Easter!!!!

Katherine - posted on 03/29/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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For families who would like to avoid Easter and Ostara baskets full of sugary, processed foods (think Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs) and cheap plastic toys, here are some healthier, homemade alternatives.

Everything but the “basket basics” on this list can be homemade by you, with links to tutorials where relevant.

And if you don’t have time to make everything, consider having a swap! Follow the directions in this post featured on Natural Parents Network (written by Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings) on activity bags, but make the theme specific to spring/Easter/Ostara baskets. Have fun!

Basket Basics

1. Baskets: For the basket itself, you don’t need to spend money on the fancy character baskets (that will likely break soon anyway). Use a basket you have at home – the real treats are inside. Or pick up a nice basket from Goodwill that you or your child can use after it has served its purpose.
2. Grass, Option 1: Don’t buy the nasty plastic throw-away grass, grow your own! Creative Kids at Home has a tutorial for growing your own grass – and you can compost or transplant the grass when your child is done. Hurry though, you’ll need about two weeks to grow it.
3. Grass, Option 2: If you don’t want to grow your own grass, consider using some pretty fabric. You can re-purpose it into something else afterward – a superhero cape or play area backdrop perhaps.
4. Eggs, Option 1: If you want to skip the plastic, what about fillable crocheted eggs? You can buy them from Crocheted Little Things, or you can buy the pattern from Sandy’s Cape Cod Originals and make your own.
5. Eggs, Option 2: Yes they’re plastic, but if you want to go with the traditional fillable eggs, you can always keep them around in your child’s play kitchen (our eggs have enjoyed two years of play) or donate them to a thrift store.

Edible Goodies

1. Fruit Scones: I’m going to try these yummy looking scones from Prudent Baby (subbing palm oil for the butter and almond milk for the heavy cream). I have a flower shaped cookie cutter that should make them look springy.
2. Trail Mix: Put some dried fruit and nuts in eggs – my son (then two years old) thought these little snacks were so much fun last year!
3. Healthy Muffins: Include homemade carrot, banana, or apple cinnamon muffins – try weelicious for healthy, kid-friendly recipes. Better yet, bake them in fun springtime tins shaped like flowers, bugs, bunnies, etc. (On sale for 30% off right now at Joann’s!)
4. Granola: We love granola, and I know Kieran would like to have homemade granola tucked into eggs. Here’s a recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen.

Homemade Treasures

1. Felt Story Board Characters: Think traditional springtime fare: chickens, ducks, bunnies, trees, flowers, butterflies. Cover a piece of cardboard with flannel for story board play, and let the creativity begin. Here are a couple of sites that can give you ideas (although neither is “springy”): An Apple and a Tree; ObSEUSSed.
2. Bubbles: BubbleBlowers.com has quite a few recipes.
3. Wooden Peg People (Fairies and Gnomes): There are two adorable tutorials for wooden peg people: We Bloom Here and Wee Folk Art. Also check out this one from Wee Folk Art for felt gnomes.
4. Crayon Muffins: Recycled crayons are easy to make, check out this tutorial from Make and Takes.
5. Animal Tails: Go wild! Inspire creative play with animal tails, you can see the easy tutorial at Code Name: Mama.
6. Sidewalk Chalk: And it’s shaped like eggs! Thanks Skip to My Lou.
7. Seeds: While seeds aren’t homemade, there is something magical to children about growing something from seed. But you can make “seed bombs” – thanks for the cute idea McCrenshaw!
8. Finger Puppets: Such cute little finger puppet tutorials! See: Monkeys and Bunnies from Maman A Droit; Bunnies at The Purl Bee; Farm and other animals at the idea room; Crocheted Spring animals at Crochet Uncut; and for the less crafty among us, easy paper finger puppets from a PDF on Disney Family Fun.
9. Wings: Give your children flight – make them wings. Here is a tutorial from Mommy Blessings.
10. Play silks: Play silks are wonderful for open-ended creative play. Here are tutorials from Raising Olives; Clean; Make Baby Stuff.
11. Bunny Ears: Here is an easy tutorial from Family Entertaining – I wonder what it would look like if you put pipe cleaners in between two pieces of felt to make the ears stand up.
12. Finger Paints: I’m definitely putting these in Kieran’s basket – it’s warm enough to get messy outside again! Tutorials from At the Butterfly Ball; Crafting a Green World; Creative Kids at Home.
13. Playdough: Here are twenty recipes from The Green Fish Chronicles.

What are putting in your children’s baskets?

Photo Credit: asinila

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Related posts:

1. 50 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids plus Fun Serving Suggestions
2. Easy Homemade Gift Tutorial: Embroidered Hand
3. Animal Tail Tutorial

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Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2011

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My grandma crocheted me a basket, as well as a Christmas stocking. I'm passing it down.

Very nice ideas!

Sarah-Anne - posted on 04/04/2011

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My 2 yr old daughter's hair is just past her shoulder blades, so i am making her a bunch of new headbands and hair clips. i attach a two inch piece of elastic to a length of ribbon. i picked up some plain "alligator teeth" (named by Bella) hair clips at Hobby Lobby and make flowers or bows our of scraps of fabric, ribbon, beads, buttons etc... a drop of hot glue and/or sewing them on works great.

i'm also making her a couple tutus. she loves dressing up and tutus are her favorite. we live down the street from a Goodwill Outlet store (Grandville, MI) where everything is sold by the pound. i look for the ugly, gaudy old prom dresses to use as fabric since they are usually in bright, shiny colors. i only pay $1-2 for around ten dresses depending on the weight ($0.50/pound).

i get baskets at this goodwill as well, i pay between 4 & 15 cents a basket.

we got Bella some roller skates on clearance, but she found them in the closet and now wears them from the time she gets up until we have to wrestle them off her to go to bed.

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