With Easter approaching, you could dash out to the nearest big-box store and grab one of those premade baskets off the shelf. That'll do in a pinch, but in case you don't want a basket full of colored straw and plastic Easter eggs full of sugary snacks, here are 15 Easter basket stuffers that will provide tons of fun for your kids — without causing a trip to the dentist. (Prices subject to change.)
1. Pals Socks
Pals Socks come paired as unlikely friends, like a cow and pig, dragon and unicorn and polar bear and penguin. These mismatched socks ($9 at PalsSocks.com) are vibrant and super-comfy. Kids and adult sizes available (in case you want a pair for yourself).
2. Little Live Pets Hedgehogs
The Little Live Pets Hedgehogs come in six colors and are a joy to play with. Touch their noses and they curl into a ball and then unfold when it's time to play again. Three LR44 batteries are required (not included). They're for ages 5 and up. A single pack is available for $10.39 at Toys R Us. (Toys R Us offers free in-store pickup for online orders. Here's our list of retailers that offer this service.)
3. Kikkerland Carrot Erasers in Basket
Every child artist needs erasers. These tiny Kikkerland Carrot Erasers in Basket ($5 at Kikkerland.com) come in their own farmer's market wicker basket. They erase like a charm and are so darn cute.
4. PJ Masks Mini Wheelie Vehicles
Fans of Disney Junior's PJ Masks will love the PJ Masks Mini Wheelie Vehicles from Just Play. Catboy in his Cat-Car, Gekko in his Gekko-Mobile and Owlette in her Owl Glider, can roll and race and they are just the right size for their little fans to play with. Ages 3 and up. Each vehicle costs $6.97 at Walmart. (Frequent Wal-Mart shopper? You can find a review of its rewards credit card here.)
5. Earth's Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars
For something sweet(ish), the Earth's Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars ($5.29 on Amazon) are available in apple and strawberry and taste so good kids won't guess they're healthy. Plus, they'll be excited to see the Sesame Street characters on the packaging.
Surprizamals are full of surprises. These collectible mini-plushes live in a plastic ball and are irresistibly adorable. For ages 3 and up, Surprizamals cost $4.99 at StuffedAnimals.com.
7. Welch's Easter Fruit Snacks
A great alternative to candy, Welch's Easter Fruit Snacks are available in chick, egg, flower and bunny shapes for Easter. And good news, one pouch of Easter Fruit Snacks has seven grams of sugar, as opposed to a Cadbury Egg, which has 20 grams of sugar. A 28-count box costs $4.99 at Target and at grocery stores nationwide.
Watchitude watches make fun and functional use of the slap bracelet trend. Watchitudes ($21.99 at watchitude.com) are available in lots of fun patterns, from sports themes to desserts. The kids will definitely want to learn to tell time if they haven't already. (It's a good idea to also teach your kids about credit, including the importance of keeping a good credit score. You can check yours free at Credit.com.)
9. Chick in Egg Zipper Plush
The Chick in Egg Zipper Plush is a delightful Easter basket surprise. The soft polka-dot egg unzips to reveal a sweet little plush chick. For ages 3 and up, Chick in Egg costs $9.95 at Papyrus.com.
10. Chef's Cut Real Snack Sticks
Stick a few of Chef's Cut Real Snack Sticks in the Easter basket of your carnivore kid. These tasty jerky sticks ($16 for eight at ChefsCutRealJerky.com) come in flavors like Buffalo Chicken and Japaleño Cheddar (pork and beef).
11. Playfoam Sparkle 4-Pack
For kids who love to squish and squeeze things like slime and magic sand, the Playfoam Sparkle 4-Pack by Educational Insights will be their new favorite. The colorful, sparkly and moldable dough holds a shape and never gets dry. For ages 3 and up, a 4-pack goes for $4.99 at EducationalInsights.com.
12. Little Kids Peeps Giant Bubble Wand Party Pack
With the Little Kids Peeps Giant Bubble Wand Party Pack ($14.99 for a six-pack at Amazon.com), there's enough bubbly fun for everyone. Each colorful tube is topped with a cute Peep and includes four ounces of bubble solution.
13. aGreatLife Sweet Ice Cream Kite for Kids
The aGreatLife Sweet Ice Cream Kite for Kids is small enough for Easter baskets but big and bright in the sky. The kite comes with its own instructional eBook and has a lifetime guarantee. A great excuse to get outside, it's available for $11.99 at Amazon.com.
14. Alex Shrinky Dinks Mini Artist Activity Set
A fun indoor activity if spring hasn't yet sprung, the Alex Shrinky Dinks Mini Artist Activity Set ($9.99 at Toys R Us) includes three Shrinky Dinks pictures, two frames, two easels and six pencils. Bake the colored-in pictures to shrink and frame.
15. Yoee Baby
Perfect for baby's first Easter, the Yoee Baby will keep baby entertained with a teething ring, furry friend, bright colors, a rattle and crinkly spots for squeezing. Designed specifically for the developing minds of babies. Yoee Baby is available for $24.99 at Yoeebaby.com.