Child Development Easter Basket Ideas

If you celebrate Easter, thinking of ideas of what to put in your child’s basket or eggs might be difficult. I’m sure you’ve already been up and down the aisles at your favorite store seeing what you might want to pick up. I love filling my daughter’s Easter baskets, but I usually don’t find my favorite things in the Easter section. Easter basket or egg fillers can get expensive quickly and I don’t know many parents that enjoy having tiny plastic Easter toys scattered around their home after a day of play. In that spirit, here’s a list of fillers that won’t go to waste and how to use them to support your child’s development.

Lansing Mom is here to share our tried and true favorites. This post does contain affiliate links that help support our small business but every product is something we love! 

Food Exploration

  • Sprinkles: Add them to new things to try to make simple breakfast foods like smoothies or toast a celebration!
  • Oatmeal Packs: Make it together and let your child be in charge of pouring, stirring, and choosing add-ins like frozen fruit or peanut butter.

Child development tip: Less pressure and more autonomy for children during mealtimes encourages them to be healthy eaters who pay attention to their own bodies hunger and fullness cues.


  • Pipe Cleaners: Poke them in Play-doh, put beads on them, or make them into bunny ears. A very open-ended and creative material.
  • Shaped Crayons: Take some of your old crayons and melt them in a glass jar in the microwave. Pour the melted mixture into silicone molds you can get at the craft store. Voila, you have new crayons! Or if you prefer, buy shaped crayons at a local store.

Child development tip: Create opportunities for your child to use their own creative ideas. Choose materials and mediums that are open-ended such as blank paper over coloring books. When you offer your child a smaller crayon, it helps put their fingers in a proper tripod grasp!

Gross Motor

  • Ping Pong Balls: Throw them at a target (like their Easter basket) while working on hand-eye coordination.
  • Movement Scarf: Encourage big body movements by dancing with a scarf, twirling it, or even throwing it up in the air and catching it.

Child development tip: Your child is developmentally inclined to throw, it is a skill they will practice and need time to learn. Instead of having to say NO THROWING inside, try directing their throwing by offering something light to throw like a scarf or give them a target to aim at. This allows them the opportunity to honor the developmentally driven behavior while also funneling it in a safe and controlled way.

Engineering & Fine Motor

  • Legos: Put them together and take them apart.
  • Nuts/Bolts: Screw and unscrew or sort them by size.

Child development tip: Your child will enjoy building with toys and also appreciate having a chance to practice with real items like nuts and bolts and a screwdriver. Building encourages curiosity while requiring manipulation of the small muscles in the hands and fingers, and focus. 

Emerging Literacy

  • Post it notes: Offer them as a fun option for practicing writing or drawing. Have them write the letter in their name and have them match them, hide them around the house, or use them to make peek-a-boo flaps inside a beloved book.
  • Story Stones: Purchase or paint on stones yourself and the images that can serve as jumping points for telling stories. You can pair them with books or write stories together based off of the stones.

Child development tip: We often hear about book reading to support literacy. But reading is just one part. From being able to follow a story and comprehend what is happening to writing in order to communicate your thoughts, there are many ways to support your little one if they aren’t particularly fond of sitting for books or story time.


  • Feeling Cards: We love cards at our house. Look for match games, affirmation decks, or baby face cards that show a variety of faces and you can look at them together.
  • Breath tools: Model and support your child in blowing tiny bubbles, a feather, a miniature pinwheel, or a kazoo.

Child development tip: Learning to calm down requires co-regulation and lots of practice. Together you can help your child identify emotions by observing and talking about what you see. Introducing playful breathwork is a wonderful way to teach your child the power of a deep breath. Teaching breathwork during play and calm times will help them understand how to access that skill when they are upset. 


  • Pop bracelet: This is a great fidget to put on your child before heading out on a car ride or while waiting at the doctor’s office or restaurants. 
  • Chewy Necklace: Chewy necklaces are great for kids who love to chew on pens and collars. They provide great sensory input into the jaw and can be a great upgrade to a standard teether if your child is getting older and hasn’t outgrown chewing.

Child development tip: Did you know that we all regulate our bodies through movement, our hands, and our mouths? Think about how you might use these modalities as an adult to regulate. Maybe you’re a runner, or you have to sit on a ball at your desk. Maybe you are an avid snacker on road trips that require lots of sitting, or you’ve got to be knitting while watching television. We’ve taken years to regulate the sensory needs our bodies have and our children are learning to do that too – help them by giving them the right tools.


  • Characters: We added little people to my daughter’s stocking this year and they were a hit. You don’t have to have a fancy dollhouse to use them. Make a bed out of a Tupperware container and practice functional words by putting your child’s character toy to sleep and waking them up.
  • Wind Up Toy: Show your child how a wind up toy moves after you’ve wound it. Then pause and wait- see if they indicate that you do it again.

Child development tip: Repetition is a great way to support your child’s growing vocabulary. Creating opportunities for repetition can be easily done both in pretend play and when you provide a toy that your child needs to request assistance with in order to work.

If you’re finding yourself hesitant to buy the Easter themed stuffers that are often overpriced and easily broken- try adding in some of these items and know that you can use them to support your child’s development through play. Even better- buy local and shop at one of the stores below that will have awesome options for you to choose from.

Don’t forget to participate in Lansing Mom’s Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt! 

Miranda Zoumbaris
Miranda is a mama to two young girls. After spending 13 years serving families of babies and toddlers in early intervention she recently took a leave to care for her daughters and build her own small business. Miranda is currently working on developing an LLC to provide parent and me education classes along with coaching and support for parents and professionals surrounding the birth to five age range. In her spare time she enjoys baking, creating, and working hard to keep her pandemic house plants alive. You can follow her journey on her favorite social platform Instagram @earlyinterventionmama.


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