Alternatives to Easter eggs for children...
I have such happy memories of hunting for chocolate goodies in their shiny foil wrappers, in my grandparents’ enormous garden in Scampton, Lincolnshire. They lived opposite the showground and had a beautiful immaculate garden that the Red Arrows often flew over, making patterns in the clouds. Grandma and Grandad ran a guesthouse, which we loved visiting.
My grandfather, who had been a chef in the RAF, served us a full English breakfast every morning and my twin and I found it hilarious that we slept in what my grandma called the twin room – two single beds side by side. But one of the most memorable mental images is of our car boot, stuffed before we headed back to our Cheshire home - bulging with sweet treats from the family annual egg hunt.
The days of parents tripping over 20 boxes of chocolate eggs per child are a thing of the past. We are more health conscious now and it’s probably for the best. Here are some great alternatives to confectionery if you want to spoil your little people this Easter…
I’ve never met a baby who doesn’t love these shape-sorter squeaking bright coloured Tomy toy eggs. They are quite annoying when you’ve lost some parts but as long as you keep tabs on them, there’s no finer Easter gift for self-respecting tiny folk. Around £5.
Big brand high quality miniature world fun, spanning a huge range. They do an Easter egg hunt set, several egg-shaped sets and an Easter calendar with 10 doors to open. The great thing about the Easter eggs is that unlike toys in Kinder eggs, these will be compatible with any other Playmobil sets you already own.
Still a lovely way to make use of your disused iron. Because who has time to iron these days, right? From princesses, mermaids and unicorns to dinosaurs, pirates and space, none of which rot their teeth. Prices vary but start low.
Paint your own birdhouse
Support new life in the bird world and get crafty for a fiver. Encourage your children to care for wildlife and use their art skills to brighten up a rainy day in the Easter holidays. Winning at parenthood.
Little Live Pet Surprise Chick
Not especially educational but affordable and might buy you a few minutes’ peace which, let’s face it, is invaluable. Hear it tap and chirp inside the shell before it hatches and hops about. The more you pet it, the more it sings. And you don’t have to clear up any mess after it. Just over a tenner from Amazon and Argos.
Mr Impossible and the Easter Egg Hunt, The Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson and Thomas & Friends Thomas and the Easter Egg Hunt are among our favourites but the best by a mile is original The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter - a timeless classic.
Anything Lego is a winner with my children and these cute Easter themed sets include a man in a chicken suit (because why not?), an Easter egg hunt and a brilliant brick bunny. I am in love with these.
Peter Rabbit merchandise
There is a beautiful collection at Paperchase, including gift boxes, which would work wonderfully as bedroom storage for children, adorable photo albums, water bottles, snack pots, journals, money boxes, baby milestone cards, fairy lights and height charts. Be warned, you will want it all.
The gift that really does keep on giving this Easter. Treat your cheeky chickens to an Oxfam Unwrapped present. For a fiver, you can get a share in a farmyard, £20 will purchase a piglet to help a person out of poverty or provide a goat (£26), to enable a family to earn a better living. There’s even a pile of poo available. Visit Oxfam.org.uk for more information.