No Candy Easter Basket Ideas

I don’t know about you, but when we had “baby’s first Easter”, I was horrified at the amount of chocolate we received on behalf of the BABY! As my kids got older, it only got worse. In the earlier years – when they were toddlers and preschoolers,  I tried to avoid too much candy and too much chocolate and ensure they received some quality little gifts instead. It made for a far less unhealthy Easter Sunday! I thought I would put together a list of these no candy Easter basket ideas and hopefully these will help you too! You will see that they are a mixture of practical Easter gifts (so as not to “spoil them”), durable and educational Easter gifts (so they get something out of if it) and little “party bag” type Easter gifts – gifts to have fun with, “use up” and not to clutter up your house (man, how easily your house gets cluttered!!!).

When it comes to birthdays and Christmas, “they say” give them

  • something to wear
  • something they need
  • something to want
  • something to read

And I think you can apply this to Easter (on a much smaller scale of course). So here.. here we go No Candy Easter Basket Ideas!No Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers. Avoid too much Chocolate at Easter and take a peak at these wonderful ideas from Carrot bubble wands to squeaky egg shakers. Lots of fun quality ideas.

Affiliate links added for convenience!

No Candy Easter Basket Ideas

no candy easter basket ideas

Crayon Rocks – We have a set of these and they are so WONDERFULLY Tactile and fabulous to do art with. Make super little gifts too. (US readers / UK readers)

chick drinking cup

Chick Trainer Cup (There is a cute Bunny Version too!) US Only

no candy easter bucket ideas

Carrot and Chick Bubbles – US ONLY – but similar “Easter Egg Bubbles” for UK Readers!

alternative Easter gifts

BEST TODDLER TOY WE HAVE HAD. We were given a (similar) set a few years back.. and though simple, my kids delighted at it and have played with it for YEARS. Even now, they won’t let me “pass it on to friends” yet, as they enjoy playing with it in their toy kitchen and at pretend picnics! US readers / UK readers 

no candy easter gifts for toddlers - egg shaker toys

Wonderful Egg Shaker Toys made from wood! Adore the designs that these come in (especially the Ladybird!!) US Readers (4 or 10 pack)UK Readers (four in pack) 

shakers

Shaker Toys for babies and toddlers – what an ADORABLE new baby gift – these are textured, brightly coloured and make 3 different sounds. WONDERFUL US readers US readersUK readers

no candy easter baskets for toddlers

We are GREAT fans of Jellycat Bunnies and confess to own quite a few in our house (at least 6!!!!). I particularly like the “small ones” – they are so cute and perfect for taking everywhere… and come in all colours and designs. US Readers, for UK Readers the MEDIUM bunny is better priced!

no candy gifts for easter - easter bunny bib

Adorable Easter Bunny Bib! US readers / UK readers (similar)

no candy easter gifts - kids garden tool set

Kids Garden Tool Set! This is so cute and simple. Get kids interested in the garden and growing things! US Readers / UK Readers (similar)

no candy easter gifts (2)

Get a Kids Seed Start Kit to go with it. This Bunny Garden is ADORABLE!! US Readers Only

no candy easter gift ideas

Grow your own Nasturtium in this cute Zinc Watering Can (other flowers available too!) US readers / UK readers

no candy easter ideas

STACKING DUCKS – a great bath toy – lots of ways to play and learn: Pour, stack and float and parents can use it as a rinse cup too! Lovely!! US readers / UK readers

easter books for kids

Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs – a bright and jolly lift the flap book. With simple and delightful illustrations US readers / UK readers

easter books

That’s not my bunny – when my kids were growing up we **adored** the “That’s not my…” series. We had a number of them and this little bunny version is simply PERFECT for Easter. It has many textured pages with a repetitive text that will appeal to toddlers and preschoolers. US readers/ UK readers

(Or That is Not My Lamb – US readers/ UK readers)no Candy Easter Basket ideasHatch your own characters – Hatching Eggs – there is a selection of 6 different characters that “hatch over time” (yes, I get the fatal flaw, that bunnies down come from Eggs.. BUT my kids LOVE this sort of toy and it is a great NO CANDY Easter Basket alternative). US readers / UK readers

no candy easter basket ideas -dinosaurs

Hatching Dinosaur Egg – this is such a fun “experiment” for kids. Love it. US Readers (comes in packs of 12) UK readers (individual)

Here are some ideas of GIFTS YOU CAN MAKE for your Easter Baskets:

  1. Easy Bean Bag Juggling Chooks
  2. Easy Dinosaur Soap Eggs
  3. Easy Stone Ducks Play Set

Thoughts & Tips on Potty Training

Another flashback to my early parenting days, when I had JUST finished potty training my first child:

Now is time to sum up the weeks of potty training!!! Needless to say, I am NOT an expert… this is just my twopence worth. For (some) expert advice:

http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Health-and-Development/-/0-to-4-years.aspx

I think it is very important, that YOU are just as ready for potty training as the little one. Ultimately, YOU have to see it through. Just don’t leave it too late (see this bit of research: http://www.madeformums.com/toddler/ideal-age-for-potty-training-discovered/4731.html – too old and you will face new issues. Red Ted, btw is 23 months)

So… how was it? It was a slow start to potty training, things didn’t really start “happening” until after Christmas and then again after Daddy went back to work.

Lesson 1: Xmas may have been a bad time as there were lots of people around and far too exciting – so our expectations should have been set lower (doing it again, I probably would have still started at Xmas, as I had the support around me that I (!) needed, just expectations would have been different

Lesson 2: With both Daddy and me “watching” Red Ted, we both assumed the other was doing so and therefore missed toilet cues – I think it may be better if just one of you takes charge

Lesson 3: Daddy (bless him) finds it hard(er) to hide his pooh disgust –work really really hard to praise IMMEDIATELY after a successful potty event and to hide any yukky feelings

Top tips:

Tip 1: Go for it, drop the nappy completely. None of this – “I will just put one for the supermarket run” – so far (!) we have had NO accidents in the pram or car, just make sure you go on the potty before any outing and upon arrival at friends and family’s

Tip 2: Vary rewards for pees (there are so many pees, that a reward may get boring, eg we migrated from popcorn to stickers and will have to think of something new)

Tip 3: show the reward (i.e. Red Ted really “Got it” when he could see the cookie for a Nr 2) – I felt sorry for him, when he raced to the potty to get a Nr 2 out and couldn’t, so rewarded his efforts with a piece of cookie… though don’t fall for this manoeuvre more than once

Tip 4: reward instantly (even if it means a soggy biscuit in the bath or a delayed bedtime as biscuit is consumed)

Tip 5: take them with you, when YOU go to the loo (Red Ted likes to go on the “big” toilet, because he sees us go)

Tip 6: don’t stress or worry if it all takes a little longer, by all accounts several weeks is perfectly normal

Tip 7: stop worrying about “whether THEY are ready for it”, as yourself whether “you are ready for it” – I think it is VERY hard to ascertain that “exact” moment in which they are perfect for training – easy to start too early, but just as easy to miss it and start too late…

Tip 8: get a travel potty that combines as a toilet seat – Red  Ted loves going on the “big” toilet (see earlier posts re Potettes)

Tip 9: when the going gets tough keep going!! some books recommend a potty break, but I reckon it will cause more confusion as to what is expected of them… keep going, even if there seems to be no end in sight… it will come!!! (we briefly toyed with the idea of, did we do it to early, and then suddenly it was working!!)

I guess that it is from a non expert!

I should prob review this again in 3 months and then again 12 months… I am sure that there will be accidents and frustrating moments to come. But so far – almost 6 accident free days! Woo hoo.

Baby Led Weaning – Follow the Leader, Melon & Bananas

Here is a flash back to our life with Baby Led Weaning – it made feeding Pip Squeak and a Toddler at the same time SO much easier and Pip Squeak got used to different textures much more quickly than her brother did at the same age.

The key is to follow your instincts and watch your baby at all times.

When I was struggling to make the decision to do Baby Led Weaning, a friend made a really interesting observation/ comment: she has been bay led weaning her baby from the start. A friend of hers tried giving her 9-10month old some finger food (having seen how well the baby led weaning baby ate) and the older baby chocked and “sicked it all up”, much to her horror and dismay! The thought was: if you let them have finger food from small on, they learn to eat it – they learn to feel what it is like in the mouth, they learn to chew (with gums), they learn not too have too big a piece. The baby led weaning baby will at first lick, suck and push little pieces around.The older baby hadn’t learnt any of this. I am sure you can convert an older baby – you just need to take it slowly and watch them closely. Give them a chance to learn and not frighten themselves!!!

Will stick to pear, banana and sweet potato for a few days/ maybe a week (these were the first foods Red Ted had), maybe make them both some steamed apple slices and then let her explore some more.

Onwards and upwards!

Baby Led Weaning

I know they say that the whole thing about Baby Led Weaning is to follow your instincts, so you don’t really need any books or manuals. I subscribe to that. The only problem though, is that it takes you a while to figure out a few things:

  • Slippery fruit, leave some skin on – easier to hold and baby will gnaw around it.
  • All food should be at least 2inch long: gives baby something to grip with enough sticking out on top to suck.

Since doing these, Pip Squeak has really explored -carrot & boroccolli today. Melon yesterday. I know the photo inserted isn’t a “proper” BLW photo, as she is only sitting in front of food, but I had to just post it! As I think it is lovely **Proud mum**. She did have a good suck on the melon and the skin really helped.

What is REALLY interesting about BLW, isn’t just that Pip Squeak is happy, but that Red Ted ADORES having some lunch and supper with Pip Squeak. He just wants to feed her stuff and for her to have the same as him. He loves it. Two happy babies!

Guest post-The Nappy Mountain! (Part 1- Potty Training)

In  case you missed my Guest Post at baby budgeting:

I have been following Baby Budgeting for a while – what an “Ingenious” topic to blog on – after all Babies do cost a fortune! And all of us want the best for our children, providing them with as much nutrition, fun and experiences as possible! Thank you Baby Budgeting for all your ideas so far.

 Being a “little green” (note, the word “little” – I basically “try”), I was pleased to see the “Green Month” theme and even more pleased when I was “allowed” to contribute. There is one topic close to my heart, but I would like to submit two posts over two days which refer to it:

 The Nappy Mountain!

nappy-mountain-cropped

Photo curtesy of Kingston & Merton Nappy Network

 For first two years of your babies life, not only will you be using up over 5000 nappies, it estimated that these will cost you a minimum £800. Every additional half year will mean an approx extra 730 nappies at a minimum of £125 per 6 months! I think that these calculations erred on the side of “cheap” and minimum use. You will probably be spending more!

 There are two ways to help reduce costs and the impact on the environment. I will talk about one today and the other tomorrow….

 Firstly: Potty Training!

Out generation is encouraged by books, media, health visitors and (I don’t doubt) the nappy manufacturer’s to potty train our children later and later. Many families don’t even THINK about potty training until their child is 2.5 years old, let alone starting potty training at that age. And when they do, they frequently use the “half way” house pull up nappies.

 Now think: each month you probably spend at least £20 (optimistically cheap estimate!!). So every month you delay potty training, that is £20 pounds down the drain – in some cases children are trained 18 – 24 months later than it is possible (i.e. at 3 – 3.5yrs) – that is £360 – £480 wasted on nappies alone?! (not mentioning the cost of baby wipes or nappy bags).

 Our parent generation trained children around 18 months. Ok, this means the process is slower, more work and more infuriating, BUT if a child isn’t trained til 3.5yrs – that is at least £500 less spent by our parents.

 I potty trained mine just before his 2nd Birthday. It took 3 weeks (very boring) and we do still have accidents now (4 months later) – but this is normal. No one tells you this. Everyone tells you “we did in 1 day”, “we did in 3 days” – making you wait and wait and for “the right moment”. Some children will take 3 weeks regardless of when you do it. Some will do it faster. It is hard to decide when exactly is the right time.

 Pull up nappies just prolong the process and make money for the nappy companies. Don’t go there. They are a waste of money. Go nappy cold turkey and you will sort it faster. Don’t wait for summer. Do it when it is right. We did it over Christmas – in some ways winter was better, as when Red Ted wet himself it just went into his trousers and not all over the carpet.

 And here’s a scary fact: your child is more likely to experience incontinence problems if (s)he is trained after the age of 32 months  The ONLY observed downside of training early, is that it may take a little longer.

 Ok. Enough lecturing. Save money. Potty Train.