Alternative Easter Baskets: Substitute Easter Candy with Books, Toys, Gardening Supplies & More

Candy is an Easter basket staple, but sometimes parents need to cut out candy all together or at least cut back on the amount of candy the Easter bunny brings. Here are some alternative Easter basket ideas for boys and girls.


Books are great Easter basket fillers. Choose books that are at your child’s reading level and that are about topics your child is interested in. Superhero books, pirate or knight books, and books about insects are good choices. Easter books are also a nice touch. Here are some book suggestions:

  • How I Became a Pirate; written by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon; Scholastic (2003)
  • Diary of a Worm; written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss; Joanna Cotler Books (2003)
  • Beast Quest – Ferno the Fire Dragon; written by Adam Blade, illustrated by Ezra Tucker; Scholastic (2007)

Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

Easter is a good time to replace toothbrushes. Add a fun Crest Spin Brush to the Easter basket. Remember to include some children’s toothpaste as well. Tom’s of Maine has a line of children’s toothpaste that avoids the artificial colors and flavors of many other toothpaste brands. Try Tom’s Silly Strawberry flavor for a fun, springtime flavored toothpaste.

Outdoor Toys

With spring just around the corner, most children will enjoy getting small outdoor toys in the Easter basket. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk and water guns all make good additions to an Easter basket. Also consider Frisbees, foam glider planes, jacks and jump ropes.

Indoor Toys and Games

Add playing cards, small games like Uno, window markers, stickers and a flashlight to Easter baskets. Consider adding craft supplies for children who like to paint, draw and color. Crayons, paints and colored pencils in pastel colors are a fun addition to an Easter basket. Play-doh and modeling clay are nice additions. Some children may enjoy an origami instruction book and special origami paper.

Gardening Supplies

Many children enjoy planting a garden. Easter time is the perfect time to start seeds indoors so seedlings will be ready for outdoor planting in May. Fill Easter baskets with sunflower seeds, peat pots, gardening gloves and a child-sized trowel. Include vegetable seeds that can also be started indoors or sown directly into the garden later in the spring.

Cooking and Baking Supplies

For aspiring chefs, include some creative kitchen items. Easter or spring-themed cookie cutters, a sugar cookie mix, cookie decorating supplies and a children’s recipe book can be tucked into the Easter basket. Include coupons or vouchers that guarantee some one-on-one cooking or baking lessons.

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