Valentine’s and Easter Gift Baskets for Kids (without the sugar rush!)

Easter and Valentine’s Day. The barrage of gift ideas in the stores and the mounds of chocolate and candies are a little overwhelming. Personally, we don’t need any more stuffed animals, chocolates, or any other type of candy. And our budget definitely doesn’t need the cost.  

So, for Valentine’s Day and Easter, I’ve taken to putting together inexpensive little gift bags or baskets for the kids, usually containing items that they don’t get very often.

This year’s Valentine’s gift bags cost me less than $5/each:

$1.00 – a bucket of sidewalk chalk
$2.50 – a small notebook in child’s favorite color
$ .20 – a mechanical pencil in child’s favorite color (this was actually a multi-color, multi-pack that I split between the kids based on colors)
$ .50 – a bag of M&Ms
$ .14 – valentine’s gift bag (50% off regular price of 25 cents)
$4.20 – Total for each child’s Valentine’s gift

Basically, I look for small, inexpensive things that the kids don’t usually get, but would like. This year, we were down to the last piece of sidewalk chalk and it has caused some friction between the kids, so when I saw little chalk buckets for a $1 each at Walgreens I picked them up. Small writing notebooks are always popular with my kids; they like to have little books to draw and write in. We go through pens and pencils like crazy around here, so the kids are also always happy to get a new pen or pencil in their favorite color.

Part of the joy is getting something special, but part of it is in the customization and the presentation. It’s always a special, secret thing to get the Valentine’s gift bag or an Easter basket; it’s shrouded in mystique and wonder for a time before hand.

Each gift bag/basket is similar to the others, but customized for that child. Little notebooks and pens/pencils are always in their favorite colors (pink, red, blue, and yellow or teal) and designs and games match their interests. It helps keep things even, but yet each child knows I was thinking especially of them when I put it together.

In the past, gift bags and basket items have included a combination of: 

  • bubbles
  • pens, pencils, or markers in the child’s favorite color
  • travel or card games
  • small crafts or craft items
  • art supplies
  • stickers
  • seeds, a small pot, and a small bag of potting soil
  • small notebooks or journal books
  • play dough or modeling clay
  • small puzzles or puzzle books
  • special food treats of favorite snack foods (pretzels, Goldfish, M&Ms, or a few Hershey’s Kisses, etc.)

I’ve found good treats at the pharmacy stores (Walgreens, CVS, Longs, etc), the dollar stores, thrift stores, and even the grocery store. Sometimes if I plan ahead of time, I’ll head to Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or Target and look through the little craft items they might have.

Overall I’m looking for inexpensive, but practical and engaging gifts, that allow my kids to be creative in their play without adding more clutter into our home or excess sugar into our diets (we have enough as it is).

Have more ideas? Please share them…

Other Valentine’s Day on a Budget Related Posts:

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4 Responses to Valentine’s and Easter Gift Baskets for Kids (without the sugar rush!)

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