The Easter bunny is on his way! Sometimes he brings chocolate, jelly beans, and even carrots. The grocery store aisles are filled with egg-shaped items and marshmallow treats for better or for worse. Personally, I love the Cadbury Mini-Eggs.
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All chocolate aside, you may or may not want your child to have Easter candy for a variety of reasons: allergy, chemicals, sibling fights, etc.
So here are a few non-candy ideas to fill their Easter basket. Check out the specific Idea List I made on Amazon.
No matter the occasion, books are always a good idea. They are a great way for children to learn about the holiday and for you to have some quiet time after a busy celebration.
Puzzles are great for all ages and can be complicated or simple. They also help little ones develop fine motor and problem-solving skills. (And adult puzzles help us adults practice our patience!) Working on a puzzle is also a great way to practice a growth mindset with each piece. Education research has shown that students who think they can increase their intelligence performed better than those who thought their intelligence was fixed. So as they try to fit the pieces together, try to say “we get to practice” or “if one way doesn’t work, let’s try a new way.”
Dress-up can be silly and educational at the same time! Dress-up encourages emotional regulation, imagination, and relationship-building. The Thoughtful Parent has a helpful discussion on this topic. If it’s been a while, go through the box and see if you have costumes of all sorts from princess to police officer. Throw in a couple of hats so you can join in the fun too!
4) Cooking toys
Kids love to copy so why not let them copy you in the kitchen. A couple of kid-size pots and pans will keep them busy at the counter and away from the stove. Cooking at home tends to be healthier and involving them at an age-appropriate level will build a natural food curiosity. I’m not saying this will cure your toddler’s pickiness (how I wish that was true!) but it might help them try a few new things.
5) Sidewalk chalk
Warmer days will be here soon! Thank goodness! Sidewalk chalk lets the kids practice their creativity and you avoid any real clean-up.
C’mon, who doesn’t love bubbles? Even our dog loves bubbles. Try the bubble container that doesn’t spill.
Stickers, if you’re willing to put up with finding them in your carpet or on our cabinets, keep kids busy for at least 10 minutes. Little Miss C loves stickers and has even been motivated to use the potty with some well presented stickers. You can even get reusable stickers.
Side note: You may be tempted to buy chicks, kittens, other kittens (seriously, baby rabbits are called kittens!), puppies, or other adorable fuzzy baby animals. But please please please, no matter how cute they are, do not get them unless you can take care of them. This is probably a little controversial. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, buy these animals if you do not have a way to take care of them. That means the trips to the vet, the proper confinement, knowledge of how to feed them, and the desire to care for them. It’s okay to have a learning curve if you’re willing to put in the time. Check your local zoning regulations. Be honest with yourself. Research what they will need and if you can provide for them.
How will you celebrate? Do you have an egg hunt? Don’t forget to check out this Idea List I made.