboard, the boys know it’s smoothie time. Every once in a while I’ll also buy whatever straw cups are in the Dollar Spot but make sure that we don’t use those cups or bottles for anything other smoothies. It makes smoothie time extra special!
  8. Slinky | I legit remember receiving a tie-dye Slinky in my Easter basket one year as a kid, and spending hours sending it down the stairs to our basement. These things are timeless!
  9. Finger puppets | Stuffed animals are, of course, a great Easter basket option, but finger puppets take up less space and are guaranteed to provide entertainment. The animal puppets are not only cute, but provide a great opportunity to work on animal names and sounds, which is a pretty big deal in our house right now.
  10. Sidewalk chalk | Chalk was something new for the boys when they first experienced it last weekend (again thanks to Lexi & Adam!) but I know it won’t be the last time. I foresee lots of driveway murals in our future this summer. This set from Melissa & Doug includes triangular pieces that seem like they’d be easier for little toddler hands to grip. There are also very beginner sets with chalk holders but in my opinion that’s just one more thing to break or get lost.
  11. Shoes | Okay, according to your kids, this might be the boring one on the list. But when do toddlers NOT need new shoes? Especially with increased outdoor play in sight, new shoes are a necessity. I’m a total sucker for TOMS kids shoes (and not gonna lie- kinda wish I had a girl so I could buy these pink glitter watermelon shoes!) , but of course there are plenty of cheaper options out there- some of my other favorites are Nordstrom Rack (absolute best for kids’ shoes!), Kohl’s, Marshall’s and Target.

Right now Target is offering $5 off when you spend $25 in the Easter shop, as well as $10 off when you spend $50 on toys. And if you think you deserve to buy something for yourself after all that Easter shopping (I think you do!), they are also offering $10 when you spend $50 on clothing and accessories (promo code: STYLE10)!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation and/or discounts on purchases as a result of you clicking these links.*


& the holiday | 2016

I know I’m not the only one who, year after year, says they’re going to get their holiday shopping done before December, yet is scrambling to find those last few items on December 23rd.

I know I’m not the only one who, year after year, thinks “I don’t have much to do, I’ve got this!” in regards to shopping, hosting, etc., yet hasn’t even started the dessert when her in-laws arrive for Christmas Eve dinner.

And I’m definitely not the only one who, year after year, looks so forward to Christmas, and then finds herself in disbelief on December 26, thinking “is it over already?! How did it go by so quickly?!”

So just like that, another Christmas has come and gone. I’m feeling a little sad that it’s over, but also fortunate that we got to spend quality time with so many people we love. With the actual holiday falling on Sunday and all of us off work Monday, it felt as though we got a bonus holiday, which we spent nestled in at my parents’ house. It was the perfect end to a semi-chaotic couple of days, and even weeks leading up to the big day.

The boys were spoiled this year but you know what? That’s okay! They are sweet, and (mostly) well-behaved, and so very loved. We’ve got a great tribe, that’s for sure.

Until next year, Christmas!

& a Christmas cocktail | Mistletoe Mule

You know what happens when you don’t drink for the 30 days leading up to Thanksgiving?

You think about drinking, that’s what.

You think about mixing cocktails with the booze bottles that have collected dust on the bottom shelf of your pantry.

You literally salivate each time your husband pours himself a beer to enjoy on the couch after the kiddos have gone to bed.

At least, that’s what I did. And then when THE DAY came, the day when my self-imposed, 30-day, no-drink ended, I realized I like the idea of drinking far more than the actual drinking.

But, I did come up with a drink idea or two. And it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t a) test the ideas, and b) share them with you!

Hendrick’s gin was, very unfortunately, one of the aforementioned bottles that has been neglected over the past couple of years. We used to be pretty tight, me and Hendrick’s. In fact, my pal Erin and I once did a little drink series that featured Hendrick’s gin a time or two. But that was before kids. And I don’t think either of us get the opportunity to mix up a cocktail as often as we used to. But that certainly doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate them like we once did!

Anywayyyy, let’s get to this recipe, shall we?

As the name might suggest, it’s a little spin on the traditional vodka-based Moscow Mule, with a Christmas twist! I used to pretty much exclusively drink Hendrick’s in the summer because of its light, cucumber flavor, but with Christmas tree shopping on the brain last week, I realized that I’ve long been ignoring the juniper flavors that are so perfect for Christmas time! And in addition to the booze bottles gathering dust, I had some copper cups that were begging to be used. So there you have an entirely too long story about the inspiration for the drink, and now I’m finally getting to the actual recipe. Short stories have never been my thing.

You’ll need:

  • Hendrick’s gin
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • cranberry-pomegranate juice (I actually used this cranberry extract water & it was really good!)
  • ginger beer (not ginger ale)
  • fresh cranberries & rosemary for garnish, optional
  • ice, crushed preferred
  • copper cup, also optional, but recommended

You’ll do:

  • Fill copper cup (or drink vessel of choice) to the brim with ice
  • Add 2 oz. Hendrick’s gin
  • Add 1 oz. cranberry pomegranate juice
  • Squeeze in juice of 2-3 lime wedges, to your liking
  • Top with ginger beer
  • Stir (with rosemary) and drop in a few cranberries
  • Enjoy!


12/15/16 EDIT: When I was enjoying one of these last night, I suddenly remembered that Erin created a very similar cocktail. I’m pretty sure I even watched her concoct it on Periscope (does that still exist??), yet I didn’t think of this when I was dreaming up my version. I didn’t think of it when I mentioned our cocktail series up above. I didn’t think of it when she commented on this very post. Nope. I thought of it last night, which I’ve now come to realize is exactly one year after she posted her recipe. So I’m going to blame it on a latent memory from this time last year. A time of my life in which I was suffering from a “condition” I’ve affectionately dubbed “extreme sleep deprivation due to two babies who think nighttime sleep is optional“. I guess the silver lining here is that perhaps there are other memories tucked away that might surface sometime soon? But mostly I just feel bad for basically copying my best blog pal without even realizing it. You know what they say about great minds though! Cheers!