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I can't believe it's almost the end of March already! Spring is here, and here in Germany, the storefronts are filled with Easter decorations galore. As a parent, one of the most fun things is getting to celebrate all these holidays with Miles and implement traditions that he'll hopefully cherish long into adulthood.
Leading up to Easter Sunday when I was a kid, we'd dye eggs in plastic cups using the kit from the grocery store, and I'd get a new dress and ruffled socks to wear with a fresh pair of white Mary Janes. We'd head up to my grandparents house for lunch and an Easter egg hunt with all my cousins, usually followed up with shooting some basketball in the driveway, playing on the swingset, or running down the huge grassy hill (after we'd exchanged our Sunday bests for shorts and tees, of course). Most of the Easter baskets I received as a child involved plastic eggs filled with candy, a chocolate bunny, and loads of plastic green grass that would end up everywhere. But, seeing as Miles is only a little over a year old, candy's not yet in the cards, so I've learned to get more creative with ideas to fill his basket. Here are some of my favorites this year...
A sweet pair of Easter jammies from Hanna Andersson is always number one on my list. I got a pair with a more babyish pattern (seen in the photo up top) for my sweet little four month old last year, but this go-round, I'm loving this Peanuts pair. If you've never bought a pair of Hanna Andersson's pajamas, you (and your little one) are missing out. They hold up well to multiple washings and fit for a good long time because most are footless.
Freeze Dried Fruit is a great (and healthy) substitute for candy for really little ones. Unlike regular dried fruit which can be a choking hazard, freeze dried fruit dissolves quickly and is easy to chew with few teeth. Miles sees these as such a treat, and you don't have to feel bad about rotting their teeth out.
Egg Shaped Crayons are easy for little guys and gals to hold on to and fit perfectly with the theme of the holiday. My little guy has recently gotten the hang of crayons (and stopped trying to eat them) and loves to draw on a nice big sheet of paper on the floor.
I am utterly obsessed with these magnetic, wooden Tegu blocks. We got a set at Christmas for Miles, and they provide loads of entertainment. For younger toddlers, they're amused just by the magnets and putting the blocks into and out of the pouch. Now, at 16 months, the little dude is starting to get interested in actually building things. There are lots of variations available, but a bonus to this set is that they're the perfect size for travel and fit easily into a diaper bag.
A classic children's book is never a bad idea, and I just love this board book format with the original illustrations. We're currently in a real paper ripping phase, so books that can withstand a toddler boy are a must. If this one's already on your shelf, here's a whole plethora of Easter themed books to choose from.
I am a little obsessed with the multicolor look of this sweet, soft little bunny from Jellycat. I have so many friends who are not into stuffed animals for their kids, but around our house, we love 'em. Miles hugs them and kisses them and tickles them and talks to them, and it's just the cutest thing ever.
Everyone has the alphabet magnets for their fridge, but how cute are these wooden farm animal magnets?! And I love that they come in a milk carton!
Once you've got the goods, of course you need an adorable basket to put it all in. We bought one last year here in Germany, but I'm a little obsessed with this cutie from Land of Nod. I would even be tempted to keep it out as a nursery decoration.
Just as a personal preference, I would totally not include ALL of these items in one Easter basket. Personally, I find it a little nuts how much folks spend on these things - sometimes literally hundreds of dollars! That's not our style (especially since anything we accumulate now will have to be moved back to the U.S. with us in just a few months), but if you're into that sort of thing, go for it!
What will you be including in your kids' Easter baskets? Do you have any fun traditions for the holiday? I'm always eager for new ideas!