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Hop To It: Themed Baskets that Even the Easter Bunny Will Envy

This Easter, as an alternative to baskets filled with chocolate and sweets, why not create a unique themed basket instead?

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With Easter comes the expectation of baskets filled with colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps and jelly beans. But this year, as an alternative to baskets filled with sweets, why not consider making theme-filled baskets instead? There are plenty of fun and creative ways to surprise and delight your loved ones while cutting down on the candy. We’ve put together some great ideas for kids and adults—so have fun creating, improvising and even personalizing them!

For the Kids

Gardening Basket
Purchase a colorful plastic bucket at a dollar store and fill it with a few packages of flower or vegetable seeds, a set of kid’s gardening tools, gardening gloves, a watering can, a flower pinwheel and a sun hat. Add a book about flowers or gardening and a furry stuffed chick or bunny!

Art Basket
There are so many inexpensive items at craft and discount stores, so you can really have fun with this one! Use a decorative basket or cover a cardboard box in a garden-themed fabric using a glue gun.  Add a label with your child’s name to personalize it. Include coloring books, colored construction paper, fancy-edged scissors, crayons, gel pens, colored pencils, stickers, glitter, rubber stamps, stencils and play dough or molding clay. Then spend some time with your child creating spring-themed note cards.

Baking Basket
Fill a large plastic mixing bowl with measuring cups and spoons, a colorful spatula and a large spoon. Add a decorative cupcake pan, a box of cake mix, a can of icing, a dessert cookbook with easy-to-follow cupcake recipes and a kid-sized apron with a spring theme. Include plastic Easter eggs filled with nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, sprinkles and jelly beans to add to the fun!

Baseball Basket
To a large basket add a team jersey, a baseball hat, batting gloves, a poster and a book or DVD about a favorite player. Fill a baseball-themed tumbler with real-fruit snacks and a bit of your child’s favorite candy. Include some peanuts and Cracker Jack and add tickets to an upcoming Duck’s game!

Summertime Fun Basket
Create a unique “basket” using an oversized beach towel rolled and tied with ribbon. Add a pail and shovel, colorful water slippers, a Frisbee, a ball, a jump rope, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and a water gun. Include granola bars and Easter eggs filled with real-fruit snack treats and sugar-free bubble gum. Fill one of the eggs with a “coupon” for a day trip to a favorite local attraction.

Here are some Fun Ideas for Adults

Pamper Me Basket
Tie ribbons and bows around a tin planter, line it with pastel-colored wash cloths and tie a personalized note to it. Fill the planter with spring-scented bubble bath, soap and lotion or body butter. Add a loofah, bath pillow, nail brush, scented candle and a small springtime bouquet!

Cozy Tea Basket
Line a decorative serving tray with raffia, roll together two spring-themed placemats and matching napkins and tie them with a ribbon. Add a small stem of spring silk flowers to each tie. Include two pastel-colored teacups and saucers. Fill the teacups with petit fours and shortbread cookies and wrap each in pastel-colored cellophane tied with ribbon. Include two small spoons and an assortment of boxed teas. Add a loaf cake and a spring-themed paper container filled with sugar cubes, each wrapped in cellophane. Complete the tray by adding a small, inexpensive spray of spring silk flowers.

Grill Master Basket
Fill a grilling tray with barbeque-inspired tools, condiments, sweets and snacks. (Bed Bath and Beyond sells a 12-inch by 12-inch Mr. Bar-B-Q Fusion Grilling Stainless Steel Topper for $16.99.) Include barbeque utensils, skewers, assorted barbeque sauces and spices (including meat and poultry rub), smoked almonds, beef jerky, smokehouse barbeque chips and a mitt and apron. Just for fun, add a smokehouse chocolate bar.
Be sure to print out these great grilling recipes & tips to top off the fun!

Pro Golfer Basket
Fill a fabric cooler with golf tees, a practice putting cup, USGA Rules of Golf book, a sleeve of golf balls, a white cotton golf towel, a spike wrench, dual brush, divot tool and ball markers and a first aid kit. Include licorice bites, honey roasted peanuts, peppered jerky, pretzels, peanuts and fruit snacks. Your golf-lover will be ready to hit the green this season
with all of these sweet treats!

Movie Night Basket
Fill a large basket with plastic Easter grass. Include a couple of new movie releases, an assortment of movie theater candy, microwave popcorn and a jar filled with un-popped kettle corn. Include shakers filled with popcorn seasonings like sour cream and onion, ranch white cheddar salts and cinnamon sugar. Include Easter eggs filled with M&Ms, bits of toffee, and honey-roasted almonds and peanuts to add to the popcorn on movie night. Add a couple of bottles of soda and a throw blanket!