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Creative Play Easter Basket - a great candy-free alternative

Anatomy of a “Creative Play Easter Basket”

I hinted about this post last week, so here it is – C’s “Creative Play Easter Basket”.  I had 3 goals for this basket:


  1. No candy allowed
  2. Absolutely every part of the basket has to be usable for play
  3. Inexpensive to make (and by that I mean CHEAP!)

Thanks to a lot of clever bloggers and the dollar section at Target, I was able to meet all three of my goals.  I’m really happy with how it turned out and I think C will be thrilled.  Click through and I’ll share all my resources so you can make one of your own.

First up is the basket itself and the “grass” for filling.  These are the two parts of an Easter basket that I find to be the most wasteful.  They’re good for exactly one Easter egg hunt and after that they’re done. So instead of going the traditional route, I picked up this sand pail at target for a little over two bucks (I’ve since seen them for $1 at Michaels – doh!).

For “grass” filling inside my basket I passed on that plastic stuff you end up finding between your couch cushions weeks after Easter and used this method for making yarn pom poms instead.  I made dark green, light green, and a mixture of the two in various sizes.  I’m envisioning lots of sorting and tossing games with these but I have a feeling C will come up with his own uses for them.

You can’t have an Easter basket without some eggs and I was planning on using this clever DIY to make sidewalk chalk eggs for C.  But I scored these babies in the dollar section at Target instead.



I also got two sizes of the plastic eggs in Target’s dollar section, perfect for nesting and building activities.  And I couldn’t leave them empty (how sad would that be when C opened them up?) so I filled them with some extra foam letter and number stickers I had.


Next up are the paper goodies.  First is this adorable bunny puppet.  You can get the free printable for this guy (plus his friend) at small for big.  Just print to card stock and use the extra small hole punch you bought to make the paint chip Easter garland.  Secure the pieces with yarn, glue it to a popsicle stick, and you’re done.



Second is the DIY Easter memory game (with a free printable) I made for you last week.

Last are two items for silly, messy fun.  I know this sponge ball doesn’t exactly scream Easter but as soon as I saw the DIY here, I knew C would love it.  (He got a sneak peek the other day as an incentive for taking a bath and I was totally right, he was enthralled.)


And finally, there’s this “silly” carrot – bet you can guess what’s inside.  I’ll have the full DIY for this one up on momtastic tomorrow (update: link here).




So there you go, a candy-free and inexpensive Easter basket that encourages creativity and play.  Hit up your local Target’s dollar section and make yours today!


For more candy-free Easter ideas, check out:

Easter basket ideas

  1. DIY Wooden Watercolor Eggs
  2. Free Printable: Easter Memory Game
  3. Anatomy of a Creative Play Easter Basket
  4. Silly Putty Easter Carrot
  5. Water Bead Easter Eggs
  6. Books Perfect for the Easter Basket
  7. A Simple Handmade Toy for Baby’s Easter Basket


  1. DIY Paint Chip Easter Garland
  2. Less-Mess, More Fun Watercolor Easter Eggs


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