Last year I talked a lot about going DIY instead of commercial with the kids’ Easter baskets but I never really went into detail on why. Part of it is self-preservation (lots of sugar + my 1 1/2 year old and 3 1/2 year old = bad things). But nixing the candy still leaves plenty of options outside the homemade sphere. There are, after all, lots of commercial products that do a great job of inspiring creative play. The larger reason is that I know both sets of grandparents will get the kids baskets filled with standard Easter fair as well as a toy or two (often art supplies or something else creative per my request), so going DIY makes my basket stand out a bit. It’s not that I’m against going out and buying fun stuff for the Easter basket, you see, it’s just already being done.
Is that how it works with the grandparents in your family? This year I’ve gotten a request for basket ideas from one grandma already and will likely be hearing from the other soon. Ever the multi-tasker, I figured I’d do a post on my recommendations in case you’re looking for inspiration too. My criteria is pretty simple: anything that encourages play or creativity is eligible and it doesn’t have to be Easter themed (in fact none of it is) to make it into our baskets. Let’s get started…
I’ve heard rave reviews about anything Ed Emberley and C is really into stamps right now. I think Ed’s fingerprint stamping book paired with this fingerprint stamp pad would be a fun activity for us to do together (C would be in charge of stamping and I’d be in charge of doodling). He would also love the transportation theme of these, especially to be used with a big colorful stamp pad.
We have two sets of wooden puzzles that are played with almost daily. So much so that they’re starting to wear thin. I think C is ready to move up from 24 pieces to 36 and these lovely floor puzzles look like just the ticket. And while we’re on the topic of puzzles, an MPMK reader recently commented about how wonderful Ravensburger puzzles are.
For the one year old I’m thinking more along the lines of art supplies. Lately she’s really started taking an interest in drawing and painting right along side C at our kitchen table. As a result our stock is at an all time low. I’d love to give the P’kolino crayons a try. Not only will their triangular shape prevent them from rolling off the table, they’re also easier for little hands to manipulate. I’d also like to see how little S does with crayon rocks.
Crayola’s got some interesting offerings I’d like to try out as well. Their vivid pastels take coloring to the next level and dry-erase crayons would be fun on our white board and laminated activity sheets.
Finally, here’s a few other supplies that would be right at home in our art center:
- Melissa and Doug large drawing pads, jumbo sized paint brushes, and spill-proof paint cups.
- Little hands funky brushes (S goes straight to these whenever they’re out at toddler group).
- Our very own supply of liquid water colors.
That’s my list, what’s going in your kiddos basket this year?
P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?