Fantastic Easter Basket ideas for toddlers and preschoolers

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It never fails, Easter rolls around and I am left trying to think about what I should put in Little Miss’ Easter basket. I never want it to become boring for her, and as much as I loved Easter as a kid, I want her basket to be more than candy. We don’t do big gifts for Easter, so her basket, and subsequently, this list will be small affordable Easter basket ideas.

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I always love grabbing the little buckets for $1 at the dollar store or Walmart because they can be used after the holiday to store things in, and you can save them to use for following years. They are usually big enough to fill up with plenty of stuff, but you’re not scrambling to make the basket look full.

Now, as I’m writing this, I can’t find our daughters bucket from the past couple years, and I haven’t gone shopping yet, but when I do, I will update this post with a picture of her finished basket.

We don’t do much candy or sweets in her basket because she ends up with 4 baskets, (the Easter Bunny, my parents, my in-laws, and my aunt) and we end up going to at least 2 egg hunts, so Little Miss ends up with plenty of candy. We will throw in a few of her favorite treats to help round out her basket though.

No filler?

I can’t be the only one who absolutely hates basket filler? If I’m making a beautiful basket for an adult gift I will absolutely grab the paper filler. I made countless gift baskets in a gift shop I worked in, but even then, you need to put some newspaper or something crumpled up in the bottom, under the paper shreds to give something sturdy underneath all that filler. Otherwise your items will sink in and it doesn’t look as pretty.

That being said… in an Easter basket for a toddler or preschooler, that filler is a mess waiting to happen. I always would say paper over the plastic grass to be environmentally conscious, but if you must go with plastic, at least save it and reuse it year after year.

Or just skip the hassle all together and use something else as your basket base. We buy some cute summer tshirts & tank tops to put in the bottom of the basket. You can fold them up so that they’ll all fit in the bottom and boost everything else up so it looks pretty. Rolling them seems to work best.

Food/ snacks

So, you like how I said we don’t do candy and the first items I list are food? Well, we get a little creative. Rather than the traditional Jelly beans, which we end up eating like a bag a week of (ugh) because the Starburst jelly beans are absolutely amazing, we opt for healthier options.

  • Cuties- Little Miss loves cutie’s oranges, so putting them in her basket will absolutely make her excited. They are sturdy enough that they could be used at the bottom of the basket as well, Just remember to remove them before they get squished or played with.
  • Gummy bears- These are LM’s absolute favorite treat. Absolutely not healthy, but we do the best we can. This package of Annie’s organic gummy bunnies would be perfect because they’re small and individually packaged so I can keep better track of how much LM eats.


We don’t go all out with toys, but we make sure to put in a few things we know she will get to play with. I try not to go too cheap on them because I want them to last a little while. I try to get things that she is really into as well.

  • Barbie- Right now LM is into barbies big time, and mermaids, so mermaid barbie would be a perfect addition to her collection of Barbies.
  • Sand/ Beach toys- You can’t have too many beach toys when you live walking distance from the beach. It’s a guarantee that LM will get some beach toys for the beach bag and her new turtle sandbox.
  • Small stuffed animals- When I was exploring Dollar General the other day (to hide from my family since it’s the closest store) I saw that they have some cute little bunny, baby chick & Easter themed stuffed animals in the Easter stuff. Since LM loves stuffed animals and carries them everywhere constantly, we will absolutely be grabbing a couple of those for her to play with.
  • Cars- LM loves her ‘racecars’ so we will have to add in some Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars for her.
  • Water toys- What could be a better time to grab some water toys than Easter. It’s generally not water weather in Michigan yet, but we love to get LM something to do in the water for Easter.
  • Water drawing- If you haven’t grabbed one of these toys yet, you’re missing out. The Aquadoodle mat is always a great thing for some mess-free drawing. Another great one that LM loves is her Melissa & Doug water painting book. These books are fantastic for traveling and give hours of entertainment. Just fill the pen up with tap water and they can paint the picture. Once it’s dry you can paint it again.

Make it fun

Other things we like to add in would be cute flip flops, a new bathing suit, a favorite movie, or even bubbles. You can’t go wrong with bubbles or a bubble machine. If you don’t have a bubble machine, then you need to get one, they’re amazing and make bubble time a lot easier. Don’t forget a giant jug of bubbles to accompany your bubble machine, you’ll need it.

We always make sure to get some Crayola crayons and a coloring book or two as well. LM loves to color, so we can’t go without another coloring book.

What do you love adding into your little one’s easter baskets?

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  1. Carol

    April 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I always like to put books and religious items in the baskets along with just a few treats. Oh and then the easter egg hunt filled with coins and coupons for free day off a chore or something like that!

    1. Becky Miller

      April 15, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      What a great idea! I should find a few religious books to put into Little Miss’ basket. She would absolutely love it.

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