Any kid will tell you that the best part about having a blended family is getting twice as many presents at Christmas. I have no issue with my children receiving a mountain of gifts for holidays and birthdays, but Easter poses a unique challenge. How many baskets of candy does one child need? Levon has three sets of grandparents and countless honorary aunts and uncles, which resulted in a whopping FIVE Easter baskets last year. We had more candy after Easter than we do after trick or treating. It’s not that I mind Levon having candy, but even he can only eat so much. His grandparents do a wonderful job including non-candy items in his basket too, like books, toys, and superhero t-shirts, but as he gets older, it will become harder. I know because I lived through a decade of Easters with his older brothers. What do you get a pre-teen or teenager now that CDs and DVDs are defunct? And in a blended family, how to do you avoid inducing a sugar rush before brunch?
This year, I’m focusing on the actual basket. It’s always annoyed me that Easter baskets are so useless. Why not turn something your child will use and love into a basket of sorts? Below are my favorite Easter basket alternatives for kids of every age.
Choose from high-end, low-end, hard case, soft case, even caboodles are back. For little ones, fill it with plastic grass, Lipsmackers, and barrettes. For teens, add lip gloss, sheet masks, and even a couple of chocolate eggs. I didn’t say NO candy.
HOYOFO Makeup Bag. Amazon.com
I fought the trend hard, but fanny packs are back in a big way and you can find them almost anywhere. Levon is obsessed with a fanny pack he found in the dollar bin at Target, and he packs his toys in his “suitcase” every time we leave the house. Clear fanny packs are great for college kids, since most stadiums and concerts now require clear bags.
MARVEL Spider Man Face HipSack Waist Pack Fanny. Amazon.com. Girls' Polka Dot Shoulder Bag (shown above) available at target.com
Tin Lunch Box
Levon loves carrying around his toys in lunch boxes, and I love using them to store tiny Legos and mini action figures. For toddlers, fill tins with toys, Crayola’s, colored pencils, or stickers. (Notice I didn’t say markers. Only buy markers for your own child. Never give markers to someone else’s child -- the ultimate sin.)
Older kids love tins to stash money, trinkets, and batteries for video game controllers. If your teen is a gamer, batteries make a GREAT basket stuffer. So do gift cards to coffee shops, restaurants they eat at with their friends, and make-up stores. Both my sons loved funny socks, which make great stuffers for any gender.
Star Wars Episode 4 Large Tin Tote. Amazon.com
For little ones who frequent the beach or backyard sand box, sand buckets make the perfect gift. Fill it with bubbles, water balloons, beach balls, or just throw in some grass and chocolate eggs.
Big Bite Great White Shark Sand Bucket Beach Toy with Shovel. Amazon.com