The Peeps are on the shelves. I repeat, the Peeps are on the shelves.
That’s right, Easter’s one month away, and although I swear I wouldn’t say it (don’t say it, don’t say it)…Easter’s one of my favorite holidays. Uughh! I said it. I tried so hard not to say it. It’s like I can’t NOT say it about all the holidays. I try to be choosy to refine my holiday palette, and I get all proud of myself when I think I have it narrowed down to a slim 1-2 holidays like the classy people who know what they like and have one signature scent. But then Target has to go light their seasonal aisles on fire with, like, the most beautiful pastel colors you’ve ever seen. And then every store I walk in has these displays–baby bunnies, speckled eggs, pink gingham, this light mint turquoise color I can’t explain but it does something to me, vintage Peter Rabbit dinnerware, tulips…and the PEEPS! They line them all up in rainbow formation, and there are rows and rows of marshmallow bunnies and chicks just staring at you with their beady brown eyes–like they’re alive, like they’re those pets on T.V. needing to be adopted. How can you not fall in love? And then there are the dresses and the tights and the bonnets, dear God the bonnets. I don’t even have babies anymore, but I’ll always associate Easter with memories of my babies wearing bonnets.
Of course the Peeps and the bonnets and the eggs are reason enough to love Easter, but that’s not even considering the idea that my entire upbringing focused on this holiday as being the single reason we aren’t all burning in hell for eternity. I mean, how can you not include a holiday that’s responsible for salvation in your list of favorites even if you don’t exactly believe that anymore? So yes. I stand by “one of my favorites.”
Let’s move on, shall we?
The List is out. By that, I mean I’m likening my Easter Basket Stuffer Guide to the September issue of Vogue. And I’m not ashamed to admit I get all Anna Wintour about it, poring over spring coloring books like my suggestion of the best one is going to create a ripple effect in coloring trends across the nation. This stuff is strangely important to me. I spend way too much time deep in the abyss of Amazon, digging for cool hidden gems on Page 6 of search results, and I find them. It helps that little things like paper dolls and scented erasers and plush bunnies that look real excite me perhaps more than they should, but there is a considerable amount of childhood left in me that the world overlooked when it swept in to take my innocence. So, without further ado, here it is…a list of 37 delightful little things (and a few bigger things) to choose from that will turn your kids’ Easter baskets into Wowza! surprises.
1. Andy Warhol Crayon Set Move over crayon boxes, there’s a cool new tin in town. How fabulous is this crayon tin? Desk statement piece for sure.
2. Ban.do Compliment Pencil Set Besides the bright spring colors in this pencil pack, I love the messages that whisper things I hope my kids hear in their heads all day, like “Yes You Totally Can” and “You Are Just So Fun”.
3. Peter Rabbit Coloring Book Dreamy spring scenes with Beatrix Potter’s classic illustrations. Pair with #1 on the list, and you’re good to go.
4. Anne of Green Gables Coloring Book I’ll admit, this one is totally for me. But exposing my kids to things I love is my favorite, and using the kid language of coloring is a perfect way to do
5. Monarch Wings My dad bought these for the kids last year, and they love them. Super easy to slip on…just need a field of flowers to run through with their arms outspread.
6. Rhythmic Gymnastics Ribbon Wand Last year’s Easter basket is when the Ribbon Wand entered our home last year, and it never went away. So proof that this is the Best Gift Ever.
7. Bunny Swaddle Blanket Plush It’s the built-in swaddle blanket that kills me.
8. Octopus Kite Kite season is upon us. Celebrate it by letting launching these tentacles into the sky.
9. Kids Hip Polarized Sunglasses …the hippest sunglasses, sized for kids…and only $6
10. North American Bear Plush Bunny Purse The perfect place for your little to stash a Bonne Bell Lip Smacker, a handful of jellybeans and a few Shopkins for Easter Sunday service.
11. 32 Ways to Dress a Bunny Activity Book I love the creativity this little book inspires. Each page holds a bunny drawing with empty space where the outfit should go so little minds can create their own fashions.
12. Flarp Noise Putty All my kids love Flarp. Nella, so much that it’s written into her IEP as an incentive that works.
13. 2018 Fashion Trends Coloring Book The cover of this coloring book is kind of design hot mess, the but the pages are great. Lainey will especially love this one–lots of fun, on-trend outfits to color.
14. Alex Modeling Clay. All the colors of the rainbow in one pack.
15. Cate & Levi Bunny Hand Puppet We are huge puppet fans in our home and haven’t added to our collection in a while. I love this brand and the sock puppet style of this adorable bunny.
16. The Pink Umbrella We always include a new book for each kid in their Easter basket. I’m in love with this book that just published last month. It has all the elements I love in a good children’s book–charming illustrations, a good story, lovely descriptions and word choice and a sweet life lesson–this one about learning to see that cheer is not reserved for only sunny days. Also, the main character owns a cafe called The Polka Dot Apron. So, I mean. It’s in the bag.
17. Aurora Bitty Plush Bunny We put these in the kids’ Easter baskets a couple years ago, and you would have thought we gave them real bunnies. The sweetest.
18. Wood Sling Shot This has Dash’s name all over it. Add a bag of marshmallows (safe to fling), and you have yourself a day’s worth of entertainment.
19. Sleepover Mad Libs I can already hear Lainey and her friends giggling over the stories they’ll make with these Mad Libs next sleepover. Never not funny.
20. Travel Spirograph Set It was a hit in the 80’s, so fool proof gift.
21. Rainbow Stacking Blocks This is like the Easter version of Jenga–the same wood block stacking fun but in beautiful spring colors.
22. Poop Emojo Ear Buds with Hands-free Mic Great for all ages, you can never go wrong with poop emoji gifts.
23. Sweet Easter 100-piece Puzzle I’m picky with puzzles, but we love this line because the way the colorful photos are laid out makes putting the puzzle together fun and doable. And with 100 pieces, it’s not too difficult and you can finish it in one sitting.
24. Bunny Baby Huggums I realize in a basket stuffer list where I try and keep prices low, this is a little more “luxuriously priced,” but I couldn’t leave it off the list because–I mean–it’s a bunny baby. And if you don’t yet have the perfect baby doll for your little one and want to use Easter as an excuse to get one, the Baby Huggums babies are my favorite–timeless.
25. Travel-sized Simon Game I loved this game as a kid and had completely forgotten about it until I was searching travel games. It’s great memory-building practice and a fun one that all three of my kids will enjoy.
26. Melissa & Doug Secret Decoder Kids love playing detective and solving mysteries. This Secret Decoder story and activity book comes with decoder lens and magic reveal pen.
27. Splat Egg Ball It’s like the Koosh ball of this decade–strangely satisfying to play with.
28. Bunny Peek-a-Boo I shared this toy on Instagram Stories the other day and our love for it. It’s great for practicing spacial recognition skills and presents different levels of challenges on cards where kids have to arrange the four wooden pieces to recreate the picture. My kids get all into it (even Lainey, taking the higher level challenges). Plus, there’s a bunny.
29. Giant Bubble Set We pull this out every Easter, and it’s always a hit. This solution and wand allow you to easily create bubbles as big as yourself. Perfect for spring.
30. Janod Magnetic Take-Apart Taxi The Janod take-apart toys have been favorites in our home since Dash was little and span a nice age range from babies to big kids (he still plays with his)
31. Petit Collage Best Friends Magnetic Dress Up There are a lot of magnetic dress-up kits out there, but I’m particularly fond of this one. The illustrations and outfit combinations are positively charming.
32. Bunny Popper My kids love anything that flings or flies. With a simple push of the bunny’s stomach, the ball he holds in his mouth goes soaring (also they’re made of dense foam, so they don’t hurt too bad if you get hit).
33. Eyelash Swim Goggles The cutest swim goggles out there.
34. Find It Game These find-it games are such great things to have for car rides or rainy days. There’s an Easter version, but I love the classic one.
35. Shaking Things Up Newly published, this gorgeous book pairs illustrations by female artists with stories of 14 different revolutionary women from history to both teach and inspire children to be question-askers, trail-blazers and activists.
36. Parachute Men It’s a rite of passage for little boys to have one of these parachute men. This is Dash’s year.
37. Flying Gliders A pack of 12 because you know the first three you fly are going to get stuck on the roof/tree/gutter.