Here is a picture of the kids' baskets. Aren't they fun? They're packed full of things like workbooks, reading books, pencils, sandals, shaving cream (great bath time fun!), and toys. Most of it I got for really cheap (See that pink gardening set? Regularly $5.00, paid $0.98. Or that didj game? Regularly $30.00, paid $4.98!) or free (all the candy and Band-aids after coupons or CVS Extra Bucks.) I love checking the clearance sections at stores, especially after holidays. Some of the toys I've been saving since Christmas and before. That way, I can get the kids some nice things without hurting my wallet.
Notice anything unusual about these baskets? No messy Easter grass! That stuff ends up everywhere for weeks. I've used tissue paper in the past, but it doesn't fill up the bottom as well and doesn't look as nice. This year, I filled the bottoms with shirts, socks, and undies. Jake and Alyssa also got aprons for baking and crafting. I had a nice flat surface to work. After that, I placed everything else on top. Not only did it eliminate the messy grass, it gave the kids a fun surprise once they emptied the top. Bonus!
We decided to skip the candy/money route for the eggs this year. Instead, I filled the eggs with pieces of a K'nex set. We ended up with 30 eggs. Two dozen had the parts, and six had a piece of candy. Surprisingly, they didn't care anything about the candy eggs! Well, except for Zac. He's not quite old enough for the tiny pieces yet, but already loves chocolate. The other two were so focused on finding all the pieces of the truck. If they found one of the other six, it was tossed to the side. "Oh, it's just candy." Not only did it eliminate the extra candy, it gives them a fun toy to build and play with again and again. Bonus!
These last two pics are the chocolate bowls we made last week. We mixed 8-10 drops of food coloring in 1 teaspoon water. Then, we combined that with 1 cup of shredded coconut in a plastic bag. We put the "grass" in the chocolate bowl along with 3 peanut butter eggs. Add some cellophane and a bow, and you have a cute, little "nest" to give to friends. Jake and Alyssa had fun passing these out at church Easter morning. They're completely edible (once opened!), though the kids dumped the grass out and just ate the candy. In this case, it's all about the presentation.
Do you have any cute, crafty, thrifty ideas? Leave us a comment. It's never to early to prepare for next year!