Easter is approaching, and kids everywhere are beginning to daydream about hunting for—and opening up—all of those fun, filled plastic eggs. But those eggs don't have to be stuffed solely with foil-wrapped chocolates, jelly beans, and other speckled sugar bombs. You can cut the sweets and keep the fun with these creative ideas for candy-free ways to fill plastic Easter eggs:
1. Puzzle pieces. Try separating the pieces so a few are in each egg. At the end, they have the excitement of putting together an unknown picture!
2. Erasers. Make homework and coloring projects a bit more fun with cute, coloful mini erasers.
3. Homemade coupons. A cute, easy, and inexpensive way to fill an egg is with a coupon for an experience—a "get out of chores for a day" coupon, an "extra dessert day" coupon, etc. Just set a limit on how often they can redeem them!
4. Bubbles. Mini bubble bottles are easy to find online, at most big box stores, or even dollar stores.
5. Fruit snacks. They're still sweet enough to please your little sugar fiends! Add to the holiday fun and choose Annie's, which are shaped like bunnies, or Welch's Easter-themed fruit snacks.
6. Baking ingredients. Guess what we're making?! Involve your kids in Easter dessert by turning it into a hunt: Add an ingredient—like chocolate chips or sprinkles—and a recipe to an egg.
7. Mini stampers. Small, self-inking stampers can fit perfectly in an plastic egg—and will make any Easter craft project fun.
8. Toy cars. Put a candy-colored car in a larger egg for your little speed demon.
9. Jewelry. Anything from stretchy bracelets to earrings, if you child has pierced ears, can fit prettily in a plastic egg.
10. Beads. Or, help your kid DIY his or her own jewelry by filling eggs with all of the fixings to make bracelets and necklaces.
11. Bouncy balls. The glow-in-the-dark ones are my personal favorite!
12. Mini snacks. Goldfish crackers and Annie's crackers and pretzels all come in bite-size treat bags.
13. Doll clothes. Who knew Barbie's garments folded up so neatly into an egg!?
14. Seed packets. Spring is for flowers and gardens, so start a new tradition by filling the eggs with seeds to plant.
15. Finger puppets. If you have an actor or actress on your hands, include written lines for the puppets to "perform" after the hunt.
16. Shopkins. Or any little "surprise" figurines kids are going ga-ga over.
17. Party size Play Doh. These usually comes in a package of 15, so you can fill an assortment of eggs with every color!
18. Legos. What will your tiny builder make this time?!
19. Hair clips. Many hair accessories are the perfect size for Easter eggs.
20. Coins. Have a piggy bank aficionado on your hands? Dollar coins won't disappoint. (And if the Easter Bunny can't get to the bank, a dollar bill will do, too!)
21. Stickers. Fun stickers are always appreciated—and maybe the Bunny will also bring your little one a special book to stick these in.
22. Temporary tattoos. Cut out individual tats and stick them in eggs. (And stock up on coconut oil for when it's time to removing them!)
23. Key chains. A fun key chain will fancy up that backpack!
24. Make plastic Easter egg shakers:
25. Mini nail polish. Tip: Piggy Paint and Hopscotch brands are non-toxic and safe for young paws.
26. Lip balm. Tubes of flavored lip balm, in fruity flavors, will keep those little kissers moisturized.
27. Rainbow Loom rubber bands. Got a Rainbow Loom fan in the house? Stock an egg with colorful bands so they can craft a special Easter bracelet.
Of course, keep your child's age in mind when filling eggs: Remember that many small items may pose a choking hazard and are not recommended for little kids. So pick age-appropriate trinkets for your eggs to ensure happy hunting!