Think Outside the Basket

As I got older, so did my girls (welcome Captain Obvious). But as they grew, I looked for ways to make their Easter baskets grow up along with them. When I married my second husband, he came with three teen-age boys so I really had to put my thinking cap on as they were older and – hello – boys! I was pretty clueless. But we find a way and it’s always fun to pick a different theme each year. I am a great fan of themes, once you settle on one the possibilities become obvious and endless. So… if you find yourself in the position of assembling Easter baskets this year here are several ideas that 1) are not fattening and 2) are appropriate for those in our lives that may not still believe in the Easter bunny.

Two favorites of my step sons:

Boys favorite Capture

  • Car cleaning supplies: Shammies, tire cleaner, armor all, window cleaner, wax, first aid kit, etc – all of which fits in a nice bucket which serves as your ‘basket’.
  • Beef jerky baskets: Fortunately for me, we have a great ‘meat’ place not too far away that offers a selection of ostrich, buffalo, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, venison (and many others), in a myriad of different flavors from sweet to savory and extra special hot! All of these items were contained in an empty (wasn’t going to provide the alcohol) six-pack carrier.

Other favorites throughout the years:

  • Beach Basket: Beach towels, fun sunglasses, sun screen, reading materials, flip-flops, hat, etc. Using a small cooler or beach bag as a basket substitute completes the theme.
My preference for a beach basket is to contain all items in a cooler but had to use a bag for this shot.

My preference for a beach basket is to contain all items in a cooler but had to use a bag for this shot.

  • Crafting supplies: Yarn, needles, paints, craft idea books, pattern books, gift cards to favorite craft supply store, specialty tools. Instead of a basket, place all in a nice little tote with pockets for storing essentials and making it more easy to craft – on – the – go. 
  • Spring kitchen: Brightly colored kitchen utensils, fun kitchen towels and dish clothes, placemats, napkin rings, aprons, hand cream, kitchen timers, cloth shopping bags – all of which can fit in a one of those cloth shopping bags or a mixing bowl or even a bread basket.
All these treats are stuffed inside a re-usable grocery bag and several homemade ones are stuffed in the bottom of the bag. Go Green.

All these treats are stuffed inside a re-usable grocery bag and several homemade ones are stuffed in the bottom of the bag. Go Green.

  • Child’s basket: Books, crayons, coloring books, travel toys, cards. If you throw in a kid-sized backpack to contain these items he/she has a bag all their own they can take with them while out and about.
  • Variation: Student’s basket: fill with things they will need to complete finals, new notebooks, new pens, highlighters, post- it notes, favorite caffeinated beverage, quarters for the laundry machines, cards or notes with encouraging sayings. Stash in a new tote or book bag or even in a desk organizer tray.Student Basket Capture
  • Gardening: One year I used terra-cotta pots for Easter baskets for the girls. Filled it with artificial grass, wrapped pens in green flower tape with paper flowers attached and stuck them in the ‘turf’. In between the ‘petals’ and underneath the ‘soil’ were new garden gloves, their familiar seeds, and a variety of favorite snacks.
The terra cotta - esque pot makes a great kitchen shelf herb garden.

The terra cotta – esque pot makes a great kitchen shelf herb garden.

Easter will be at my house this year. My in-laws are in their eighties and doing great but it’s nice for them to forgo hosting the party at their house. The kids are mostly all adults now with some ‘younger’ nieces and nephews (10 yrs up to 21). I won’t be providing baskets for all that are there but we will be having a treasure hunt with clues designed to make things a bit difficult for the various ages. Where would you look to find your next egg if you received these clues – What invention lets you look right through a wall? And… What is higher without the head, than with it? – M

 Dye job capture

11 comments

  1. Shel, you have the best ideas. I was going to skip Easter Baskets this because the girls are older. I was more disappointed than they woul be, but now I’m pumped with several great ideas! Thanks!

    1. I’d love to claim this one, Gina – including that last cartoon find! – but M authored this. I’m with you – it is inspiring! There are some great ideas here and she has a real knack for putting stuff together. It’s tough to know which would be more fun, putting it together or watching the recipient go through it! – El

      1. Putting it together is always the best and the reactions from all recipients is usually WAY cool. Like I said, once I decide on my ‘theme’, I have more ideas than room (and budget) allows. Enjoy and have fun creating some Fierce baskets this year! – M

      2. Sophie (13) is fascinated by the idea that we can actually grow food. Mast year I planted a few things, but this year she will gave her own little garden space, starting with her basket. She was enchanted with going out to pick tomatoes and bell peppers. Most fun to watch.

    1. Thanks Natine, I do have lots of fun coming up with these variations on the Easter Basket. Window is correct – nice work! I think I’ll wait to see if anyone comes up with the answer for the second clue before I disclose. -M

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