Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Candy-free Easter Baskets

You've JUST finished the Halloween candy, and it is already time to think about Easter. You pass by the candy in the store, you may have even purchased some to put out with your Easter decorations. Maybe you have even already eaten it all! It is so tempting, isn't it? I remember, "back in the day" when my children were younger, before they knew what sugar was. Life was so simple then! They are now 3 and almost 5...and the battle of sugar began long ago, when people began dangling M&M's, suckers, and taffy in front of them.
We know that sugar is not good for the body. We know that sugar is horrible on teeth. Yet, we continue to celebrate every holiday by showering our children with candy! What is wrong with us? Actually, we have done pretty well, personally, but family members LOVE giving the kids candy. What they don't realize is that if every family member gives them candy...that's a LOT of candy! We usually end up throwing it away before they eat it all, and they never even notice. But if they know where it is, they will sneak into it when they aren't supposed to and I've been known to dump the whole bowl in the trash when I catch them. Candy to children is like drugs to an addict...if they know it's there, they just can't stay away from it.
There will be no candy in our Easter baskets this year. We MIGHT include a small chocolate bunny, but really, we can be more creative than that! We usually think about spring toys, bathing suits, and other things necessary for spring and summer, and to help you get the juices flowing, we've compiled this list. Choose age appropriate items for your children and watch them enjoy!

blow-up beach ball
bouncy balls
change purse
color wonder book w/ markers
coloring book
cross necklace
hand puppets
handbag (Use the handbag as the basket!)
jump rope
magna doodle
matchbox cars
play doh or silly putty
sand toys
sidewalk chalk
small puzzle
swim goggles
swim suit
temporary tattoos
wooden beads/strings
One idea for the family that does an egg hunt AND Easter baskets; you can get one of those make your own puzzle kits at a craft store and put one puzzle piece in each egg. The puzzle can show a picture (for younger children) of where the Easter basket is located. For older children, a riddle or map can lead them to their goodies. Children LOVE this kind of stuff. If you have more than one child, they will not fight over who has the best candy. They will work together on the puzzle so they can find their Easter baskets. You can also make your own puzzle at home, by cutting the picture or paper into smaller pieces.
Have a wonderful Easter, and we hope with these ideas, it is the most fun and healthiest Easter for you yet! Don't forget to tell your little ones what Easter is REALLY all about!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you're interested in sending out hair bows in your Easter baskets, check out these cute handmade ones at My Little Sunshine BoWtique