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An Easter basket primer for big kids

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BEYOND EGGS The big kids – and kids-at-heart – will appreciate a sweet Easter basket filled with thoughtful surprises, such as chocolates, gift cards, bubbles (or bubbly, for the 21+ crowd). (Illustration:

As a Passover veteran who now has three Easter-celebrating stepsons, daughters who enjoy celebrating the season with them, and a group of family-by-choice Easter celebrators to entertain, I was stuck. How do you fill a proper Easter basket?

Little kids’ baskets don’t feel daunting. Classic books like Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book), The Velveteen Rabbit, The Classic Tale of Peter Rabbit, or the Caldecott award-winning Marshmallow: An Easter and Springtime Book for Kids should be winners. Chunky sidewalk chalks shaped like bunnies, eggs, macarons, or the alphabet (like the ones made by Twee) are fun and beautiful in pretty pastels. And a quick Amazon search satisfies with colorful plastic eggs pre-filled with tiny light-up toys, stickers, dinosaurs, or Lego-like sets of blocks that will keep little ones busy building construction vehicles.

But how do you fill Easter baskets for these big kids? Or for the grownups, because who doesn’t want to sit down to a cheery basket filled with springy treats?

One West U mom who has been filling her kids’ baskets for 24 years advises, simply, “Chocolate-covered malt ball eggs and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup eggs. Why? Are there any other acceptable options?”

Maybe? Another mom of two boys in their early 20s says, “I stole this from a poster on Facebook’s Grown and Flown group. Use folded dollar bills, or larger, in place of Easter grass. And from my wonderful sister-in-law, we receive a McGregor basket! This is a basket full of different and unique vegetables from the farmer’s market that I would not buy for myself. Usually different lettuce greens, root vegetables, radishes, carrots…plus a little chocolate, of course!”

“I like to fill Easter baskets with traditional candy and a chocolate bunny,” a mother of two teenaged girls, 17 and 19, says. “Central Market has a good selection of wonderful Easter treats. I might include some pretty jewelry [in my girls’] baskets, and for my husband I fill his with golf-themed items, as he loves playing golf. A cute purse and an Easter dress makes a lovely gift to give my girls before Easter so they can wear it to church on Easter.

“A beautiful cross makes a nice gift in an Easter basket. And I also like to include a devotional or bible or beautiful cards with my favorite bible verses about Jesus as we celebrate him being risen. This is good for children, teens, and adults.”

Another friend with college-aged children suggests supplementing traditional Easter baskets with gift cards to favorites like Whataburger, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-A.

How to create a whimsical vibe for kids and grownups? Furry bunny ears as well as all kinds of baskets – felt covered with pastel pompoms, traditional wicker, monogrammed, gingham- or floral-lined – abound at Pottery Barn Kids ( The sweet party line Meri Meri has wooden stacking bunnies, bunny-eared wicker baskets, and surprise-filled crepe-paper chicks, carrots, eggs, and veggies ( Paper goods company Caspari also makes party crackers shaped like orange carrots opening to reveal confetti, bunny ears, and tiny Easter-themed trinkets ( Look here for brightly colored acrylic glassware and Easter place cards as well.

How could any kids – at any age – not thrill to open an Easter s’mores kit? Gather Hershey’s Mini Milk Chocolate Bars, small boxes of Peeps marshmallow candies, and graham crackers, and wrap in cellophane bags. I might go the distance and add marshmallow roasting skewers (Amazon has some with colorful wooden handles) and small Sterno S’mores Heat Fuel Cans (also Amazon).

Speaking of Peeps, there’s more to the pink, yellow, and purple sugary marshmallows than I realized. Did you know there are chocolate-dipped Peeps, Peeps Decorated Eggs, and speckled Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow Chicks? Check out for more. For crafts with little ones, has some fun ideas: colorful Peeps Rice Krispie Treats; graham cracker “birdhouses” filled with Peeps chicks, tiny eggs, and green “grass;” and drinking straws festooned with Peeps bunnies or chicks are just a few.

Also, bubbles. From slim, all-in-one bubble wands to “bubble blaster” guns (which require a separate jar of bubble solution), kids and kids-at-heart will have to smile as the air begins to sparkle. and have big selections.

An Etsy search reveals darling bunny-egg-and-chick themed cake pops, pastel and individually wrapped, and also inexpensive woven straw baskets monogrammed with colorful yarn.

To top it all off for the grownups, Tres Market Foods carries glitter-covered individual bottles of champagne. If all else fails, I’m hopeful these will bring the smiles.

I know there are tons more ideas out there and hope you’ll share…Happy Easter!

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