Easter is typically a time for family, friends, and festivities. Generations have celebrated the holiday as a moment to focus on rebirth symbolized by spring animals like baby bunnies and chickens. In many traditions, one of the customary Easter joys is the arrival of a gift basket from the Easter bunny, dropped into houses around the world.
As we write this article during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, there are many uncertainties surrounding the holiday, including canceled church services, stay-at-home orders, and a command to avoid gatherings outside your immediate family. With social distancing in place, the traditional Easter basket may be difficult to acquire, so we’ve put together some ideas that will have you hopping into the smiles of the holiday without leaving the house.
Step 1 - Find a Basket
Think outside the basket on this one. You could use a box, gift bag, or popcorn bowl. Consider a colander, wire fruit basket, or storage container. If you look around, you’re likely to find small totes, baskets you’re using for other things, canvas cubicle totes, or a cute waste basket. You could even use a scarf or other fabric to make a gift knapsack.
Step 2 - Clean and Prep
Clean your “basket” and line it with a plastic bag, tissue paper, or sheet of fabric. If you have some paint around, you can change the color and add stickers, hand art, stamping, decoupage, or stenciling. If you don’t have colorful shredded plastic for the bottom of your basket, simply create colorful shredded paper instead. It’s easy with a paper shredder, manual paper cutter, or scissors. Other options include crinkled paper, cellophane, raffia or even straw. Get creative!
Step 3 - Find or Craft Gifts
Although you may feel frustrated if you’re finding it difficult to get your hands on packaged candy and ready-made toys, celebrate the opportunity to simplify and maybe even create a new tradition. Books are always a winning choice for gift giving at any age. For children, print off coloring sheets and staple them into a book. Use the same technique for a workbook or puzzle game book. You likely already have crayons and colored pencils around the house so sharpen them up and repackage them for regifting.
For some outdoor fun, make your own bubble mix using dish soap. Try six cups of water combined with one cup of corn syrup. To that, gently stir in two cups of liquid dishsoap. Another recipe uses two cups of hot water, 1/4 cup of dish soap, one quarter ounce packet of gelatin, and two tablespoons of glycerin. Plenty of things can serve as the frame through which to blow bubbles, such as a pipe cleaner, metal hanger, apple slicer, or pasta measuring stick.
Be sure to include some homemade playdough. It’s easy to make and provides hours of fun. Find our recipe here.
If you’re really digging the DIY vibe, head into the wood shop and make a classic wooden toy for the tots. Carve out a car or truck, put together some dollhouse furniture, or create a rubber band or marshmallow shooter. You can even place a board inside an old picture frame and top it with a layer of chalk paint for an instant mini chalkboard. If you’re more of a sewing type, make your own sock monkey or other stuffed lovey. You can also use scraps of fabric to make a bean bag toss game, filling them with beans or rice.
To take advantage of the simplicity of paper crafts. Include paper with instructions for making paper airplanes or practicing the ancient art of origami. Even better, go old school with a “choose your answer” fortune teller game from folded paper. Write out instructions and rewards and then fold it up to create the game.
Whether you are looking for ways to simplify the season or are challenged in light of the extreme extenuating circumstances surrounding Easter 2020, let this be the year your imagination soars.
Step 4 - Make Some Sugary Snacks
No Easter basket is complete without a bit of a sweet treat, and there’s no need to rely on prepackaged candy when you can make your own goodies. Dig out the cookie cutters, make brownies, throw together some Rice Krispies Treats, bake cupcakes, mix up some drop cookies, roll up peanut butter balls, dip pretzels, or pull out Grandma’s recipe for homemade lollipops.