Growing up there were two highly anticipated holidays that made me giddy with excitement: Christmas and Easter.
Now, as an adult, there are other aspects of these celebrations that I appreciate and look forward to but back then, you guessed it, I couldn´t wait to get the presents.
I remember that on Easter Day, I woke up early and ran downstairs (I don´t think my feet touched the steps, I ran so fast) to see what the Easter Bunny has brought me. Generally, it was a basket filled with sweets and (maybe) a small toy. But the tradition, at least in my family, was that the Easter Bunny brought primarily sweets and Santa Claus was in charge of the toys.
Now, as a mom, I try to somewhat move away from all the sugar and focus more on Easter basket fillers that my little boy can benefit from. Although I confess, I will still put some sweeties in there as well.
So, if you are like me and trying to have fewer sweets in your toddler´s Easter basket and more educational presents, here are some fantastic Easter basket filler ideas.
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Arts and Crafts Easter basket fillers for toddlers and preschoolers
This super-cool arts & crafts kit from Melissa&Doug contains 4 butterfly-shaped wooden magnets, each with a different design along with 4 pots of different coloured paints, a paintbrush, glitter glue, and 10 gem stickers.
This is a great kit to allow kids to express their creativity but also develop their concentration and fine motor skills.
I´ve always wanted a spirograph ever since I saw the one my childhood friend had. So, yeah, they´ve been around for a while but I still think it´s a great toy that encourages creativity.
The current version of the Spirograph looks a lot sleeker than the older version and comes with many more components like a super cool case where you can store all the gears, paper, and markers but the case also serves as a design desk, 4 gears, and one big gear ring, 5 colorful markers, a paper pad, a guide book with design ideas.
The gears are big enough to be handled by little toddler hands which makes the Spirograph perfect for kids ages 3+.
Don´t you think your windows look boring? Why not use them as a means for your child to express their artistic nature?
This kit contains 12 cute suncatchers, 12 suction cups, and 8 non-toxic paint pens.
Kids will surely have a blast painting the suncatchers and then displaying them on the window. *It would probably be a good idea to assist younger children when squeezing the paint pens so they don´t squeeze out too much paint- happened to us many times, hehe*.
Hand puppets are fantastic for role-playing which in turn has amazing benefits on children’s development like language and communication skills, social and emotional skills, creativity and imagination as well as physical development.
Hand puppets are so fun to play with but it´s even more fun when you get to design them.
This cool kit comes with 6 hand puppets of different colours, pom poms, googly eyes, felt decorative shapes, and a simple cardboard box to store it all.
It wouldn´t be Easter without decorating bunnies, eggs, and little chicks.
A perfect Easter basket filler idea that contains 12 squishy figurines (9 eggs, 1 bunny, 1 sheep, and 1 chick), 12 pots of paint, 2 brushes, 9 lanyards, and a manual.
After decorating them I would hide them around the house or garden and organize a treasure hunt. So much fun!
Sensory Easter Basket Stuffers for Toddlers and Preschoolers
So, I am sure your little one will be delighted to find this pack of 18 Easter eggs filled with different types of slime inside their Easter baskets. The slime is non-toxic, non-sticky, super stretchy, and soft, just how slime is supposed to be.
Besides just popping the bubbles, the two pieces can also be used to play logic and reasoning games.
3. Water Beads
Water beads are quite a popular material when it comes to sensory play for kids. What I like about this particular set, which by the way contains 50.000 beads, is that it comes in different colours, so besides the sensory play, you can practice colours, sorting, or numbers with them.
4. Kinetic Sand
We discovered Kinetic Sand almost two years ago and we are absolutely in love with it. Me, because it´s mess-free, it doesn´t stick to your hands, it´s not greasy and it doesn´t go everywhere as normal sand does. My son, because it has the texture of moist sand, can squeeze it, shape it into different things, destroy and build back again.
One of the best things about Kinetic sand is that it´s non-toxic and it doesn´t dry so one bag of sand will last for a long time. Oh, and don´t get me started on all the cool accessories.
In my opinion, Kinetic Sand is one of the best sensory toys for kids out there and the perfect Easter basket filler.
Numbers and Letters Easter basket filler ideas
Easter is a great opportunity to get your child a useful, educational gift. Here are some ideas of basket fillers for preschool that practice numbers and letters in a fun way.
A brilliant toy from Melissa&Doug that not only practices numbers and counting but also matching skills. You might be wondering what ¨self-correcting¨means. Each puzzle piece has only one match, thus, each of the number pieces can only fit with one of the object pieces. This also means that kids can play this game independently.
If you´ve bought from Melissa&Doug before, you know that their toys are of the highest quality and the Self-Correcting Number PUzzles is no exception. The 40 wooden puzzle pieces come in a wooden storage box with a slide-in lid for easy storage.
*They also have the Self-Correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzles
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The wallet itself is made of nylon with a self-stick tab closure with pockets, slots, and pouches just like a real wallet.
Besides the wallet, you will get 14 pretend bills, 19 coins, and 11 write-on cards.
If you want to make that “At the Supermarket” pretend play as real as possible, while teaching your child about the value of money, counting, addition, and subtraction, this wallet is the perfect gift this Easter.
3. Magnetic Fishing Game
We bought this exact magnetic fishing game more than one year ago and my son still loves playing with it. I am impressed by the fact that, after intense usage, it is still in great condition.
The pack includes 1 game board, 2 magnetic fishing rods, 15 beautiful marine creatures with numbers on the back that represent each animal’s place within the food chain (it’s also a good way of practising number recognition).
It is a great toy for kids as young as 2 years of age as it refines hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, colour, and pattern recognition, for preschoolers, it practices number recognition and basic operations.
There are quite a few ways in which kids can play with the Magnetic Fishing Game which makes it fantastic fun, educational toy.
I couldn´t help myself suggest this since my boy is obsessed with dinosaurs and he doesn´t show signs of moving on. If your little one is like mine, I figured why not combine their love for dinosaurs with learning uppercase and lowercase letters.
The set contains 26 colourful dinosaurs that split in the middle. On one half you have the uppercase letter on the other the lowercase letter.
I like this set because besides learning letter recognition these dinosaurs can be used for colour sorting and imaginative play.
All the books in the Poke-a Dot collection are great for language development, learning through interaction, and developing fine motor skills.
This pack contains 6 bingo cards, 26 letter tokens, and 72 chips to mark your matches. The bingo cards are colourful and attractive for kids, they have 16 random letters on them along with an image that represents each letter. It is truly a game for the whole family.
Simply Fun Easter Games
The pack contains 6 beautifully coloured wooden spoons and eggs.
Another great family game is this Easter-themed toss game. It comes with a big, sturdy, foldable gamepad and 4 carrot design bean bags. The gamepad is 30”x 54” and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Besides the toss game, the gamepad works great as a backdrop for cheerful Easter family photos.
Guaranteed fun for any kiddie party is the classic ¨Pin the…¨ type of game. Get the Easter edition which contains 3 different versions: pin the tail on the bunny, pin the Easter eggs in the basket and pin the beak on the chicken.
The posters are sturdy, have a decent size (17¨x13¨), are easy to clean and store.
Hoppy Floppy´s Happy Hunt makes the perfect first board game for your toddler. The pack contains a spinner board, 4 different coloured carrots, 4 little baskets, an egg-shaped box, and a Hoppy Floppy squeezer.
The game is simple. Players take turns in spinning the arrow on the spinner and depending on the colour they land on, they have to use the bunny squeezer to pick up the corresponding carrot and put it in their basket. The player that fills his/her basket first is the winner.
The spinner, besides the coloured areas also has hazards and rewards like spin again, steal from another player, lose all your carrots, choose any colour and lose your turn which makes the game all the more fun.
I love board games for young kids because they teach them to take turns, dealing with their emotions when things don´t go their way and of course, the social skills and language development that come with board games.
I hope these Easter basket filler ideas will give you some inspiration and make this year´s Easter special, fun and filled with family fun and giggles.
Happy Easter everybody!
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Mom of two wonderful children, dedicated teacher and book lover.