Easter is coming, and we do an Easter egg hunt with my brother's kids. (All together, they'll be four kids, aged: 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 5.5) We all want the kids to have better things in their Easter eggs, rather than sugary candy or plastic toys. But what? Anyone have ideas of affordable, non-toxic food/toys that fit in Easter eggs? Preferably without much plastic...
In the past we've done:
lara bars cut into pieces and wrapped in wax paper (time consuming, and the lara bars still have plastic wrappers)
fruit leather (comes in plastic, but at least it's fruit and still fun and a treat)
small plastic toys from the dollar store (who knows what's in those :( )
bouncy balls (not natural, but is a fun toy and not more candy)
tiny Thomas the Tank Engine trains (plastic, but at least the kids keep playing with them)
As you can see, there's a lot of room for improvement!
glass marbles (choking hazzard for the youngest one, but we'll probably let her go first and guide her to eggs that have things she can play with)
wool felt hearts or tiny chicks? I can make these from wool, but they might take time!
Cheese wedges, or cut cheese sticks or cheese cubes
Pretzels, maybe dipped in yogurt
Energy balls (recipes online)
Wood cube type blocks painted silly colors
Googly eyes with peel off backs
Can you stuff a bandana in an egg?
Things made of origami
We went shopping yesterday for goodies to fill the Easter Eggs with. We bought:
Fruit leather twists
Fruit Leather "stars" (think fruit snacks, but just fruit leather cut into star shapes)
Dice in all the colors of the rainbow
4 tiny kaleidescope from the dollar store
Amy's bunnies organic fruit snacks
We didn't do dried fruit, because the kids eat that all the time, and my husban grew up with Easter being like a second Christmas, with Easter baskets full of toys plus and Easter Egg hunt. All I ever had was a Easter Egg hunt for boiled eggs we dyed ourselves, and plastic eggs with a few jelly beans in each. That was enough for me and my brother, and we never felt a lack! But, my husband had more, and so we compromised and there's fun stuff in the eggs, and enough eggs to fill a basket, but no basket full of toys. I'm pretty sure if I suggested dried fruit, he'd think I was lame and abusing our kids, lol!
I've also started needle felting some little chicks and ducklings to go in some eggs. I'm hoping I can make four ducks and four chicks so the four kids will get their own flock. But, we'll see how much time I have. These two took all day, and they're still a bit rough. I'm thinking the little kids don't need too much detail, though!
I'm a bit late coming into this discussion for this year but maybe it will be useful for someone next year.
I always loved the "hunt" just as much as the prizes. So I think a good scavenger hunt with clues and then a treasure or prize at the end is really fun. The treasure could be a big fun item or an easter basket of some kind.
The egg hunt could be plastic eggs that contain clues for the scavenger hunt and maybe a few along the way that has a goodie inside, rather than just an egg hunt with all the eggs having to be filled with goodies.
Things that are "new life" and "spring time" themed fit in with easter, so things to do with gardening, supporting wildlife, nature, the spring season, etc. all could be used as items for an easter basket or treasure.
-Fairy gardens! That is what my sister did this year.
- colorful packets of seeds to plant
- a little pot of herbs or pretty flowers, could be edible varieties
- some little plants to plant in their own garden
-seedling or sapling to plant
- a few small gardening tools
-cute little gardening gloves
-larger gardening items such as small wheelbarrow, rake, watering can, etc.
-cute or funny plant markers for their garden
-sunflower house kit (picture of a sunflower house with sunflower seed packet)
-butterfly garden kit ( Milkweed seeds, pollinator seed mix, butterfly water dish, little "Butterfly Garden" sign to put up).
Nature and wildlife themed;
-a homemade craft kit of some kind
-a bird house they could paint and hang up, or a birdhouse kit they could build
-bird feeder with seeds
-humming bird feeder
-easy to use bird guide book
-a wild flower guide book
-guide to local wildlife
-educational posters for animal tracks and sign, plants, trees, flowers, butterflys, etc.
-identification cards for wildlife or plants
-Mason bee house
If your kids like art, art supplies are great; paint, paper, craft supplies, color pencils, crayons, etc.
- supplies to make art for their gardens. Pintrest has lots of cute ideas. You could paint rocks or make plant markers for example.
Just for fun stuff I remember getting as a kid;
-sand box toys
- stuffed animals
- jacks game
I only liked the chocolate in my easter basket. I use to save all my Jellybeans as treats for my pony mule. He LOVED them.
“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” Winston Churchill
Also late to the conversation, but what about homemade popcorn balls? There is a bit of sugar to them, but not as bad as most candies. Homemade cookies in fun shapes, i.e., ducks, bunnies, eggs. As previously posted, fruit leathers. . .
Sorry I didn't see this sooner: dried fruit, fresh fruit, chocolate covered fruit, trail mix, beef jerky, dark chocolate, protein bars, health drinks, tea, arts and crafts, outdoorsy stuff (fishing pole, bait, arrows, bug net, etc), seeds for planting, books, stickers, handmade goods, hands-on activities and games, microwavable Annie's mac n cheese cups, pens, pencils, markers, bubbles, chalk, toys, games, plants, applesauce cups, pudding cups, string cheese, recipe ingredients to make cookies/bars/etc, apron, sticker books, coloring books, blanket, new pillow, water canteen, notebook, jewelry, hat, new shoes.
All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. ~Steinbeck
Super disappointing to see all my local parks completely trashed with tiny pieces of glitter plastic from easter eggs, wish this would be a more mainstream issue. I don't understand how people could find it okay to litter plastic everywhere at children parks and not clean it up.
I LOVE this thread. It feels like homecoming that there are other humans out there that think like myself as I get older.
My kids came back to me with plastic buckets of plastic eggs, filled with a variety of junk. It broke my heart and it was a tough set of moments trying to educate them on how this is pure resource wastage and will end up at least in some portion as litter, while trying to keep their little happy hearts filled with happiness.
I may start a thread on this and ask for some advice on how to deal with it.
THANK YOU for being who you all are, and seeing the plastic evolution of all things Easter as being incredibly terrible.
I love someones idea about the puzzle pieces to make a puzzle! On that same train of thought, what about filling them with beads to collect together to string a necklace.
My Parents used to put quarters and dollar bills in a few of ours & we thought that was very exciting!