by Stephanie Chandler
Easter is a time to celebrate spring as well as take part in religious celebrations. One of the most treasured Easter traditions for children is the Easter basket, which has a long history rooted in both pagan and religious customs; the Easter basket was used to carry the first seedlings of spring, and it was used to carry the feast at the end of Lent. And while the purpose has shifted, gift baskets continue to be a source of joy for kids of all ages, and filling an Easter gift basket can be just as much fun as receiving one.
Start with a theme: An Easter gift basket does not have to be elaborate and full of expensive candy and gifts. A simple basket full of your child's favorite things will make this day special. To create an eye-catching gift basket, pick a theme that your child will love. From Easter bunnies to super heroes, a theme is an effective way to make picking the fillers easy while creating a treasure worthy of Easter morning.
Pick a container: A traditional basket has an iconic look and is always a good container. You could also choose something that goes along with the theme. For boys, a dump truck or a baseball cap makes an unusual vessel for Easter goodies. Girls will be delighted to find a cute purse or backpack filled with Easter treats. Or you can get creative with a flower pot, a bucket, or a storage box.
Find a few sweets: The candy treats are one of the most popular items in kids' Easter baskets. Chocolate bunnies are a classic, and Easter wouldn't be the same without one. For kids who don't like chocolate, feel free to add their favorite candy, even if it isn't wrapped in pastel paper.
Choose some small gifts: While sweet treats are customary, you can make the basket extra special by adding some items to satisfy more than just a sweet tooth. Children's books, coloring books, and modeling clay can inspire your kids long after the chocolate is gone. Other ideas include small toys, children's movies on DVD, stuffed animals, and games that will provide your kids with something fun to do while popping jelly beans.
Add something religious: While some people celebrate Easter secularly, many others want to make sure that the religious meanings behind the holiday aren't forgotten. If this matters to you, make sure to add religious gifts to the Easter baskets for your kids. A children's Bible storybook would make a good addition for a little one, while older children would appreciate a beautifully bound Bible. Religious jewelry would also make a nice gift, especially for a teen girl.