Sometimes I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to gifting items to our children. Case in point…the Easter basket. I absolutely love gifting because it’s so fun to seek out the perfect gift for someone else and watch them light up when you absolutely nail it. But there’s also a part of me that rages against materialism and the amassing of things. The struggle is real. But I’m starting to learn how to use minimalism to guide decisions like “What to include in our children’s Easter baskets?” So today I thought I would share my minimalist Easter basket ideas in case there are others who have a similar struggle.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism isn’t about having the fewest amount of things or going without. It’s quite contrary to that. My favorite definition of minimalism is intentionally promoting the things we value most and eliminating everything that distracts us from that. It’s a definition I picked up from Joshua Becker and have held it tight.
To have a minimalist mindset requires you to know and understand your values. The things our family values include: time spent outdoors, creating, gardening, books and reading, quality time spent as a family, quality items that stand the test of time, natural and holistic lifestyles, and so many more.
How to Apply Minimalism To Easter Baskets?
My biggest tip for achieving the minimalist Easter basket is to think about what your family values and what your children need or could use to enhance those values. For example, our family values time spent outdoors swimming in the river every summer. I always include swimsuits and sandals in their Easter baskets because those items support our family values and are things my kids need every year. Another example is our family values books and reading. We spend a lot of time reading together every day and have a large bookcase dedicated to children’s books that we intend to fill. Our kids rarely get new books outside of their birthdays and holidays, so their Easter baskets always include a couple of new books for the shelf.
Your family values will be different from my family values, thus your minimalist Easter basket will look much different from mine. So let’s dive in and look at some of my favorite ideas for intentional, minimalist Easter baskets and items to fill them.
The Easter Basket
There are so many Easter basket ideas and options out there. Personally, I either purchase a basket that I plan to repurpose or pick up a thrifted basket for fifty cents and send it back to the thrift store afterward. Some of my favorite “baskets” include:
- Baskets that double as toy storage
- Bins or totes
- Upside down umbrella
- Harvest baskets
- Beach bag
- Garden tote
The Easter Basket Filler
I almost bought Easter basket filler this year. You know the stuff. The colored crinkle paper gets everywhere. I’ve used it in Easter baskets of yore and have immediately regretted it months later when I was still finding it in the nooks and crannies of the couch. Anyway, I had a few packages of it in my Target cart because I just could not come up with an idea for something soft to stuff in the bottom of the basket to help fill it. But then inspiration struck and rather than spend $12 on crinkle paper (for two baskets), I put those dollars towards a pair of beach towels for $30 instead. Yes, it was more expensive but we are in need of a few more beach towels. I would rather spend the extra money to get something we need and will use for years than spend less money on something that gets tossed.
- Beach towels
- Play silks
- Sweater or clothing
- Swaddle blanket
- Baby blanket
- Hooded towel
- Bath robe
Consumables are great items to include in an Easter basket and there are plenty of other consumables out there other than candy. Although, funny story about Easter candy! We always travel for Easter and the kids spend the day with their cousins (and sooooo many second cousins). I don’t typically put more than a piece or two of candy in their Easter baskets because they get more than their fair share during the big egg hunt adventure. Well, five-year-old Rowan caught on last year and started questioning the Easter bunny’s judgement in giving her cousins a bunch of candy in their baskets but not giving her more than a peanut butter cup. Lesson learned and thankfully her cousins shared their bounty.
When choosing consumables for a minimalist Easter basket, think about not only what your family values but also what you don’t value. We value a natural, holistic lifestyle so adding candy or toxic nail polish to our daughter’s basket doesn’t fit. We do add a piece or two of candy but try to find something a little cleaner. Or the year she showed interest in painting her nails, we found a more eco-friendly version to put in her basket.
- Crayons and markers
- Craft supplies
- Coloring books
- Lip balm
- Bubble bath
- Nail polish
Clothing and Footwear
It’s become a tradition in our household that every Easter basket includes a new swimsuit and a pair of sandals. We value summer swims in our local river and it’s something I would be buying for the kids anyway. Kids’ suits are also so colorful and cute that it’s a great pop of color in the basket mix. This year, I almost bought both of the girls some Keen water shoes, but Bea is between sizes right now so I opted to wait on those and went with a cheaper pair of sandals for now.
- Sandals or summer shoes
- Bathing suits
- Sun hats or baseball caps
- Rain boots
- Hair bows
- Fun jewelry
While I don’t love a ton of toys in an Easter basket, I do try to put a couple of small items in their baskets. As a family, we value connection and love to play games together so it’s not uncommon to find a game in their baskets. I also attempt to make those items a good quality, wooden or heirloom-type piece. I tend to pick these items up throughout the year, as I come across them, and save them for Easter baskets and Christmas stocking stuffers. One of my favorite sources for heirloom quality toys is Bella Luna Toys where you’ll find all kinds of natural, eco-friendly items for Easter.
- Stuffed animals (only if you don’t have too many already)
- Small games (like jacks, memory, dominoes, etc.)
- Giant bubble wand
- Water toys
- Beach toys
- Kids camera
- Jump rope
- Musical instruments
- Pull cars
- Bath toys
Books. Oh for the love of books! Books are a very important part of our family culture. We believe in reading together as a family and I rarely say no if the kids want to read with me. We have fixed, dedicated space for both the kids’ books and the adult books, which helps us regularly cull the literature we don’t love anymore. I ALWAYS include a few books in our kids’ Easter baskets. Some of our favorites…
- Eggs are Everywhere
- Pat the Bunny
- Bunny Roo I Love You
- The Little Rabbit
- Deep in the Woods
- Will You Be My Sunshine
- My First Book of Growing Food
- The Velveteen Rabbit
- It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny
- We Are the Gardeners
- The Good Egg
- Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
- Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring
- The Pink Umbrella
- The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy
- Tiny Perfect Things
- Miss Rumphius
- And so many more!
There are always seasonal items that support our family values and are great to have around for the kids. These items are great additions to an Easter basket. One year Rowan was super interested in bugs so we put “The Big Book of Bugs” and items for bug collecting in her Easter basket. She still uses those items years later and they have enhanced her love of nature. Another year I gave her some water toys like diving rings, squirters, and a new pair of goggles when she was learning how to swim.
- Water toys
- Beach toys
- Bug net
- Gardening tools
- Watering can
- Soccer ball
- Pool float
Other Practical Easter Basket Ideas
There are always SOOOOO many things that kids need that you can gift in an Easter basket. I always take an audit of what our kids need and the nice to haves. That audit gives me some ideas of where I can fill in an Easter basket with a few necessities.
- Water bottles or sippy cups
- Snack bowls
What Are We Putting in Our Kids’ Easter Baskets This Year?
Beatrix (Age 1)
In Beatrix’s Easter basket: Beach towel, bathing suit, sandals, Richard Scary book, Pat the Bunny book, bubbles, wooden sailboat, and some pacifiers (we are woefully understocked at the moment).
Rowan (Age 6)
In Rowan’s Easter basket: Beach towel, bathing suit, sandals, Big Book of Belonging book, It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny early reader book (she’s learning to read!), jacks, wooden memory game (her favorite), bubbles, chocolate bunny, and markers.
Their baskets are the wire Easter basket from the Magnolia line at Target. We’re in the middle of doing a big toy organization over here and I’m planning to use the baskets as toy storage after Easter. I love that the kids can easily see the contents of the basket to make it easier for them to spot what they are looking for on the toy shelves.
Keep It Simple And Incorporate Family Values
The bottom line is, Easter baskets don’t need to be extravagant. Kids get so excited over just a few things, even if those things are practical everyday type items. My kids really don’t need much so I try to check myself and create a minimalist Easter basket for them.
Be incredibly intentional about the things you do include in their Easter baskets. Don’t just go to Target and pick up things that strike you on a whim. Have a plan that incorporates your family values, even if that plan is loose.
Another tip, keep a small stash of things you collect throughout the year. I know what my family loves and what we value so when I see something small that’s a fit, I typically pick it up and put it in a basket tucked away on a high shelf in my craft room. Then when I need an Easter basket item or stocking stuffer, it’s already there. For example, Rowan loves playing Memory and her card set is missing many cards and has seen better days. I came across a wooden Memory game in September and picked it up knowing we love playing the game together. It’s been in my gift basket waiting for its time in her Easter basket ever since.
I’m sure I missed things, so feel free to fire off a comment with some of your favorite, practical Easter basket ideas.
PS…Did you see our Where We’ve Been post and catch up with what we’ve been up to? It feels so good to be writing and blogging again.