Easter baskets – to do or not to do?

9 March 2018

The title of this post is slightly misleading, because we’ve pretty much decided Easter baskets are a “do” this year in our house. But as with so many things, we studiously overanalyzed the decision (kind of our signature move, ha). I’m curious to hear – to my Christian readers, do you give your kiddos Easter baskets?

As a bit of backstory, I didn’t grow up getting one, and my sisters and I thought that was totally unfair :) I think my parents were hoping to emphasize the religious aspect of the holiday instead of the more commercialized side, which I now completely respect. (We did, however, go to egg hunts and do a jelly bean hunt in our living room on Easter morning, so there was SOME extracurricular fun involved.)

Letting the true meaning of the holiday shine would, of course, be my main reason for not doing a basket for June. But, just like we bake a cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas Eve, I think it’s important to have excitement, anticipation, traditions, and magic around religious holidays just as much (if not more so) than around secular ones. And for little kids, simple surprise gifts can fit the bill.

So, we’re doing a basket! This one, purchased yesterday for 20% off (still a splurge, but I love the simple scalloped liner). And now, what to put in it… I’m not a huge fan of junk that will be tossed aside in two seconds, so I’m aiming for the sweet spot of fun and functional, with at least a few things that point to Jesus’s resurrection. I’d rather spend a little more on something I know we’ll all enjoy for awhile! Here are a few of my ideas, in case you’re looking for your own:

toddler Easter basket ideas

A set of spring pajamas. So happy I got these lemon jams for 40% off over the weekend because they are pricy!!

A classic spring book or set. We don’t have Winnie the Pooh OR Peter Rabbit, so that’s where I’d start.

A fresh spring look, like these floral shorts or this citrus dress.

A quality toy to add to your collection, like Magna-tiles or Tegu blocks (love that they’re in pretty pastels!).

The Jesus Storybook Bible, because every home should have one!

A practical extra, like water bottle name bands.

A fun puzzle (June LOVED doing this one at her cousin’s house last weekend).

Summer sandals or an adorable swim suit, because you’re going to get them anyway.

A tee that lets you talk about Jesus.

Outdoor toys, like a mini gardening set, bubbles, or a kite.

And of course, smaller treats like hair bows, Water Wow, stuffed animals, a race car, eggs, or candy.

Clearly we are not doing all of these things – probably just the lemon jams, swim suit, sandals, a book, and a block set or puzzle. I am also shamelessly planning to put some of June’s existing stuffed bunnies in her basket, because she is VERY into stuffed animals right now and I think she’d get a kick out of it!

Do y’all do Easter baskets? What do you put in them?

P.S. No Easter bunny here – June will know this is a gift from us. I just think the Easter bunny is strange :)

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March 9, 2018 8:29 am

My philosophy on this (and for the most part, similar things) is that if you spend time focused on teaching your children about the love of Christ and the significance of his death in general, having an easter basket full of spring goodies won’t take away from that at all. :) I feel like we’ll probably explain it as “Mommy and Daddy love you and want to give you some special treats to celebrate this special day where we remember Jesus rising!” I actually ordered this basket too, I couldnt risk it disappearing before next year somehow haha! Beau got the straight liner and sister got the scalloped. His monogram turned out great, hers is the worst ever.. so i have a year to seam rip it carefully and get it redone, haha!

March 9, 2018 8:39 am

Growing up, my parents made it very clear that our Easter baskets were from them, and all the eggs hidden for the Easter egg hunt were hidden by them. Easter was about Jesus and being in church for three hours, and there was no Easter bunny. They still gave us baskets though, usually with lots of candy haha

I don’t have kids, but on my husband’s side of the family we have a lot of nieces and nephews and WOW–all of their parents (and Ben’s parents) really emphasize that the Easter bunny real. The bunny hides all the eggs and gives the baskets. It’s VERY strange to me since I had a different upbringing. In fact, I was slightly scolded one year for nearly telling all the kids the truth. I honestly thought the kids knew that the adults were hiding the eggs. LOL

March 9, 2018 9:06 am

We always got Easter Baskets growing up and I never remember Christ’s birth being overshadowed. We’ve just recently joined a new church that offers alternate service days and times during the holidays, so that there is plenty of room for visitors during the Sunday services. We opt to attend on Good Friday and I kind of love that the basket opening isn’t on the same day we go to church! It makes for less tension, I think

I completely agree on what to fill our baskets with. We go light on candy and instead purchase things we already need during the spring season: swimsuits & towels, sandals, ballcaps, sunscreen, and other inexpensive items!

Erin K
March 9, 2018 10:52 am

Growing up we got Easter baskets from the Easter bunny but as soon as we got old enough we realized they were from our parents. One thing I’ve seen families do is do the Easter basket/egg hunt type things the Saturday before Easter and then focus on Christ and the real meaning of Easter on Sunday. I like that because you get both the commercial fun part and the spiritual part.

Kelly Strawberry
March 9, 2018 11:42 am

Easter baskets all the way. I’ve never considered not doing it, because I love celebrating holidays. :)

March 9, 2018 1:17 pm

Yes! I don’t spend a lot on them, but we put some fun treats and some helpful things in there too, such as piece of nice chocolate, a new cup/plate, and a religious picture book or coloring book. We didn’t do it growing up either, but we definitely did egg hunts!

March 9, 2018 1:27 pm

I love Easter baskets! :)

March 9, 2018 4:11 pm

I have a 6 and a 2 year old and so far haven’t done Easter baskets but mostly because they get baskets at the grandparents house and I don’t want to make it all about the basket BUT, that being said, I’m dying to do them! I agree that I also don’t want to fill it with junk that is just going straight to the landfill so I love your gift ideas!

A Floral Collage Print Shop

March 9, 2018 8:31 pm

I LOVE what you said about cultivating “excitement, anticipation, traditions, and magic around religious holidays”–that has been so heavily on our hearts as we’ve begun to more intentionally form our family culture and traditions!

Growing up, our Easter baskets had a few bigger treats in them, but their primary purpose was for collecting eggs–the only non-treat gift that was ever in my basket was a new stuffed bunny each year in honor of being an Easter baby :) Our plan is to do super simple baskets, similar to what Mary mentioned above, definitely centering them around small, faith-related gifts. I recently read about a sweet tradition that I want to adopt in connection with an egg hunt: since we don’t say “Alleluia” at Mass during Lent, this family bought small wooden letters spelling Alleluia from a craft store and then hid each letter for their kids to find. I love how simple that is, and what a seamless tie-in it is to the liturgy!

Bethany Howe
March 11, 2018 11:03 am

I am doing an Easter basket for Lucy, even though she won’t understand it. :) Growing up, I had one until I was around middle school age, I want to say. I will not be mentioning the Easter bunny (I don’t put an emphasis on Santa, either). But I will definitely be doing an egg hunt and dyeing Easter eggs with her when she’s older. I always loved doing those when I was a kid.

I’ve decided to do the route of filling her Easter basket with something she wants, something she needs, something to wear, and something to read, which I try to practice for Christmas and birthday, as well. This year she is getting a Jellycat bunny, a pair of Freshly Picked Mary Janes shoes, a puzzle that spells her name, and the book The Runaway Bunny.

I got her an Easter basket last year from Pottery Barn and pretty much nothing else. I couldn’t get my act together in time, ha!

March 11, 2018 11:24 am

We keep to a simple no-junk Easter basket. I roll up a pair of pajamas in the bottom instead of grass, books, water bottle, a couple of snacks, new bubbles or chalk and a new toy. He’s really into Thomas the train now.

March 13, 2018 9:32 am

We have three boys and have always done Easter baskets. I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal, and we always read the Easter story and emphasize Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, but we just don’t really care if they believe in the Easter bunny at this point. We’re pretty hands-off on Santa, too, so it’s consistent with how we treat the other cultural holiday characters.

Side note: The Jesus Storybook Bible is my absolute favorite children’s Bible. We have our own copy, but we’ve given away countless others for baptisms, christening, baby showers, everything. It’s fantastic, and I love pretty much everything about it.

March 13, 2018 12:34 pm

My little one is two, and I’ve been contemplating an Easter basket, too. I think we’ll do one, and I will likely align with your approach. We’re Christian, and hope to keep the holiday focused on Jesus, but we want our little dude to enjoy some of the traditions that he sees other kiddos enjoying, too. He doesn’t eat sweets, though (the only times he’s eaten processed food/sugar have been on his first and second birthdays when we let him have store-bought cupcakes), so… that plays a factor into what will go into his basket.

FWIW, my two year-old loves, loves, LOVES The Easter Story board book by Autumn Ward and the folks at Orange. It aligns with the Easter story, it’s quick, it rhymes, it’s easy for me (and hopefully him, eventually) to memorize, and… when we read it, he points to Jesus in all the pictures! Plus, it will fit perfectly into an Easter basket. (They also have a Christmas book, too, that’s the same size, and… all the same characteristics. Definitely worth getting!)

March 13, 2018 3:31 pm

We don’t have children yet, but as a Christian, I’m all for Easter Baskets! It’s exciting and gift giving is right up Jesus alley, him giving us the biggest gift of all. ;) I LOVE the Jesus Storybook Bible. We use that book a lot at the preschool I work at and my students love it.

March 14, 2018 9:27 pm

Great minds! PJ’s and sunsans go in our Easter basket, too! And I ordered the storybook bible for LS’s basket a while ago, but I do feel like it’s a little lengthy for two, but I’m so glad we have it! Lots of friends who have older kids who love it. She currently does love another little first toddler bible, though! Last year my mom gave LS a sand bucket with beach toys and a folding beach chair, and I thought it was all so practical! We are definitely going to be guilty of stuffing in some needed new undies, reusing a bunny, and including some chunkier crayons as they always get lost and broken! I also got some new bows as I think it’s time we up our size. I recommend thesolidbow.com because they have good prices and good sales! the Easter Story book is really good, but we gave that to LS already so we could start reading it surrounding the season. I found it at Marshall’s and I gave it to her as a prize for a fantastic potty weekend! It really is cute. One tradition I always associate with Easter was taking photos in front of my grandma’s azaleas! We don’t have any in our yard, but a church nearby has the best bed of tulips and we always go for pictures there at some point in the spring!

March 15, 2018 8:46 am

That basket is absolutely precious! Love this list and it makes me excited to think of what we’ll do with kids one day!

March 24, 2018 4:04 pm

Our baskets were the same physical baskets every year and they had appropriate toys that lived in the basket. A little book on Easter, a chick that laid eggs. Some of the toys were my mom’s as a kid. In a funny coincidence, my husband’s family did something similar with their Christmas stockings.

April 2, 2018 6:47 pm

We used our daughter’s stuffed bunnies in her Easter Basket as well. I generally put things in it that she may need or I would buy otherwise. Like summer things, books and a cute summer outfit.