It's that season when little ones everywhere will be waking up looking for special treats from Mr. Bun E. Rabbit. If you are on the hunt for some alternatives to the candy-laden basket, here are some ideas for treasures they'll be able to use long after the cottontail is gone. Add a Cadbury Creme Egg or two and you should be set to go. And don't forget to set out some carrots.
This basket includes an iTunes gift card, microphone and hair spiking gel. And just to make sure they brush that chocolate away, a Tooth Tunes toothbrush. Musical inspiration from Hannah Montana or The Lion King might help keep those molars sparkling clean.
Fill the basket with reminders about the reason for Easter. A necklace or pin with a cross, the Random House Book of Bible Stories and A Very Veggie Easter CD help get the message across. Include some old photos of family members to talk about.
A sand pail can make a great Easter basket, especially when filled with sunglasses, a new bathing suit, goggles, inflatables, flip-flops and a disposable, waterproof camera. Wrap it all up in a beach towel or cover-up. Tie it with a rope or ribbon.
Presto chango! A magic hat becomes an Easter basket with an adorable stuffed bunny peaking out the top. Inside place a cape, wand, book of tricks and some magic games. Include a DVD of Aladdin.
Nurture their interests in the Earth and homegrown food. Recycle an old Easter basket by gluing plastic flowers "from Mr. McGregor's garden" on the basket and handle. Or, use a bucket or gardener's tool bag. Enclose some toy gardening tools, seed packets and a book on butterfly gardens. Don't forget The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
A plain wooden container they can paint or draw on filled with Play-Doh, markers, construction paper, an Easter coloring book and paints is sure to inspire some future Picassos. Include a pair of children's animal scissors that come in cute spring decor, like ducks, ladybugs and frogs.
Too old for an Easter basket? Spray-paint a tree branch and set it in a clay pot secured by newspapers or a piece of plastic foam covered with Easter grass. Hang some spring bangles, earrings and other jewelry from the branches. Put some eggs and candy on the limbs. Later the tree can be used to keep all her favorite jewelry pieces in view.
For the sports fan, a new baseball glove can serve as the base of the Easter basket. Add a cap, softball, trading cards, a couple of tickets to a game and you should have a home run.