When I was a child, we awoke on Easter morning to find pastel-colored baskets, filled with foil-wrapped eggs, M&Ms, jelly beans and maybe a few packets of wildflower seeds for the garden. When we got older, my parents expanded their Easter basket repertoire to include lip gloss and a few hair bows. Every year, we were thrilled.
Now that I’m a parent, Easter baskets seem to have been elevated, along with Christmas stockings, to another level of present-giving that can be both hard to resist and downright expensive. Meanwhile, all holidays seem to involve children receiving a lot more candy from everyone around them than I ever did as a child. I love the look on my kids’ faces when we give them a present or treat, but Easter basket fillers can add up to a big bill and a lot of sugar shock.
While I have been tempted in the past to pick up a few bags of chocolate eggs or a sleeve of Peeps to throw into my kids’ Easter baskets, there’s no need to add to their sugar overload. Instead, I try to find non-candy items to treat them.
This round-up of affordable non-candy Easter basket stuffers is sure to thrill your kids on Easter morning — without breaking the bank or their teeth.
1. Colorful flip flops
Flip flop season is just around the corner and these colorful flip flops from Old Navy come in a range of colors and patterns at only $4 per pair. The perfect beach or pool bag addition.
2. Bunny ears
For small kids, there’s nothing cuter than a pair of bunny ears tucked into their basket. This unicorn bunny headband adds a fun twist.
3. Flower pot craft kit
I love adding little gifts that kids can make and create — and then use! This flower pot craft kit would be a lovely addition to an Easter basket and might even keep your little one occupied while you get the rest of the family dressed for Easter dinner.
4. Necklace kit
For barely the cost of a chocolate egg, this necklace kit will help your kid work on their fine motor skills while creating a piece of jewelry they can wear with their Easter duds.
5. Seed packets
Bachelor buttons were always my favorite seed packet to find in my Easter basket when I was little. You can easily plant these in the newly painted flower pot on Easter morning.
Kids in sunglasses, especially wearing their Easter dresses or outfits, are worth the $6 splurge, especially since Target makes good-quality shades for kids. Ours have lasted a full year.
7. Garden kit
If you don’t already have a set of kids gardening tools, these are a very good deal and a super Easter basket filler. They’re sturdy enough to be useful but not too sharp or dangerous for small children to brandish in the garden.
8. Mobile kit
The Hand Made Modern line at Target is a wonderful place to look for creative craft kits for your kids’ Easter baskets. This mobile kit can be made a number of different ways, so your child can create their own design.
9. Scratch art notepad
Art supplies are always an inexpensive crowd-pleaser for Easter baskets. This scratch notepad would be perfect for a kid who has a car ride on Easter. It’s not too messy but they’ll be entertained scratching off little scenes to reveal the colors.
10. Cactus pens
Adding a few items with a little height to an Easter basket makes them look even more enticing to kids. The kindergarten set will be thrilled to see these cactus pens poking up from their basket.
Easter baskets for babies are a bit ridiculous but a lot of fun to put together. This carrot teether would be so cute in a photo of your baby in their first Easter outfit.
12. Egg maracas
Musical instruments that fit the Easter theme are a perfect addition to an Easter basket for a baby or toddler. If you have a bunch of kids or cousins, this set of 12 egg maracas is an eggscellent deal.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2019, and updated in April 2020.