Sweet Surprises—Seven Unique Easter Basket Ideas

Spring is almost upon us! For many families, that means celebrating Easter, and sharing beautiful Easter baskets. Check out the unique, themed basket ideas, filled with fun things your child will love, below:

Summer

The Eggcellent Adventure Basket

The weather will be warming soon, which means more time outside—hooray! Consider creating a basket packed with outdoor adventure items, including kid-friendly binoculars like our GeoSafari® Jr. Kidnoculars™ and bug collecting tools for younger kids, or Nancy B’s Science Club® Binoculars and GeoSafari® Adventure Pens for older kids. Nestle in a new hat, sunscreen, and data-collecting notebook, and voila!

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The Eggstra Innings Basket

If you’ve got a sports-lovin’ kid on your hands, nothing will score bigger than a sports-themed Easter basket. Include a jersey, tee-shirt, or hat with their favorite team’s logo, a new basketball, football, or soccer ball, and a pump. Got a swimmer? Drop in a fun new towel, bathing suit, and shammy. Be sure to add fun, sports-themed games like Blurt!® Sports, the sports-themed quiz game for kids 10 and up, and round it all out with sunscreen, lip balm, a new water bottle, and a whistle.

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Crack Open a Good Book Basket

Who doesn’t love to see their little one reading? A book-themed basket can be lots of fun, especially if you include a plush version of your kiddo’s favorite literary star, a clip-on reading light, and a fun new bookmark along with a few new books. Our Hot Dots® Tots Interactive Board Books for toddlers and Hot Dots Jr. Famous Fables Interactive Set for slightly older little ones make great, interactive additions to any Easter basket!

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Celebrity Surprise Basket

Pete the Cat® is everyone’s favorite furry feline and no preschooler will be able to resist a Pete the Cat themed Easter Basket! Start with one of the dozens of Pete the Cat books and four different Hot Dots® Jr. Pete the Cat preschool and kindergarten sets. Then, add a Pete the Cat plush doll and an interactive Pete the Cat Puppet-on-a-Stick™ to bring your basket to life!

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April Showers Indoor Games Basket

Roll the dice on a basket of games to surprise your kids on Easter morning! Fill your preschooler’s basket (and practice foundational academic skills) with Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt™ Game; Ready, Set, Woof!™; Crazy Cereal™; and Brownie Match™. Your older kiddo can test his strategic thinking skills with RiddleCube The Game, Even Steven’s Odd!™, and Kanoodle®.Toss in some classic card games (and a card holder for little ones) and put on your game face!

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The Colors of Spring Arts & Crafts Basket

Your crafty kiddo will delight in a basket full of art supplies! Drop in a fresh box of crayons and a doodle pad or coloring book. Then add some bright colors to the mix—three colors to be exact – with our Rainbow Prancers™ Puppet-on-a-Stick™ Markers. These feisty unicorn puppet markers do double duty with beautiful braidable manes and movable muzzles. Round out the creative fun with squishy, squashy sculpting play courtesy of colorful Playfoam®. And don’t forget the fun, decorative extras like pipe cleaners, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, tempera paints, and construction paper.

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Dinos You’ll Dig Basket

Dino-lovers will dig a dinosaur-themed Easter basket and we’ve got you covered! Get rolling (or roaring) with a dinosaur/monster truck mash up from Dino Construction Company™! Then add Dinosaurs Puppet-on-a-Stick™ for pretend play fun; include a touch of archeology courtesy of our GeoSafari® Dino Dig Tyrannosaurus; and introduce a bit of creativity with a Playfoam® Dino Pals Themed Set!

Which of these themes would YOUR sweetie love best? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share a photo of your EI Easter Basket with hashtag #EducationalInsights.

Instill a Lifelong Love of Reading…

Storytime is almost as much fun for the grown-up reading as it is for the child listening! After all, you’re usually snuggled together, sharing some quiet time, enjoying an exciting story with imaginative illustrations and fun (sometimes new!) language. It’s such a shame when the tale comes to a close that we usually reach for another story, just to keep those good times going! The former teachers, child development experts, and parents at EI know just how you feel, so we put our heads together to come up with some together-time activities designed to extend story time by bringing your child’s favorite books to life. Help cement that lifelong love of reading that serves kids so well with an after-book activity like:

Flipping a Fairy Tale—Together, imagine that the hero or heroine was really the bad guy and the villain was actually good. Talk through ways the story might have played out if roles were reversed!

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Alternate Endings—Did the story end the way your child thought it would? Were there other ways it might have ended? What would have made for a really sad ending? How about a really happy or funny one? Talk it through, together.

Making Story Stones—Collect 6-8, smooth, fist-sized stones and heat them in your oven. Remove them, one at a time, place on a kitchen towel, and use wax crayons to draw a character or prop from the story (careful—they’ll be hot!). Then arrange and rearrange them to shake up the order of events and create your very own versions of the tale!

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Drawing, Painting, or Sculpting Your Favorite Characters—Using an age-appropriate medium like crayons, colored pencils, markers, watercolors, dough, Playfoam®, air-dry or bake-dry clay, recreate your favorite characters from the story. You can even go mixed medium and add button eyes, yarn hair, and fabric clothes.

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Updating the Cover Art—Challenge your child to design his or her own cover for the story by drawing or painting a favorite scene.

Doing an Activity from the Story—Was there something in the story that you or your child would like to try? Why not give it a go? Read The Gingerbread Man, then bake some gingerbread cookies, together. Read The Ugly Duckling, then try ice skating at your local rink, gliding along the ice like beautiful swans.

Trying Once Upon a Craft™—EI’s storybook-meets-craft-kit sets make it easy to bring your child’s favorite tales to life! Each set includes a beautifully-illustrated, fairy tale book to read together and all of the materials you need to complete two story-themed crafts! Complete the crafts and display your work or use them as props for your next telling of the tale.

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There are lots of creative ways to keep the story time vibe alive! Give one of these activities a try and let us know how it goes. Or, if you have a favorite way to bring your kids’ books to life, share it in the comments below!

From Sweaty Palms to Racing Hearts…The Science of Love

Although we’d like to think love is about destiny and soulmates, there’s also a considerable amount of science happening behind the scenes! Check out our amazing infographic to learn a little bit more about the physiological science of love:

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Yup, there seems to be significant science behind falling in love, but we prefer to think it’s all magic and moonlight! What do you think?

Let Them Know You Love Them Even When You’re Not There!

Keep the Valentines love going all month long with these adorable, downloadable, lunchbox love notes! From sweet to silly, they’re a simple way to show you care and remind your children that you’re thinking of them even when you’re not there. Just print, cut, and drop into your child’s lunchbox!

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What are the little things you do each day to let your family know you love them? Let us know in the comments below!

Valentines Fun You Can Count On Free Downloadable Preschool Worksheets

How do I love thee? Let me count the… candy hearts! Print our FREE, Valentines-themed worksheets for some sweet preschool fun you can count on! From sorting and matching to counting and coloring, our worksheets are designed so little ones can practice key foundational skills critical for future academic success. (But kids just think they’re fun!) So go ahead, print them out for your students (or your kids!)and give a little Valentine’s love (and learning!) this week!

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What’s your favorite way to sneak some learning into the holidays? Share your tips and tricks with your fellow teachers and parents in the comments below!