I had such a blessed and memorable childhood, I especially remember holidays. My mom and dad carried out traditions for my sisters and I that I truly cherish. I don’t remember the treats or gifts that I received, but the fun that we had and memories that were made for us.
Holidays, along with family vacations were something that I looked forward to when envisioning having my own children. I dreamed of the day when I got to take the role of being the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and celebrating each birthday for my future princess or prince.
Well, that day has come and I am going to take FULL advantage. Emersyn is at the picture-perfect age where her imagination is soaring, which is just impeccable for me and my BIG plans! I am going to share with you some happenings that will and have been carried out for our Easter holiday.
I am not crazy about my toddler eating sweets, but she has her fair share and we have enough of it in our house, so I didn’t want an Easter basket full of candies and sweets. This year I wanted to make Easter baskets that were practical, themed and enjoyable for days to come AFTER Easter.
*A tip that I gained and have been doing since I’ve had kids, is to collect things along the way and save them. For example, after Easter two years ago I went to Target and purchased non-perishable trinkets that were deeply discounted because Easter was over. I used these things as incentives and for the following Easter. I also did this after Valentine’s day this year and got party favors for both kids birthday parties.
For Emersyn, she’s two and REALLY into Disney princesses, primarily The Little Mermaid- Ariel, so we went with the theme of just that! (If you can’t tell, I am really into themes, it helps me to stay organized and think of ideas)
- The Little Mermaid beach towel
- A water proof mermaid dolly (you can get these for $5 dollars at Toys R Us)
- A Little Mermaid t-shirt (I found this on the clearance rack at The Disney Store)
- Princess “basket” (I found this a Target, they were buy one, get one 1/2 off!)
- A Little Mermaid cup (I found this at the Disney Store – buy 3 for $4 each, score! I saved one for a later date)
- A Little Mermaid spin sucker (I found this on clearance at Toys R Us)
- Little Mermaid socks
Now, with Lincoln only being 10-months-old, it was a little harder to really gage his interest, but I was excited to prepare his first basket and my first BOY basket! I decided to go with the boy theme, mostly including Mickey Mouse items, but really just looking for fun “boy” things.
- I found a dinosaur tin “basket” at Target (buy one get one, perfect!)
- A Mickey Mouse towel (I found it at the Disney Store and it was on sale, yay for me!)
- A Mickey Mouse cup (I found this at the Disney Store, it was one of the 3 for $4)
- Organic Puffs (Gluten-Free for my baby full of allergies)
- A Mickey Mouse plush toy (I used my $10 Kohl’s cash, another score for me!)
- Fruit and Veggie squeeze pouches
- Another plush Mickey Mouse (I picked this up at 5 Below, another great store to find little trinkets for kids)
- Mickey Mouse pacifiers
Remember to include items that kids can enjoy for days beyond Easter. Also, remember kids don’t usually remember what they received, but HOW they received it. So in saying this, I will share with you what we did this year in order for our kids to discover their Easter baskets on Easter.
We planned a scavenger hunt! Neither of the kids can read words yet (they are 2 and 10-months), but the 2-year-old can read environmentally. My wonderful husband took on this task. He took pictures around the house, added a cute little Easter Bunny to the pictures, and printed them out. The idea is, is that the kids (mostly Emersyn the 2-year-old) will look at the pictures, “read” where to look for the next clue, and at the end discover where the Easter Bunny hid her basket. He prepared 10 picture clues. Emersyn just loved this!
The week leading up to East has been full of Easter themed arts and crafts. This week we painted Easter Bunnies and Carrots. Emersyn, the independent lady that she is, created her own art work but stuck to the theme that I was going for. Lincoln and our family friend’s baby took part in this art as well. I painted both of their feet to create bunny ears, carrots, and bunnies.
Another fun thing during holidays is of course the fun holiday themed food that you can make for your little one and have them help you create. I found Ducks Gluten Free noodles that my 10-month-old could enjoy (He’s allergic to wheat), Emersyn also loved to eat these too!
We of course had to color eggs. We actually bought the kit at Target last year the day after Easter for 1/2 off, deal for us! I had heard that using a whisk to put the egg in and dip it into the colors would be easier and less messy, so we tried it. It worked great! Emersyn just loved this activity, she said she was “washing the eggs”, how cute!
My dad loves to make Rice Krispy Treats and who doesn’t LOVE to eat them? He brought up the idea that we make Easter egg Rice Krispy Treats, so that’s what we did. I made up a batch of Rice Krispy Treats as advised on the box, but instead of putting them into a pan, I put them into a plastic egg to form them into the egg shape. They turned out great!
Another dessert that we made this Easter, but you can make it anytime in the spring/summer is Dirt Pudding. Kids just love to make and eat this, what a great conversation piece it is! We took these to a family party this year with a few kids 8 and under, they were questioning, laughing, and yes-playing with their food. They thought it was funny that they were eating “dirt”. I used Cookies and Cream Jello pudding, crushed Oreos for the “dirt” and some gummy worms and a gummy frog.
We had to visit the Easter Bunny – much to my surprise! Emersyn wanted to go see the Easter Bunny, she is absolutely terrified of Santa Claus, so you can understand why this was a surprise to me. I did pay for her to see him at an expensive mall set-up, but afterwards we saw him for FREE at Walmart and again at another local store (I am still learning). For the record, I think the Easter Bunny is a whole lot creepier than Santa!
As you can see, I LOVE to spend time with my kids, housework can wait. I know that they grow up way too fast and no is the time that they actually want to be around me. You do not have to spend a ton of money or time prepping to make holidays enjoyable. Whatever you and your family decide to do for any holiday, remember to make it memorable.
What do you do to make your holidays memorable? What have you passed on from your childhood to your kids?