Candy-free Easter gifts and basket stuffers for kids this spring

Here are several candy-free gift ideas your kids are sure to love. (Getty/File)

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For some kids, waking up on Easter morning and hunting for eggs and baskets is just as exciting as waking up on Christmas morning. For tired parents, however, the last thing you want is sugar-loaded kids bouncing around the house — especially if you’re piling into the car later for a visit with family.

If you want to skip or minimize the sugary treats and chocolate this Easter, here are several candy-free gift ideas our kids have loved receiving and playing with over the years.


Create fun learning opportunities for pre-schoolers with this egg-cellent set of shape-recognition toys. There are a dozen shapes to match and connect, plus they quickly tuck away into the egg carton case for easy storage.
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Leslie Patricelli’s collection of board books always entertains young kids thanks to their bright colours and relatable stories. This one is a hit for toddlers, who will have fun finding eggs on the pages and identifying the different designs.


This shape sorting toy is a cute Easter pick for toddlers, but it also helps them learn. The carrots are big enough to ease choking concerns, and they slide into the different-sized compartments to help develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity and fine motor skills.


Young kids haven’t developed the dexterity for regular crayons yet, so these egg-shaped ones are always a hit. They’re easy for little hands to hold with their palms while introducing them to the world of (washable) scribbling, and their shape makes them a great Easter gift or basket addition.
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With the warm spring air around the corner, encourage kids to get creative outside with sidewalk chalk. Try this set if you’ve got a tot just starting those chalky scribbles. Melissa & Doug is one of our favourite toy brands, and this set allows kids to hold the chalk in multiple ways while minimizing how much chalk dust lands on them.


These bath bombs are egg-shaped, which makes them a great themed Easter pick. But, they also come with a learning element. Each egg contains a mini dinosaur to reveal within, along with six cards explaining the characteristics of each one.


These trendy, squishable plush toys are a great Easter pick thanks to their round shape and huggable design. They’re also fun to collect and add character to a calming corner or bedroom, giving them year-round appeal.
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This three-in-one creator LEGO set allows kids eight and older to build their own Easter rabbit, a seal, or a parrot. It’s also a practical gift to bring to an extended family gathering where the kids might need activities. Just remember to bring a bag to tuck all of those extra pieces into afterward.
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Teach older kids about how the Easter bunny’s food grows with this genius root-viewer growing kit. The see-through planter allows your family to observe how plants root and grow, and it comes with high-germination seeds for a better chance at successful growth.


This Play-Doh set allows kids to get creative while also teaching them about different textures. The chicken has slots to grow “feathers” and even lays a Play-Doh egg. Plus, the toy makes fun chicken clucking sounds, just like those spring chickens at the farm.
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These soft and tacky Globbles are always a hit with kids thanks to their squishy texture and sticky surface, which allows them to stick to walls. They do tend to gather dirt and dust, but you can wash them quickly with a bit of dish soap. That makes them a win with kids and parents alike.


These colourful books travel well and are an easy way to bring a picture to life: kids peel stickers and match them to the corresponding numbers on the page. It’s an excellent way to teach younger kids fine motor skills and number recognition, but it’s also a therapeutic activity for older kids.


These cute lip balms can be gifted as a pack or opened and placed into separate baskets, adding a bit of glamour to the Easter egg hunt. The flavours are perfectly on theme too: each pack comes with a Foxy Apple, Hoppy Carrot Cake and Straw-Ma Llama Berry flavour.
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