04 April 2011

No-candy Easter eggs: Fill them with Legos

Amazon: Lego Here's how Christy's lowering the sugar and raising the fun quotient in this year's Easter egg hunt:

This may be brilliant or evil, but being sick of the endless holiday candy train with my kids, I'm going to just get a small set of Legos and fill their eggs with them.

I vote for brilliant. The kids won't lack for candy, and this way, they'll have a puzzle to put together (and a toy to play with) once the Easter egg hunt is done.

More non-candy options for Easter eggs: small change, those tiny Japanese erasers that are all the rage...other ideas, Parenthackers?

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Our four year old is a Type I diabetic so we obviously try to limit candy for holidays as much as possible. They still get a little from the grandparents so we try to do something different. Last year I put puzzle pieces inside the plastic eggs and once all three boys found all of them, they worked on the puzzle together. The egg hunt was just as much fun for them, and it had the added benefit of giving them something to do while dinner was being prepared. Legos are a great option too, thanks!

we do stickers and also pennies, nickles, dimes and a few quarters. That way my daughter can save her money to put towards something fun next time we travel or go to an aquarium or zoo! I do love the lego idea tho!

LOVE this idea!! Will retweet - great for Easter Egg hunts around house or garden when you don't want to fill them with yet more sweeties (as we call them this side of the pond!!). Thank you for GREAT idea!! Jen

We're Jewish but we're in an "I love tiny things phase" so...tattoos, silly bands, barrettes (my daughter loves those), playmobile people & animals, calico critters, funky shaped erasers, fuzzy chicks, stamps :)

Last year I bought two of the small Lego sets, and broke them up among the eggs. Then I tucked the instructions in their baskets. Drove them crazy for a little bit, until they had found all the eggs, but was a good challenge for my tweens.

Silly bandz, I suppose!

My kid is super into dinosaurs this year so my plan was to find little mini dino toys to put in the eggs. He will be excited because it's like they are hatching.

One way to make Easter Eggs a thrill is to set up a "Prize Catalog," authored by the kids. Have them choose various prize possibilities with certain values, then fill the eggs with tickets of varied denominations. You can fill the eggs with other items, like stickers or whatever your kids are into, and then adjust how often they find a ticket, based on their level of excitement about the tickets. Make some special bonus eggs, with notes that say "5X Next Egg Value" or something similar, just like video games. Yes, it's more work. Yes, it's more exciting for the kids.

How about puzzle pieces? Depending on the age of your child and size of the eggs, it's another great activity for your child to complete when the hunt for the basket/eggs is over. Granted you don't want to buy a 500 piece puzzle or too many eggs...

Don't forget to check the "free" bins at yard sales. I stock up in the summer and keep my stash of "new" tiny treats hidden. Then they're on hand for rainy days, sick days, and long car trips.

My daughters are the crafty type, so we've filled eggs with beads and shoelaces, chenille craft sticks, little fuzzy 1" balls, fake jewels, and anything else I pick up from the craft/collage aisle at my local teacher supply store. I've also filled eggs with magnetic alphabet letters, jewelry, rubber stamps, Barbie doll or Polly Pocket clothes, playdough and small playdough tools, plastic animals, balls, chalk, finger puppets, etc.

One advantage of this is that it's not the end of the world if the kids open their eggs during the hunt and the contents fall in the dirt and grass.

This year I might do what a friend of mine does: hide treasure hunt clues in the plastic eggs (each one pointing to the next clue/egg), ending up at their filled Easter basket. That way the kids won't have baskets of candy OR little toys that mirror what we already have; instead they'll get a few toys and books that they've been wanting.

I've put pieces of Veggie Booty in the eggs.

I am 27. But to this day, my Dad collects silver coins (one dollar, 50¢ and 25¢ pieces) from his retail business all year long. Instead on candy, he fills our re-usable plastic Easter eggs with coins. The joy is in the hunt! One of the eggs has a bonus-bill tucked inside it. It is fun and sugar free. For kids, probably small change would suffice. And of course, this is not an option for very young kids. But to the aspiring adults, this is the greatest Easter egg tradition ever!

we use change -- pennies, nickels and dimes, mostly, with the occasional quarter and 50 cent piece.

Stickers, healthier snacks like goldfish, cheerios, raisins, cute hair clips or pony tail holders

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I have an almost-two-year-old, and I'm planning to do stickers, number and letter magnets for the fridge, and maybe one or two pieces of homemade "candy" (oats/peanut butter, rolled into balls, covered in melted chocolate). When she gets a little older I'll probably do coins, as well.

Brilliance my girls are heavily into the Lego right now. I hadn't even thought of filling their plastic eggs with Lego but they would love it.

Given my youngest is nut allergic and dairy intolerant eggs are out for us.

We did this with our son one year - got a set of a bunch of lego "guys" and he was in heaven! The other thing that we do for Easter and Halloween is a trade-in system. We get something we know he wants (a couple Cars characters or something)and we collect up all the candy (because my boss gives more than we ever would in the eggs) and it becomes currency. We take it and "weigh it" and come back with the toy that is "equal value". He LOVES it and doesn't think twice about the candy!

Umm, we do hard boiled, colored eggs. Does no one do this anymore? I suppose my kids will be on to me one of these years that they could get something with candy in it, but as of now they know that when they leave the eggs out the night before Easter in their baskets, the bunny will hide them during the night and leave them a basket filled with toys (just a bit of candy) instead.

This year we're doing those mini eraser things that the kids are going crazy for, Craze erasers or something. We also are doing fruit snacks, blueberries, and grapes because my 4 year old actually likes those more than candy.

This is really cute and sticking with the Easter Bunny theme for the Legos in eggs!

http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-40005-Easter-Bunny/dp/B003AOIQX6/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1301933620&sr=8-5

I knitted some tiny toys one year to reduce candy and my daughter still plays with them. Then I posted the patterns for free so others can share in the goodness.

http://kimberlychapman.com/crafts/knit-patterns-minieastereggtoys.html

@DC Elizabeth Yeah, maybe I'm just really old or something, but I'm not used to candy-filled plastic eggs on an egg hunt unless it's, like, a party or big activity or something.

I hope to make some of my own of these: http://hypebeast.com/2009/11/muji-lego-paper-punch-set/ The kids can make their own lego creations, an I can make a bunch of paper thingies for them to make whatever they want. We also color-code our kids, so each kid only finds their color of Easter egg. That way, each child has eggs filled with stuff they love, and they are hidden according to their ability.

We get the biggest eggs we can find and put things like party favor sized bubble stuff, wind-up toys, and small sidewalk chalk in them. This year there will probably also be Squinkies.

We do eggs. You know, Easter eggs? That the kids have dyed? Eggs.

We are doing squinkies, little erasers, some coins, trinkets, and will probably end up with some kind of point system and let the girls trade in for what they want. I also tend to go with the larger sized eggs and reuse them year after year.

YES-- I love these Lego paper thingies!! But I can't find out where to buy them (mostly the paper punch). Where are they?!!!!

@DC Elizabeth: We are old school too! I am sending this to the Grandparents though. We also like the "soak them and watch them grow" sponges and toys. But beware the dollar store jewelry and toys due to lead and cadmium.

We do the exact same thing as DC Elizabeth. I had no idea everyone else was hiding plastic eggs with candy! My daughter gets a bit of candy in the basket, but toys or other small items as well--& it can be a book or something--it just has to fit in the Easter basket, not in an egg!

Target sells yogurt covered fruity balls that look remarkably like jelly beans. I am sure I am deluding myself that they are better than the real jelly beans for the egg hunt but it is better than a poke in the eye so I go for it. We've used mini teddy-grahams, animal crakers, etc. as fillers. The kids just like getting treats in the morning!

It is stickers, mini erasers and tatoos this year with a Barbie and a stuffed animal in the basket with one smallish chocolate bunny. I am thinking of a cookie bunny that I bake so there is some redeeming nature to it! We'll see...

PS The candy buy back plan is awesome!

I also saw this goldfish cracker carrot - totally great. I just have to find the disposable frosting bags ASAP. It's super cute.

http://www.nofussfabulous.com/?p=4587

I'd post a pic if I could, but I don't think I can in the comments.

We do a clue to clue hunt with small crafts in the eggs and "fake" money. The kids use the money at the craft table store (the kids love to be responsible for the store!) to purchase items to make their Easter decoration. The decorations are then awarded prizes like most inventive, most colorful, tallest, etc.. Every decoration gets a recognition. There are some treats in the eggs too. Mainly raisins, nuts, pretzels, m&M's etc.. Because we have all the kids and adults participating every year we create teams so the treats are put in a bowl and shared with the team while they are gluing and creating their masterpiece.

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