Beyond the candy: 5 Easter basket gifts that help your child develop

Photo Credit: Susan Ackeridge

When the Easter bunny hops into town this year, help him deliver a meaningful gift to complement traditional goodies and trinkets. Easter basket items that double as tools to help your child’s early development make egg-cellent gifts!

1) Books (all ages)
Let the Easter bunny spruce up your child’s home library! It’s no secret that early literacy is the foundation of children’s success in school, so why not use the holiday to your advantage to boost story-time excitement? Books like Up Up Up and Happy Easter, Mouse! tell the tale of animal friends and make the perfect addition to any child’s basket.

2) Musical Instruments (ages vary)
Musical instruments add a unique presence to any Easter bundle and are bound to bring excitement. Music helps young children explore sounds and establish pre-language skills. Musical toys made for babies are often designed with unique safety features, while xylophones and recorders are childhood staples better fit for ages 3 years and older.

3) Art Materials (ages 3-5)
Grab a box of crayons from your local convenience store and print off free Easter coloring pages to awaken your child’s inner-artist. The process of working on a range of art projects help children both build their imagination and small muscles in their hands. Pro tip: Take a step further and add educational skills to your holiday art activities.

4) Dramatic Play Materials (ages 2-5)
Easter baskets provide an opportunity to purchase themed dramatic play item like bunny ears or other dress-up clothes, and puppets or animal plush toys. Children often interpret information about the world around them through play accompanied with pretend dress-up clothing, food, kitchenware and shopping play.

5) Oballs (ages 0-2)
An Oball is a small, durable ball with many holes designed for the grasp of young children and encourage interactive play for their physical development. Rolling a ball with your baby elicits communication and motor skills. This colorful addition will surely spruce up any Easter basket!

As always, be sure to read the warning labels of individual toys to ensure that they are safe and appropriate for your young child.

All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.