gift guides

42 Easter Basket Ideas for Every Type of Kid

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Easter baskets are the Christmas stockings of spring — and there’s an art to filling them with a mix of delightful surprises and practical goodies without overspending. As both a parent of two kids and a Strategist editor whose job involves thinking about gift-giving all day long, I deeply understand this challenge — so I’ve compiled a list of excellent Easter basket fillers (many of which we’ve written about before, and all of which are available on Amazon) for every type of kid whether you’re shopping for a toddler, an 8-year-old, a full-fledged teen, or all three. I’ve even included a few actual baskets to hold it all, from the traditional to the extremely less-so. Grab some jelly beans and read on to become the best Easter Bunny you can be.

For the kid who’s a good egg

$12

I bought these eggs for my older daughter on her first Easter, when she was 6 months old. They became an instant favorite toy — and 6 years later, they’re still in rotation as an ingredient in our play kitchen.

For the kid who always makes a splash

One of our favorite outdoor toys for kids, these self-sealing water balloons are kind of astounding in how easy they are to use. You can fill enough for a full-on water war in literally one minute.

For the kid who just took off their training wheels

Use this bike basket to present their Easter gifts, then buckle it to their handlebars so they can haul a water bottle, a snack, and the ever-growing collection of rocks and sticks they’ve picked up around the neighborhood. It also comes in purple and blue.

For the kid who wants an easier way to egg hunt

This simple toy wagon from Green Toys is made from recycled milk jugs and has plenty of space to hold Easter loot. Meanwhile, the postholiday play potential is limitless: My daughters have had theirs for years, and my 4-year-old loves using it to tote other toys around the house despite having grown a bit tall for the pull string.

For the kid who needs a post-egg hunt activity

No matter what age group you’re shopping for, Lego has something for everyone. For Easter, I’m partial to smaller sets that tuck nicely into a basket and don’t take long to build. This bunny with eggs earns extra points for being on theme …

… this versatile three-in-one set can make two different cars or a plane …

$9

… and this open-ended set will appeal to kids who prefer to go more off book.

For the kid who loves the feel of wind on their face

$17

So you can lovingly suggest they go fly a kite on blustery spring days.

For the kid who prefers to play in the dirt

Sturdy plastic buckets can double as alternative Easter baskets, and they come in handy for backyard mud-making and summertime sand-schlepping. This heavy-duty, German-made option won’t crack even if it’s filled with heavy seashells.

For the kid with an insatiable sweet tooth

$17 for 6

Ward off candy overload with these Swedish Fish doppelgängers from SmartSweets, which contain just three grams of sugar per serving. Many of the brand’s dupes also come recommended by former Strategist writer Steven John, who is partial to the Cola Gummies but says all of SmartSweets’ offerings are “pretty damn good.”

For the kid who can handle a sugar high

Tony’s Chocolonely is a Strategist-favorite chocolate brand with good reason — as food writer Danyelle Freeman once explained to us, “It’s not only legitimately delicious, but the company is on a mission to end slavery and child labor on cocoa farms.” This rainbow-hued sampler has something for everyone and will look especially nice in an Easter basket.

For the teen who’s too cool for an Easter basket

$10

If you’ve got a kid in high school or college, make a “basket” out of a Baggu with a quirky print — simply fill it with their favorite snacks and send them back to campus with a new bag that is as good-looking as it is functional.

For the kid who wears their heart on their sleeve

Yes, this classic and heartwarmingly competitive tale of a parent and kid who love each other to the moon — and back — is a board book meant for babies, but the message gets even more poignant as those babies grow up.

For the kid who’s excited to see the garbage collectors every week

When my older daughter turned 1, this dump truck was her hands-down favorite birthday present. It comes in three different colorways (pink and purple, red and yellow, and blue and orange), and it won’t hold a ton, making it a perfect “basket” for younger kids who will be more than happy with a few pieces of candy and a trinket or two.

For the tween who’d rather be on Tiktok

Our top pick for the best instant camera comes in five colors and is a wonderful (if slightly splurgy) Easter gift for the tween or teen you want to spoil. Fill out the rest of their basket with a couple packs of film and some photogenic candy, and you’re set.

For the kid who needs a new fidget toy

Classic, compact, and affordable, a good ol’ Rubic’s cube is one of our favorite gifts for 9-year-olds (and arguably the OG fidget toy).

For the kid who’s constantly spinning in circles

One of the best gifts for 2-year-olds, the Moluk Bilibo comes highly recommended by Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, a professor of child psychology at the University of Delaware and co-author of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, who likes its open-endedness — it can be used for whatever comes to the imagination. I’m imagining it as an atypical Easter basket, and if your kids are anything like Strategist contributor Lauren Crosby’s, it just might become their new favorite toy.

For the kid who wants a full sleeve

It is basically a scientific fact that kids love temporary tattoos — and these ones even glow in the dark.

For the kid who prefers a rainbow mani-pedi

Piggy Paint Nail Polish Set
$18
$18

My kids like Piggy Paint’s bright colors, and I like the brand’s nontoxic ingredients — just the right combo for a perfect mini-manicure.

For the kid who wants to be an architect when they grow up

These colorful blocks from Tegu have small magnets embedded inside, so they’re easy for even the youngest builders to use.

For the kid who wants to play house

After buying a set of Calico Critters for her 3-year-old, Leigh Plessner, the co-creative director of jewelry brand Catbird, told us that playing pretend with the smartly dressed animal figurines was a fun way for the two to bond. (If you do the same, be prepared to introduce your kid to a whole world of the classic toys. There’s a vast array of species from cats to hedgehogs to skunks — all of them clad in impeccable ’fits — as well as houses and accessories.)

For the kid who wishes they had a real bunny (or dinosaur)

Whether you stay on theme with bunnies and lambs or get creative with dinosaurs and hippos, these more realistic animals from German toy company Schleich are also great for pretend play.

For the kid who likes to color

These pleasingly egg-shaped crayons are one of our bestselling gifts for 1-year-olds with a shape that helps develop fine-motor skills — but they’re also a nice option for an older kid who tends to be a little rough with more traditional crayons (and they feel especially on theme for Easter).

For the kid who likes to draw en plein air

Like so many parents whose kids are loved by lots of wonderful, generous friends and family members — and whose homes are frequently overcome with gifts from said wonderful, generous friends and family members — I tend to gift consumable items whenever possible. That includes a fresh box of brightly colored sidewalk chalk that’ll make for a great way to spend some time outside. My family especially loves Crayola’s vibrant shades.

For the kid who likes to draw in the bath

Photo: retailer

These bath crayons come recommended by Strategist contributor Regan Stephans, who knows a thing or four about the best bath toys for kids.

For the kid who likes to draw on their siblings (or themself)

GirlZone Hair Chalk Set
$13
$13

Consider this top-rated “hair chalk,” which we learned about from Zibby Owens, an author and mom of four who hosts the podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books. After finding that her 6- and 12-year-old had used it to turn their hair purple, she assured us that “it packs quite a punch but quickly and effortlessly comes out in the next shower.” The package includes ten different shades that can also be used as face paint.

For the kid who’s obsessed with cars

This Melissa & Doug set — from our list of the best wooden toys for kids — is just the ticket for kids who love things that go.

For the kid who wants a seat at the (card) table

A classic that we’ve recommended many times, and a great first card game for younger kids.

For the kid who’s got a way with words

$15

This family-friendly Scrabble-style word game is not only great for older kids but also easy to travel with if you have a summer vacation in your future. The WildTiles edition comes with six “WildTiles” that can be played as any letter.

For the kid who makes way for ducklings

Former Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno loves buying heirloom-quality stuffed animals from the German toy-maker Steiff for new babies in his life — and this adorable yellow duckling is sure to be a favorite companion for many Easters to come. (The brand has a whole menagerie on offer, from kittens to piglets to this incredible tortoise named Slo, if ducks aren’t your style.)

For the kid who’s anything but square

This wooden shape “puzzle” is impressively high quality for the price, and kids can switch back and forth between following the pictures on the cards and getting creative with their own designs. It’s also great for travel and keeping kids busy at restaurants thanks to the way its pieces are packed in two compact metal tins.

For the kid who’s a night owl

One of our favorite gifts for bookworms (that isn’t a book), this clip-on reading light is useful for readers of any age. It attaches just as well to slim headboards as it does to individual books — I gifted one to each of my girls, and they used the lights to give their bunkbed an instant upgrade.

For the kid who likes to throw shade

Despite the brand name, these Babiators come in multiple sizes that will fit babies, toddlers, and even older kids — and they’re nearly indestructible, so they’re perfect for playtime.

For the teen who values self-care

When we polled teen girls about the gifts they actually want, this sheet mask sampler was a popular pick for offering both skin-care perks and lots of opportunities for selfies.

For the kid who has everything but still needs to eat

Even kids who are getting a bit old to be thrilled by the Easter bunny will still appreciate a free drink or snack.

For the kid who doodles their name on everything

If you’re looking for a basket to reuse year after year, this classic style is available in five colors and is personalizable with names up to 18 characters long.

For the kid who’s short on space

Cute storage bins make great Easter baskets that double as organizational decor once the Easter Bunny heads home (and, really, that’s a win for the parents in room). This one comes in two colors and three sizes.

For the kid who’d rather carry a purse

Another option with lots of post-Easter potential, these nostalgic jelly baskets come in more than a dozen colors and make for cute summer purses that are especially handy at the beach.

For the kid who won’t care if you steal their basket after Easter

These mini Bolga baskets are handmade from elephant grass by artisans in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana (and ideal for trips to the farmers’ market).

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42 Easter Basket Ideas for Every Type of Kid