It is so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of any major holiday. Cheaply made toys and gifts purchased by well-meaning parents and grandparents are often played with for a short time, and then broken and thrown away. Unhealthy temptations are everywhere, and can be a challenge to manage if you are working to be selective with sweet treats.
Related: Why Free Time for Play is So Important for Every Child - Mothering
This Easter consider taking an intentional approach to filling your child's Easter Basket. Have fun selecting products that are high quality, eco-friendly, multipurpose, and/or fair trade. Surprise your children with handcrafted chocolates, jelly beans without artificial colors or flavors and a gift that your child will enjoy for months (and hopefully more)!
Consider these ideas:
1. Handcrafted Baskets:
Handcrafted Bolga Baskets make great Easter baskets and can be used for storage and play all year round.
The baskets are made by artisans in the Bolgatanga region of Northern Ghana, providing a livelihood for many local families. Bolga baskets are made out of a natural and sustainable river grass known locally as Kinkanhe. Some of the grass is dyed with vibrant colors and is woven into intricate patterns to make the basket. The handles are wrapped in leather, making them comfortable for a child to carry.
Consider reusable alternatives to disposable Easter grasses, such as Nova Naturals Natural Easter Grass Fleece or a Green Play Silk from Sarah's Silks. Both of these options could be part of the gift and used for open-ended play.
3. Handmade Toys:
Organic Linen Bunny Blanket Baby, handmade from A Toy Garden. This is an organic, dove gray linen blanket with organic cotton knit face, filled with eco wool. The ears have a light swipe of beeswax on the inside with options include hand-embroidered hair, and closed or open eyes.
Eco-dough is a fun addition to any Easter basket. The play dough is made of natural ingredients, essential oils and reusable/recyclable packaging. The dough colors are earthy and vibrant. Eco-Kids also offers eco-fingerprints, eco-crayons, eco-art pads and an eco-egg dyeing kit.
Hopping bunny pull toy is great for toddlers. It is an heirloom quality toy made in Germany of hardwood with a non-toxic finish.
These fun paper chains decorated with leaping frogs, bouncing bunnies, spring chicks, hedgehogs, and little birds are fun to make with children and add delight to any play space. One package makes 24 feet of decorative paper chains!
Nova Naturals carries a simple Ukrainian Egg Decorating Kit perfect for older children to experience the process of making traditional Easter eggs.
4. Easter-Themed Books
The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow is a classic tale that recounts the confusion caused in the northern woods by an orange dropped from a boy's picnic.
5. Smart Treats
Yum Earth Organic is a smart brand to turn to if you are looking for sweet treats without artificial colors or flavors. Yum Earth products include lollipops, gummy bears, licorice, fruit snacks, hard candies and sours (including jelly beans). Find Yum Earth products at major vendors including Target and Whole Foods.
Equal Exchange makes organic and fairly traded dark chocolate Easter Eggs that would be a delicious and intentionally addition to any Easter Basket.
If you are looking to keep the tradition of including a chocolate bunny in your child's Easter Basket, consider Lake Champlain Chocolates Fair Trade Certified Organic Dark Chocolate Easter Bunny - made in Vermont.
To treat someone who has food allergies, consider Amanda's Own Confections chocolate bar that is soy free, nut free and gluten free. It is also made in a facility free of the top-8 allergens.