Easter is my favorite holiday. I love it because of what it celebrates – the resurrection of Christ. And I love it for what it symbolizes – new beginnings. I love this time of year. I love spring colors and clothes and flowers. I love bunnies and chicks and Cadbury eggs. And I love Easter baskets.
When I was growing up, my Mom’s favorite holiday ritual would have to be Christmas stockings. She’d spend months collecting the perfect little trinkets and odds and ends for our stockings. And because it was her favorite part of Christmas, it became one of my favorite parts, too. When I caught myself picking up a little something to stick in Bean’s Easter basket in February this year, I smiled to myself and thought, “Easter baskets are going to be my thing.”
I’ve been collecting little things for Bean’s Easter basket for the past couple weeks. Nothing big or important or expensive, but little things I know he’ll love. And last night I put it all together.
I had been meaning to buy these beautiful Easter basket liners from Pottery Barn that are embroidered with the kids names. I want them to have permanent Easter baskets instead of disposable ones. But with Gracie’s arrival, I just didn’t get around to it in time. Maybe next year. This year, I settled for $2 and $3 wicker baskets from Target. They are pretty flimsy, but they get the job done.
Gracie’s basket this year is filled with functional things that we actually need for her. I felt bad about that, but then again, what would she do with toys?
She’s getting a pack of 4oz bottles because we need just a few more around here these days. And even though she has a ton of hand toys already, I couldn’t resist putting at least ONE fun thing in her basket.
She’s also getting a much needed pack of girly bibs. Girlfriend must have a leak in her chin somewhere because when she eats, milk goes everywhere! And her little rolls in her chin make it hard to clean her up!
I put the essentials in her basket, too. She gets a little chocolate bunny, an egg of M&M’s, and a Pez dispenser. All of which are necessities in any Easter basket. (And all of which will be appreciated by her daddy…)
Bean’s basket is full of more fun stuff, like games and toys and things to do. I thought about doing a themed basket for him. I started with an educational theme and I planned to fill the basket with educational games and toys we could use to learn with this summer. Then I thought about an outdoor theme and I planned to fill the basket with outdoor activities like sprinkler attachments and sidewalk chalk. Then I thought about a Sesame Street theme since Bean is on an Elmo and Cookie Monster kick right now. But in the end, I found a little of this and a little of that and so I’m calling this theme, “Things Bean Likes.” Clever, right?
His two big things (if you can call them big – they were $3 each at Toys R Us!) are a bowling pin set that we can play with outside and a magnetic fishing game that we can use in the bathtub or outside in the water table.
I picked up these two random things at Ikea last weekend. One is a pack of big boy cups. He was learning to use these at daycare and he drinks out of ours occasionally. I thought he might like some cups of his own. They are smaller sized, plastic, and brightly colored, so I think they’ll be a big hit. I also found bendy straws, which are one of Bean’s favorite things in the whole world. Both of these were 99 cents each – what a steal!
Also from a 99 cent bin was this set of Go Fish cards. Bean won’t be able to actually play the Go Fish game, but I got these to practice matching with this summer. I thought I could set up a few cards on the floor and we could work on finding the matching items.
I am almost ashamed to tell you that I paid $2.50 for two sheets of stickers, but I did. I can’t stand stickers with Bean because they end up all over our hardwood floors and stuck to all our furniture, but he loves them so much and he is obsessed with Toy Story so I thought these would be a fun splurge. Easter bunnies can’t always be economical!
I think these next few things are going to be a big hit. I found them all in the 99 cent bin at Target last night. There is an Elmo book and a Cookie Monster book and then little Elmo and Cookie Monster figurines. Bean is all about Elmo and Cookie Monster right now, so these are going to be awesome for him. And 99 cents each more than makes up for my sticker splurge!
Bean also got some candy for his basket, even though I debated about giving him any at all. But, it’s Easter. It won’t kill him. Plus, I seem to remember that parents get 80% of the candy in your Easter basket anyways. Sort of like a candy tax.
And, of course, he got a Pez. When I was growing up, we ALWAYS had an Easter Pez in our baskets. It was the law.
With all my basket goodies ready to go, I spent last night putting the baskets together. I love that part. I start by filling the baskets with plastic grass and fluffing that up really good. Then I build the basket by going from the biggest items in the back to the smallest items in the front.
In Bean’s basket, he got three special plastic eggs with jellybeans in them. Aren’t they cute? He’s going to love these! They were $2.25 at Target and while I winced at spending that on three plastic eggs, I reasoned that they would actually end up being little toys for Bean after Easter and $2.25 isn’t horrible for a little toy.
They look cute in his little basket, too!
To wrap my baskets, I used Easter basket bags from Target. My Target had these in their seasonal aisle in the gift wrap area, near where the Easter baking accessories were. These are so easy to use. You just open the cute cellophane bag and sit your basket down inside it. Then pull the bag up over your basket and tie with ribbon.
Voila! Easter in a basket!
Today I am grateful for my Grandma who is coming to visit today!