Mar 30, 2014

The Ultimate Toddler Easter Basket Guide

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It's no secret that we do the holidays up big over here! Easter for us has always been like a mini-Christmas when it comes to gifts. "Baskets" around here are more like a starting point. I always have such fun finding cute items to put inside (or beside), so I thought I would create an Easter gift guide for those in need of a little inspiration this year! I must note, we don't typically include many food items, if any, in our baskets. So, if you are looking for a candy-centric gift guide, this isn't the one for you. Our focus is typically more on toys, clothing/accessories, and books with a few healthy treats mixed in. So, let's get to it!

One of the things that we always received in our Easter baskets growing up were outdoor toys and items to welcome the Spring/Summer seasons. We were always excited to receive new outdoor toys and items to play with. For toddlers, this is one of the first times that they will be receiving items that they can really run, jump, and play with outside. My little guy didn't get to play outside too much last year as he was still crawling, so I know that I'm very excited to include some specific outdoor items for him to get some great use out of this year. We really like the idea of giving a few larger gifts each Easter (that don't break the bank), and for us those typically come in the form of outdoor items. If you are interested in that, how about the adorable Little Tikes Gas 'n Go Mower Toy or one that blows bubbles like the Fisher-Price Bubble Mower. Any toddler would love to follow Mom and Dad around outside with these! Another adorable toy that I think is great for Easter is the Little Tikes Get Out n' Grill Kitchen Set. The Glamparent's Easter bunny is dropping this off at their house this year, and I can't wait to watch Kingston grill alongside his Daddy this Spring/Summer! If you have a little sports enthusiast, they won't be disappointed with the Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set or the Little Tikes Totsports Easy Hit Golf Set

For some smaller outdoor toy ideas, there some great options. 

Bubbles will probably make an appearance in all of our Easter baskets. There are so many fun items to go with some simple bubbles too, such as bubble wands and bubble guns. Yes, I totally bought my toddler a bubble gun for Easter. He does not know what a "gun" is, so that aspect doesn't come into play, but I love that he will be able to get the bubbles out independently. Any parent of a toddler knows that they LOVE to do things by themselves. 

Chalk is a phenomenal toddler gift. Many toddlers have yet to experience sidewalk chalk, so it will definitely provide some new art and sensory experiences! You could even try your hand at making your own sidewalk chalk.

Sand accessories such as this Sand & Sun Beach Basics - Bucket, Sifter, Rake and Shovel set from Hape toys make great basket stuffers. Chances are, you will be going through plenty of these accessories this summer, and it doesn't hurt to have some on hand! Interested in mixing some educational fun with your outdoor play? These awesome sets from Learning Resources are a great way to do just that! : Learning Resources Uppercase Sand MoldsLearning Resources Lowercase Sand Molds, and Learning Resources Numbers and Operations Sand Molds, Set Of 26. Your little one won't even know they are learning as they use these letters and numbers in the sand!

As much as I dread that capture and study of bugs this summer, I am determined to try to put aside my fears and learn with my little one. If you feel the same way, bug catching accessories may be a great addition to your toddlers basket. A Backyard Exploration Critter Case or a Backyard Safari Mini Scoop Net may be a really fun gift for your bug loving munchkin!

The gift of gardening is such a great one to give to kids. I love the idea of including garden themed items in your toddlers Easter basket. This Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Tootle Turtle Tote Set is an adorable first gardening set. If you are looking for something smaller, Toysmith has this inexpensive little tool set: Kid's 3-Piece Garden Tool Set. Another great option, would be to hit the Target Dollar Spot and pick up some of those little all inclusive grow kits for your toddler. Even a few packs of seeds for the dollar store would be a really fun addition!

Toddlers are constantly growing out of their accessories. It seems that with outdoor accessories, you are needing to buy a new set of items each year. Why not incorporate these necessities into your little ones Easter basket?! Sun hats are always an accessory we are in need of. Toddlers need as much protection from the sun as they can get, and for that we love the Iplay Baby Infant Toddler Unisex UPF 50 Solid Brim Sun Hat. The prints they have for toddler boys are especially cute: I-Play Whale, Car, and Turtle Sun Hats. A great accessory to go with your toddlers new sunhat are a cute pair of sunglasses! My little guy is constantly using and abusing his sunglasses, so there is nothing like a nice new pair. I have heard amazing things about these Adventure KidZ BanZ Age 2-5 Sunglasses, and they come in a ton of colors. I love that they have a strap around them and no pointy side parts that can get your little one in the eye. These also work great if you have a child who likes to take their glasses on and off a lot. They seem much more comfortable and much safer! Since your little one is going to be out in the sun more now, a good sunscreen is a great extra item to throw in their basket. We love Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream - SPF 30 - All Natural & Certified Organic. It is very important to me to use a sunscreen that is free of all of the chemicals that come in common sunscreens. I don't put anything on Kingston's skin that rates above a 1 on the Environmental Working Group's database. I have an extremely fair skinned red-head, so I feel very confident recommending this awesome sunscreen to everyone! If your little one is going to be swimming this summer, a new bathing suit is an awesome option. Other safety items such as this amazing Stearns Puddle Jumper LIfe Jacket, 30-50 pounds is a great addition that will have your toddler excited about being a bit more independent in the pool. 

I am always on the hunt for great educational toddler toys. Especially with a little one that is homeschooling, I find a lot of great toys that I want to use as teaching tools. Including them in something like his Easter basket allows me to justify that purchase even further! Some of our favorite toys are Melissa and Doug toys. We own a lot of them, and are constantly picking up more around the holidays. Some fun Melissa and Doug toys that you could include in your little ones Easter basket are: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Clock, Melissa & Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks, or the Melissa & Doug Shape Sequence Sorting Set. Kingston is receiving that clock this year, as well as the Melissa & Doug My First Daily Magnetic Calendar (which I plan on using to incorporate in our homeschool day) and the Melissa & Doug Upper & Lower Case Alphabet

Movies make great Easter basket gifts also. I'm including this in the educational category because there are some phenomenal educational DVDS such as LeapFrog: Letter Factory, Sid the Science Kid, and Super Why. One of our current favorites that just came out is Walking With Dinosaurs, a great combination of entertainment and education!

Books are one of the easiest and most fun items to stick in an Easter basket. If your toddler is anything like mine, they are book junkies! Kingston is always excited to get a new book. Last Easter, he got tons and tons of books from the Used Book Superstore, however, since our local one closed, I scaled down a bit and chose about five books to include. For this holiday, I went with a couple Easter themed books, and then some life event books. Most toddlers are going through huge life events: potty training, transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed, giving up old comfort objects, and some like mine are going to soon be transitioning into the role of "older sibling"! I really think it's important to highlight these life events, talk about them, and familiarize your little one with them so they aren't so confused and blindsided when they happen. This is one of the reasons why I think it's important to include books like these in something like an Easter basket. You could even include books about behavioral problems that you have been struggling with with your little one. Clearly, books is the broadest category I have here, so I will just share some books that I would recommend and/or books that I purchased for Kingston for Easter:

Duck & Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny! - K can't get enough of these silly books! They are definitely a toddler pleaser.

The Golden Egg Book (Big Little Golden Book) - I picked up this book to read with Kingston (and the rest of our children) every Easter. It's such a delightful little book!

My New Baby - If your toddler is going to become a sibling soon, this book is AWESOME! I can't get over the price of it, and purchased it for Kington's Easter basket as soon as I saw. One of my favorite parts is that the mother is breastfeeding a lot throughout the book. It's a great book, and for the price you can't beat it!

Big Enough for a Bed (Sesame Street) - This Elmo book is another super cheap book that is great for the toddler who is transitioning into a bed!

Potty by Leslie Patricelli - This book is such an adorable one for your potty training tot!

If you are having a problem with your toddler's behavior, these books are nice gentle reminders to them: Teeth Are Not for Biting, Calm-Down Time (Toddler Tools), and Little Dinos Don't Hit.

Art supplies were another huge necessity in my childhood Easter basket. My mom was always tucking in new crayons, markers, and other supplies to keep our creativity flowing. For toddlers, my main art supply suggestions would be: Crayola 8-Pack Crayons - Jumbo (So Big), some simple coloring books like this one: My Own Very Hungry Caterpillar Coloring Book, Melissa & Doug My First Paint with Water, Crayola Color Wonder Fingerpaint, ABC Sticker Activity Book , Mini Play-Doh containers, and some stickers from the dollar store. I think that any of those art supplies would make a toddler very happy!

I love to include at least one new spring outfit and pajama set in every Easter basket. For toddlers, I think you can get away with including a few! They outgrow their clothing so quick, so chances are you are going to have to buy these items anyways, mine as well make it even more fun by including it with the rest of the stuff! I also like to think about what accessories they currently need. Your little one may be in desperate need of summer sandals, hair accessories, socks, big girl/boy underwear for a newly potty training little, etc. I love including this stuff in there. It's funny how toddlers can get excited over the smallest things. This year, Kingston is getting a Skip Hop Zoo Packs Little Kid Backpack and matching Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie Insulated Lunch Bag which I know he will be really excited to use! 

So, pretty much anything goes for this category: fun dollar store fillers or more expensive smaller toys. Really, the sky is the limit when you are shopping for fun little filler items. These are the items I like to include to fill in the spaces in between the larger items. Yes, I'm sure most people use Easter grass and what not for this, but more toys is way more fun! If you have a toddler boy or a car loving girl, Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars are great little items. My little guy has always loved the Little People Wheelies, especially the Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Jet and Helicopter. Stuffed animals are always sweet to include in an Easter basket. A sweet little bunny like the Webkinz Rabbit or a chick such as the Eggbert the Chick Beanie Baby would be perfect! We are currently loving this BeginAgain PushArounds Dog, and they also have a duck version: BeginAgain PushArounds Duck! Finger puppets are a great Easter basket addition. We have constantly recommended these Story Time and Family Finger Puppets. We love using them to tell stories! Small balls are always fun gifts for toddlers. Kingston loves the balls that light up like this one Flashing Spiky Ball. I also love to go pick up cheap Easter themed items from the Dollar Tree like wind up bunnies and chicks, carrot shaped sports equipment, egg shapes glasses, a set of rabbit ears, and other fun little items like that!

Most people I know think of Easter baskets as pure candy and not much else. My husband didn't even understand that an Easter basket wasn't just a tiny container filled with unwrapped candy when I met him. He didn't take long to catch on to the way in which I grew up! I like the idea of a treat or two, but I would prefer to keep them as healthy as possible. Some fun and healthy treats to include in your toddler's Easter basket are things like: anything Annie's Homegrown brand (these bunny shaped treats couldn't be more perfect for the holiday!) -Annie's Homegrown Organic Cheddar BunniesAnnie's Homegrown Berry Patch Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, and Annie's Bunny Grahams Variety Pack
Happy Tot Organic Superfoods Super Toddler Bars, Plum Organics Pouches, and Happy Tot Greek Yogurt Pouches. At 18 months, my little guy loves all of these items!

You could also include some fun eating accessories like a Skip Hop Zoo Straw Bottle or some Easter Themed Plates.

I hope our Easter Basket Guide helps you find some fun items for your little one. Have a great holiday!

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  1. Thank you for this!!! I have a 15 month old and I found this very useful not only for his Easter bucket but also later on for stocking stuffers and next year Easter basket. Thanks!!