Alternatives to candy with a focus on language development & play
How has your spring been so far? I’m obsessed with flowers and trees, so I love this time of year. Also, not having to put so many layers on my girls when we go out is a big plus. Light jackets, and we are we are off!
So, I hesitate to put lists like this together because I feel like kids already have so much, and don’t want you to think you need to go out and BUY a bunch of things. However, I know a really FUN part of being a mom can be holidays and creating fun experiences for your kids.
Here is a list of non-candy ideas to include in a child’s Easter eggs (speech and language/early learning focused, of course!):
Wind-up toys Wind-up toys can help encourage a child to communicate because they need an adult to make them go again. Sometimes, because we know our kids so well, we anticipate their needs. This does not give them a chance to try to communicate with us and practice theses skills. When the wind-up toy stops, pause and WAIT for your child to communicate they would like more. For some kids this will be a gesture or eye gaze and for others a whole sentence.
Finger puppets Back and forth interaction between caregivers and kids helps language develop. Finger puppets are fun for kids of all ages, and they really encourage this back and forth communication in a fun way. I buy them from IKEA and Etsy.
Stickers Always a hit!
Small toy animals, little cars or people Amazing to have a collection for pretend play
Musical egg shakers These can last a lifetime, and your child will get a lot of use out of them over the years. It’s great for any age and a good investment.
Washi tape Loving this lately!
Magnetic letters and numbers Beneficial to talk about letters and numbers in a fun, relaxed way… never as a “test” for early learners.
Handwritten notes with clues for where to find eggs or notes from the Easter bunny Lots of directions you could go with this. Shows kids that reading and writing are fun.
For the actually basket, I generally like to put in items I plan to buy anyway such as a sun hat, sandals, or summer pj’s. Here are a few other options:
Placemats with pictures Great for talking during mealtimes and also come in handy for doing art projects and playing with play doh.
"Indestructible books" (for babies) The pages of these books don't rip, so they are excellent first books for the youngest readers. I find them handy at restaurants and on the go as well.
Bubbles It’s nice to have a small one for the stroller or diaper bag.
Books Get my baby and young toddler picks here
Art supplies I love having a set of watercolor paints, and I find it less messy on days when you just can't deal with a mess.