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Easter Basket Fillers

Great Alternatives to Candy

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Updated March 17, 2010

Loading up the Easter basket with candy isn't the best option for our children's health. So what are some good healthful substitutes that the kids will like? The suggestions here will not only provide you with alternatives to candy for the Easter basket, but can also nurture your child's interests!

1. Small Toys

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Small toys are perfect for putting in Easter baskets. An example of a great toy to include is a simple slide puzzle. They are usually pretty easy to find and aren't very expensive. The local drug store probably has a selection of small toys that your child might enjoy. When you're looking for toys for the Easter basket, think about what your child is interested in. If your child loves dinosaurs, you might get some small plastic dinosaurs. If your child likes Legos, get the smallest box of legos you can find. Also, look for educational toys. A great place to look for small educational toys is the nearest teacher store. You can find items there that you can't find anywhere else.

2. CDs and DVDs

Chances are you're going to buy a CD or a DVD for your child sometime during the year.  Why not buy one at Easter time and use it to help fill the Easter basket?  If your child has some favorite singers or musical groups, you could buy one of their CDs.  There are also some wonderful CDs featuring the Sesame Street characters as well as other children's favorites.

The same is true of DVDs.  Many children love Sesame Street and there are plenty of DVDs featuring the characters on that show.  There are other DVDs with favorite TV characters as well.  Eyewitness DVDs are great choices for gifted kids, too, as are favorite animated movies and other movies gifted kids love.

3. Decorated Easter Eggs

Colored Easter eggs are great additions to an Easter basket. Not only do they take up some space in that Easter basket, they also add some color. If your child has decorated the eggs, they can also add a little creative "art" to the basket. And if your child likes hard boiled eggs, they give him or her something to eat besides candy! Hard boiled eggs won't spoil overnight, so it's okay for the Easter Bunny to put them in the basket on Easter Eve. The kids can eat one or two in the morning for breakfast! However, the eggs should be refrigerated later in the day. You don't want them to sit out another night.

4. Hollow Plastic Eggs

Plastic Hollow Easter Eggs
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This is one of my favorite Easter basket fillers because they are so versatile!  You can fill them with just about anything, from raisins and other more healthful foods to gift certificates and anything else that you can fit inside one of the eggs.  I used to use them as part of an Easter egg hunt.  My son was an early reader, so I would create hints in these eggs that would eventually lead him to a special Easter gift, such as a video I knew he'd love. The same thing can be done with math problems or even with pictures.

You can even create some of your own "coupons" to put in the eggs, such as "Stay up one extra hour" or "One vegetable free dinner." 

5. Art Supplies

If your child is artistic or you would like to encourage some artistic expression, then add a few art supplies to your child's Easter basket. Colored pencils or a nice new box of crayons are perfect items for the basket. Brushes and watercolors are good too. You can also include a coloring book or some art paper. You can roll them up and tie them with some ribbon before putting them in the basket or you can simply place them underneath the basket.

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