It seems as though spending money on the "holidays" is a never ending process. I feel like I've been doing nothing but spending money since October. Between birthday and Halloween, Christmas and the new baby... wow... time and money has flown. So I thought I'd list a few inexpensive ideas for Easter. And while not all these ideas are inexpensive, they are relatively practical and won't end up forgotten at the bottom of the toy box.
Sidewalk chalk--The age range for this varies, but could easily extend through early elementary school. It's a great activity to keep the kids busy while making dinner, too
Bubbles--Kids love them. And you can find containers of varying sizes, even at the dollar store. But look around. Sometimes even the dollar store is overpriced for what you end up getting.
Mini cars--Look for the ones in multi-packs. My son loves them. I have a couple in my purse, some in the diaper bag, and several in the house. They're great for entertaining in restaurants, traffic, long shopping trips, etc.
Books-- We love books in this house. Can't get enough of them. Each one is a new adventure. You kids will use them over and over again.
Play-doh--What kid can get enough Play-doh? Again, I can't say enough about the dollar store. They have several packs of Play-doh and tools.
Art supplies--Crayons, watercolors, glitter glue, stickers, google eyes, popsicle sticks, coloring books, pipe cleaners... the possibilities are endless. You could fill the basket with nothing but art and craft supplies depending on your child's age relatively inexpensively.
Summer stuff--This is the route we take with younger children. They are growing so quickly; we find we need a new swim suit each year. Knowing that we'll need to buy them anyway, we put new bathing suits, sunscreen, towels, floaties, etc in the kids' Easter baskets. Another idea to keep in mind is a waterproof book from Baby Einstein. My son has a couple and loves them for both the pool and the bath.
Goodies other than candy:
Other misc ideas:
New sippy cup or bowl--look for clearance seasonal items or character items at the dollar store.
Jacks, bouncy ball, or jumprope--don't forget they can use these relatively inexpensive items as the weather warms up.
I hope this helps. I can't believe Easter is so early this year. I need to make a list and get going. Have fun shopping.