Educational, Non-Candy, No Clutter Easter Basket Filler Ideas

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I don’t know about you, but as a mom there are two things I like to avoid at all costs: too much sugar, with its inevitable high and crash, and wasting my money on junk that will end up in the trash bin, or worse, cluttering up my house. Don’t you just dread those flimsy plastic toys from happy meals and Easter egg hunts? Me, too!

So as holidays approach, especially Christmas, Easter and birthdays, I very carefully research what I buy. I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there who has adopted the ‘no candy and no junk’ philosophy, so, since Easter is on the horizon, I thought I’d share with you the list I assembled of fun things that kids will actually use, create read and play with long after the holiday has passed.

Books make the very best gifts, in my opinion. You can snuggle your child on your lap and enjoy them over and over, encouraging your little people to become lifelong readers and learners. In addition to the books, the other gifts listed below will excite and thrill your children and you won’t have to throw them out after stepping on them one too many times. Win-win!

I like to include one book and one toy in each of my kids’ baskets, to keep things simple and inexpensive, plus a few boiled eggs, which my kids enjoy decorating. My older kids appreciate a craft (this year I’m giving my teenage girls cute floral fabric and helping them sew a dress) or high-quality art supplies better than a toy. Experiences are also always appreciated!

Another fun and frugal idea is to use creative receptacles in lieu of wicker Easter baskets. The receptacle can be something you need and would have to buy anyway, but you turn it into part of the gift. For example, this year I’m using homemade storage baskets that my kids need for the shelves in their bedrooms. One year I used large, floppy sun hats. You could use a sand pail, a pair of rain boots, or a baseball cap. It is key to use something you would need to buy anyway, otherwise you are just buying more junk.

My kids are ages 4-20, so I have a wide age range to buy for. The items below are well-priced and fit all of my criteria for being both educational and high quality.

Join Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as he goes on an Easter egg hunt! Who is hiding eggs in Mouse’s house? This adorable board book combines an engaging Easter theme with a story about colors!

This board book with sturdy pages is perfect for toddlers, who will enjoy the simple introduction to colors and counting. Each page has one or two sentences and points out a different color and number of eggs.

This book is just as magical today as it was when I was a child. Beautiful, Easter egg colored pictures help tell the story of a little bunny who does not let her difficult circumstances keep her from dreaming of being one of the 5 Easter Bunnies who delivers eggs to children.

Books are the very best Easter gifts if you don’t like clutter, and you don’t want to deal with bad behavior! Here are a few of our very favorite Easter books!

Easter books for kids

We love growing things from scratch. It’s such fun to watch your little plants emerge from the soil and grow! It’s good for kids to take care of living things in order to learn responsibility, too. Seed kits make perfect Easter basket fillers when you want a valuable experience instead of clutter, candy and junk.

Sidewalk chalk is one of things you can never have too much of and kids are always excited to receive more. The pretty colors will perk up your Easter baskets!

Your little one will be excited to find this in his Easter basket and it’s the perfect size to clip to your diaper bag to entertain him in the waiting room, during church or really anytime you need a life-saving distraction.

These fun markers have rave reviews because they double as stamps as well as markers! They’re super easy to clean up after the fun. No cups, no brush, no mess. And their chunky size is great for small hands.

Puzzle Sorting Easter Eggs for your Basket. Your child will be so busy having fun she won’t realize she is learning numbers, patterns, shapes and math concepts.

Durable wood puzzles with large, chunky pieces are best for little hands. Puzzles are an important educational learning tool for toddlers and young children as they provide many skills and mental learning benefits and opportunities.

Okay, I know. Play-doh can be messy! But sensory play is so important to child development that the mess it worthwhile. I find it easiest to cover the kitchen table and floor with large, pastic tablecloths, which I can shake out after letting my kids play.

I love open-ended crafting supplies like this, to encourage creativity in my kids. They can spend hours (during which I’m free!) at the table creating wonderful things. These make great Easter basket fillers!

My little girls love to create jewelry and this set is perfectly sized for little hands! Add it to her Easter basket for huge excitement!

Aren’t these mini building sets adorable? What child wouldn’t love to find one of these in their Easter basket? These little sets are perfect for filling plastic eggs, too!

These educational brain teasers would be the perfect Easter gift for kids who like to challenge themselves.

Wouldn’t this set of soft, plush finger puppets be fun to stuff into plastic Easter eggs? They’re such a great way to encourage imaginative play. Easter basket fillers don’t have to be junk!

Beach Toys are the perfect Easter basket filler! Because summer is right around the corner!

And finally, one of the most valuable things you can spend your money on is experiences. They won’t clutter up your house or make your kids act like hoodlums and they’re not a waste of money.

You can find fun, inexpensive experiences locally, print off a coupon and tuck them in the Easter basket or inside a plastic egg. The simpler the better!

Pin these fun Easter Basket ideas and plastic egg filler ideas for later!

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  1. Lindsay Zesiger says:

    Great ideas!! I love to give my kids a new swim suit , beach towel, or spring clothes in their basket. When they were younger I often gave them sand toys or a kite. 😀

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      How fun! I just added kites to ours because I was at Walmart and there was a huge display of fun ones for just $2.

  2. Melanie Tanner says:

    I love the book idea. A little hard for me to get books here though. And I LOVE the seed idea, but I don’t have anywhere to garden. Ahhh! But you’ve inspired me to come up with a game or “lego” set or something that we can all do together.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Legos are the best! My kids and I just barely finished an awesome 4300 piece set I bought them for Christmas. We absolutely loved assembling it as a family!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      You are SO right! All of my kids are voracious readers and I attribute it to reading to them so much as babies.

  3. Love the idea of sidewalk chalk! Also, the idea of seeds !!! We are planting a garden this spring, and the seeds would be a perfect starter!

  4. I like the egg shaped chalk! My older niece and nephew get tons of things from people in their family, so my mom and I try and stick to things like crafts and books and avoid candy.


    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I’m sure their mom appreciates that!

  5. So many fun ideas! I have a neighbor that one year she gave each child an Easter basket filled with flowers; pansies, petunias, etc. So pretty and colorful and they had fun having a spot in the garden for their own flowers to take care of and watch bloom all summer.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I love that idea! I think I’ll copy it! 🙂

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