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85 Non-Food Spring & Easter Basket Ideas

on March 16, 2015

85 Non-Food Spring & Easter Basket Ideas at Code Name: Mama

For families who would like to avoid Easter and Ostara baskets full of sugary, processed foods (think Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs), or for egg hunts where there will be children with a variety of food allergies, here are some fun, non-food alternatives for plastic egg fillers (Amazon links are affiliate links).

Many of the ideas on this list can be homemade by you, with links to tutorials where relevant. You can check my Holiday and Seasonal Goodies Pinterest board, as well as my Busy Bag Ideas Pinterest board, for many more pictures and links.

And if you don’t have time to make everything, consider having a swap! Check out How to Have an Activity Bag Swap, and modify it to make the theme specific to spring/Easter/Ostara baskets. Have fun!

Homemade Treasures

  1. Felt Story Board Characters: Think traditional springtime fare: chickens, ducks, bunnies, trees, flowers, butterflies. Cover a piece of cardboard with flannel for story board play, and let the creativity begin. Here are a couple of Pinterest boards (board 1; board 2) for ideas.
  2. Bubbles: Pinterest has quite a few recipes.
  3. Wooden Peg People (Fairies and Gnomes): There are two adorable tutorials for wooden peg people: We Bloom Here and Wee Folk Art. Also check out this idea for astronaut peg people from MollyMoo, this one from Wee Folk Art for felt gnomes, and this tutorial for fairies from Treasures for Tots.
  4. Crayon Muffins: Recycled crayons are easy to make, check out this tutorial from Make and Takes or this one from Hands on as We Grow. This spring-themed muffin tin has a bunny and duck shape, among others.
  5. Animal Tails: Go wild! Inspire creative play with animal tails, you can see the easy tutorial at Code Name: Mama.
  6. Sidewalk Chalk: And it’s shaped like eggs! Thanks Skip to My Lou.
  7. Seed Bombs: Make “seed bombs” – thanks for the cute idea Gardenista!
  8. Finger Puppets: Such cute little finger puppet tutorials! Here’s one made out of a pipe cleaner and pom pom; sweet felt Bunnies at The Purl Bee; Farm and other animals at the idea room; and Crocheted Spring animals at Crochet Uncut.
  9. Wings: Give your children flight – make them wings. Here is a tutorial from Mommy Blessings.
  10. Play silks: Play silks are wonderful for open-ended creative play. Here are tutorials from Raising Olives; Clean; Make Baby Stuff.
  11. Bunny Ears: Here is an easy tutorial from One Little Minute Blog.
  12. Finger Paints: It’s warm enough to get messy outside again! Tutorials from At the Butterfly Ball; Crafting a Green World; Creative Kids at Home.
  13. Playdough: Here are twenty recipes from Paging Fun Mums.
  14. Egg Rattles: sweet and easy tutorial from Jelli Bean Journal.
  15. Painted Wooden Eggs: Create beautiful wooden eggs with a variety of paints. Tutorial from My Poppet.
  16. Acorn Fortune Eggs: How fun is this cute idea from Becoming Martha?!
  17. Washer Necklace: I love these ideas for DIY Washer Necklaces on Pinterest.
  18. Painted Rocks: Go easy with simple shapes or letters, or get creative (like these zentangle rocks or owl rocks).
  19. Homemade Confetti: Use a variety of fun paper punches to make confetti out of construction paper, newspaper, or even leaves!
  20. Bookmarks: Find simple and easy bookmarks to make out of paper or fabric.
  21. Bath Bombs: Make your own bath bombs, be sure to include a note so kids know not to eat them!
  22. Jingle Bells: Put them on a string – toddlers and preschoolers will love this easy instrument.
  23. Pirate Eye Patch: this easy dress-up prop has been much-loved in our house.
  24. Keychains: Take your pick from one of the fun and easy keychain tutorials on Pinterest.
  25. Store-bought Goodies

  26. Coins: Ok, not store-bought, but what kiddo doesn’t love the jingle of money in their egg?!
  27. Legos: Either a few bricks or a mini-figure.
  28. Glow Jewelry: Glow sticks may not fit, but you may be able to find glow rings or pendants that will fit well into plastic eggs.
  29. Toy cars: Hot Wheels will fit into the large plastic eggs.
  30. Stickers: Spring-themed or not, stickers are easy, cheap, and almost always a hit.
  31. Tattoos: They make kids’ tattoos that can be applied with water or not.
  32. Wristbands: Simple or decorated cotton wristbands.
  33. Seeds: Give kids their own garden starters with flower or vegetable seeds.
  34. Marbles: One or two or enough for a game.
  35. Magnets: You could get any kind of magnets – animals, letters, etc.
  36. Balloons: For those egg hunts with no babies/toddlers to worry about choking hazards, fill eggs with balloons.
  37. Erasers: Is it just me, or do erasers wear out way faster than pencils? Quality pencil topper erasers or hand held erasers are always appreciated in my house.
  38. Stress balls: Kids – especially kids with high sensory needs – will love kid-sized stress balls to squeeze.
  39. Bouncy balls: another time-tested favorite.
  40. Stamps: I’ve seen lots of rubber stamps and stamp pads at the thrift store, so you don’t have to pay full price.
  41. DIY Bead Bracelets: For Halloween last year, my goodie bowl was filled with ready-to-make bracelets. I included a length of string (I picked up a bag of some type of bracelet twine at a craft store), several plastic beads, and a strip of paper with instructions.
  42. Rings: From plastic rings to thrift store jewelry, there are many ways to fill eggs with rings that are fun and affordable.
  43. Band-aids: get a variety of fun colors, sizes, and characters.
  44. Shoe Laces: novelty or simply colorful.
  45. Ribbon: a length of pretty ribbon
  46. Buttons: pretty buttons and instructions on how to make a simple button craft.
  47. Fingernail Decorations: mini-stickers, mini-nail polish, etc.
  48. Pom poms: little bunny tail craft supplies!
  49. Mini Rubber Ducks: Amazon carries miniature rubber ducks and bunnies.
  50. Mini Cookie Cutters: find spring-themed shapes or simple hearts or flowers.
  51. Finger Trap Games: You know those little tubes that you put your index fingers in? Fun!
  52. Car Game Ideas: find fun games to play that don’t require boards or pieces, type up instructions, print copies, then fold up to put in eggs.
  53. Rubber Bracelets: toss in fun rubber bracelets with different sayings.
  54. Slinky: they make miniature ones that would fit in the larger eggs.
  55. Sticky Hands: These are always a hit with my kids and are perfect for eggs.
  56. Glow in the Dark Stars: You can open a package and put a few in each egg.
  57. Necklaces: Plastic beads or from the thrift store.
  58. Whistles: The small, plastic kind should fit in eggs.
  59. Vampire Teeth: Why should they only be for Halloween?! You can find them in pastels – perfect for spring.
  60. Wind-up Toys: You know the little animals that wind up and chatter across the table?
  61. Yo-yos: The mini yo-yos are usually junk, but the big ones might fit in extra large plastic eggs.
  62. Gems and rocks: pretty rocks for crafts and decorations.
  63. Miniatures: Think the mini house items that go in a shadow box.
  64. Plastic Animals: Dollar stores and toy stores usually have big packs of plastic animals for a good price.
  65. Lip Balm: We love Burt’s Bees and other natural lip balms.
  66. Dice: My kids LOVE dice games.
  67. Rubber Bands: These are good for more than keeping hair back!
  68. Glue sticks: for their craft supplies.
  69. Silly Putty: These are already eggs, bonus!
  70. Mad Libs: Create your own spring-themed mad lib, print copies, then fold up to put in eggs.
  71. Magic Grow Capsules: Those sponge animals and shapes that come in a gel capsule and grow when you put them in water.
  72. Fortune Teller Miracle Fish: these were a huge hit at Halloween!
  73. Socks: Spring-themed kids’ socks will fit in large eggs.
  74. Mini Washi Tape: Kids love these super cute tapes.
  75. Glitter: get small vials of glitter for craft supplies.
  76. Scarves: Find cheap bandannas in a pack or fancier scarves at the thrift store.
  77. Mini Flash Lights: My kids loved the mini flash lights I put in their stockings.
  78. Small Notepad: post-it makes mini pads small enough for eggs.
  79. Whoopie Cushion: need I say more?
  80. Stick-on Mustache: these are so fun!
  81. Jumping Animals: The plastic kind with a little piece on the back, when you push on it, the animal jumps (usually frogs).
  82. Counting bears: little plastic bears you can count and sort.
  83. Fancy beads: pretty beads to string or glue.
  84. Coupons or tokens: find coupons or tokens for a local restaurant or game place.
  85. Mini Stuffed Animals: Tiny beanie babies or similar.
  86. Hole Punches: mini hole punches so kids can create their own confetti.

What non-food items are you putting in your children’s baskets?

Photo adapted with permission from Marie Coleman via Flickr Creative Commons

This article was previously published at Code Name: Mama.


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