Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter Baskets for Big Kids

The Easter Bunny found this chocolate bunny,
made in Germany, at Aldi for $1.99.
Isn't he cute?

Earlier this week, there was a post on Easter Basket ideas for little kids. This week, I focus on older kids. Big Girl is 9-years old, in 4th grade, so her basket options have changed over the years. I've found that this year, boys are really still just boys, but girls? Girls have gone one of two ways: They are still kids, or they act like they are 16 years old.

So far, my Big Girl is really still just a little kid. She loves art supplies and stuffed animals and LEGOs and all those types of things. She loves to read just about anything: books, both fiction and non-fiction, and magazines -- lots of magazines, like American Girl, Cricket, National Geographic Kids. She likes some music -- like "Austin & Ally" and One Direction -- but it's not a huge focus in her life. She has not asked for a cell phone or an iPhone Touch yet, but some of her friends have phones and are texting. She's not a kid who is obsessed with her looks or clothes or make-up just yet. She likes what she likes -- comfy shoes, casual clothes without lots of glitter or rock star-ish sayings, and headbands. She calls the latter her "signature style," after reading the American Girl book about style, which makes me laugh that she's figured out her "signature style" when I'm still not sure what mine is as a 40-something.

So while my older child doesn't mind toys and crayons and LEGOs in her basket, some of her friends may not be happy with those types of treats. I've created a list of ideas below, based on my daughter's tastes and those of other kids whom I know. Perhaps it will help you out when looking to fill up the basket for your tween, and many of the choices on this list are inexpensive and can be found at $1 stores or discount department stores. And I tried to stick to my own personal rule, which is if it doesn't fit in a basket, it's not for Easter. The Bunny only hides some eggs and has enough room in his cart/arm/however-he-does-it for one basket per child. No wrapped gifts or piles of gifts...

I'll start like I did with the toddler list, offering some non-candy options. Like I said in the other post, I try to keep the candy treats in the baskets to a minimum, since we get a lot of candy from other people on Easter, and the Bunny does put some in the hidden eggs. However, our Bunny also includes a big chocolate bunny in Big Girl's basket (see the photo at the top of this post.) When the twins get older, they will get one too, but they are a little young for that, so the bunny will leave them a smaller bunny.

So those in search of candy alternatives, start with some of these suggestions:
  • Granola bars
  • Small bags of snack food
  • S'mores kits
  • Small boxes of dried fruit, like raisins or cranberries, or yogurt-covered raisins
  • Goldfish or other small crackers
  • Trail mix
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Little bags of peanuts
Educational stuff, art supplies, etc.:
  • books -- can never have too many books! (Buy the first book in a series so your child might get hooked and read the series throughout the summer)
  • bookmarks
  • magazines (if you are really generous, add a note that you've subscribed to it too)
  • art supplies like colored pencils, small pads, markers, stickers
  • small journals
  • fun pens, like the scented kind, or brightly colored glitter gel pens
  • a big box of crayons -- the older kids still love them and who doesn't love a big box of sharp crayons?
  • puzzle books, like crossword puzzles, Suduko, Mad Libs or word search
  • craft books
  • cookbooks, like ones on cupcake and cookie decorating
  • an apron, if he or she likes to cook
  • small craft kits (Check at Target's $1 Spot or Michael's craft store)
  • tiny picture frames 
Warm weather supplies and daily necessities:
  • sandals, flip flops, Crocs
  • bathing suit
  • refillable water bottles
  • hair accessories
  • jewelry
  • socks
  • sunglasses
  • wallet
  • small purse 
"Grooming" items!
  • nail polish
  • brightly colored brushes and combs
  • scented body spray
  • lip balm
  • deoderant
  • fun body washes
  • toothbrush
  • fun toothpaste
  • body lotion
  • fun little bottles of hand sanitizer
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • video games for DS, Wii, etc.
  • inexpensive MP3 players for those who don't have one
  • gift cards for online computer games like Animal Jam, etc.
  • Gift cards to just about anywhere! Pick a favorite store and put a few dollars on it.
  • tickets to a concert, play, movie or special event
Toys for older kids:
  • travel games
  • card games
  • small jigsaw puzzles, like 100-piece ones (Dollar Tree sells a ton of these; they are great to pack up for vacation trips or to do outside on a picnic table on a summer night)
  • baseball cards or other collectible cards
  • beach balls and inflatable pool toys
  • batting gloves, baseballs, golf balls, and small sporting good items
  • small LEGO sets and collectible LEGO minifigures
  • fun key chains for house keys
  • gardening kits to grow seeds
  • garden gloves and garden tools, if your tween likes to help outside
  • bug catchers
  • flashlights
  • binoculars
  • sidewalk chalk (the 3D one is cool), or bubbles, like the new colored bubbles (don't all kids still like bubbles?)
  • nature guides or astronomy books for summer hikes and camping trips
  • accessories for bikes, like bells, license plates, baskets and other gadgets
 Hopefully this will help the Easter Bunny fill up baskets for your older children.
If you think of anything I've missed, please include it in the comments section!

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