When you ask most children what Easter is about, they would probably say Easter bunnies, eggs, chocolate, getting their Easter baskets.
Alternatives to candy might be a garden basket – how about a plastic watering can or a bucket with a pair of gardening gloves and a small trowel? Add some colorful seed packets of vegetables that grow fast or a packet of sunflowers so your little one can watch them grow.
Little ones like to sleep over at their grandparents so how about a sturdy overnight bag with a pair of slippers and new pajamas? Add a plain pillowcase and fabric markers so the grandchild and granny can have fun decorating it.
If candy is off-limits it doesn’t mean all food has to be. Children love snacks of goldfish, chewy granola bars, and fresh fruit.
For the little artist in the family, pick up an inexpensive plastic bucket and add to it a sketchbook, scissors, markers and stickers.
Most boys like sports equipment. For Little Leaguers, try new batting gloves, baseball hat with the logo of a favorite team, sunglasses or a book about a legendary player. Future hoops stars might like a pump and needle to keep basketballs firm, a team jersey and matching shorts, and a sweatband.
For a gymnast, that might mean a new leotard, shorts, or warm-up gear, all nestled in a handy mini-laundry basket. Throw in some new grips, chalk, or wrist guards. Gymnasts also like gymnastics-themed T-shirts and hair ties.
One of the biggest hits among pre-teens is a lip gloss, candle, or lotion in almost any flavor or fragrance under the sun. The Jelly Belly Company got in on the act with a host of products that smell like jelly beans but don’t cause cavities.
Kids who enjoy going to the pool or beach would like a new towel, goggles or a pair of water shoes. The pool dive rings, splash balls, squidivers are fun for all kids (big or small).
Some outdoor items like chalk, bubbles, sprinklers or bouncy balls are a hit for any age.
We would hope that many of our children would say that Easter is about Jesus and His death on the cross for our sins. After all, this is the true meaning of Easter.
Sharing with our children the real meaning of Easter, that Jesus died for their sins and loves them very much, is a hard thing to focus on when we are surrounded by the Easter bunny, chocolate, eggs, and more. Enjoy the time with your family – make it fun and have a Happy Easter.
Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.