It's mere days before Easter, and you're completely unprepared, and the bunny needs a little help. Don't panic! I've been there. I'll never forget the day I found myself at a local grocery store the night before Easter, clutching a crying baby, watching my husband entertain our two toddlers outside, and trying to figure out if I could pull together a spring-worthy celebration without just shoving a bunch of M&Ms into these brightly-colored plastic containers.
We'd actually been sick all week and dropped in to get some medicine when I looked up and exclaimed, “Oh my God, Easter's happening in 12 hours!” No time to go anywhere else. No time to prep. Full-blown last-minute spring grocery store sprint.
For those who are wondering how that year turned out, it was actually a BLAST seeing my kids' little faces light up over the silly little things I gathered. Band-Aids and stickers and crackers. You can absolutely pull together a fun Easter celebration with one quick trip to your local grocery store – and not have it be a completely candy-filled morning. In fact, if you make use of the multi-size eggs (they make small, medium, and even jumbo Easter eggs) your kids can have a phenomenal Easter with tons of unique sensory play and no sugar overload! We're working with Ralphs today to highlight my favorite picks for non-candy Easter egg fillers from the grocery store. Come along with me and see what kid-friendly goodies lay ahead in your local market.
Grocery Store Non-Candy Easter Egg Fillers for All Ages
If you've spent any time in the office supply aisle with your kids, you know it's a child's dream spot. Pens and notebooks and folders, oh my! Our oldest is five now, and I think school is turning him into a bit of an organization nut. He geeks out over this stuff even more than I do – and that's saying something! In addition to finding non-candy Easter egg fillers, this is a good place to nab some stuff for the Easter basket or just stock up on fun trinkets for a rainy day.
- Post-It Flags
- Fridge magnets
- Decorative file clips
- Washi tape
- Temporary tattoos
- Candles. We like to make muffins for Easter, and the kids blow the candles out on the muffins. Strange tradition, but it works for us!
We love Ralphs' store brand, Simple Truth, for minimally-processed food items that aren't full of a bunch of artificial ingredients. They're our go-to pick for non-candy treats and goodies when we're stocking up for holidays, car rides, afterschool snacks, you name it!
- Yogurt-covered almonds
- Freeze-dried fruit
- Cereal pieces
- Mini pretzels
Our Ralphs has a little toy section adjacent to the party supply stuff. They also keep toys in the seasonal area and on small displays throughout the store (which helps make it easy for me to reward the kiddos for helping out and always keep them excited about grocery store trips!).
- Jacks and bouncy balls
- Hot Wheels
- Magic grow creatures
- Silly Putty (usually this already comes in an egg, so that's a double-win!)
- Crush balls
- Band-Aids. Our boys are totally into Star Wars, so we pick out the themed ones for them. They're not usually allowed to mess around in the medicine cabinet, so they get super-excited at the idea of having their own limited supply for playing doctor. If your child is big on pretend play, you may even want to get some gauze and a mini first aid kit for the Easter basket.
- Lip balm
End Cap and Etc.
Our local Ralphs has these helpful accessory racks on each aisle, with toys and goodies and other items that aren't necessarily things that gets stocked in any particular section, but are super-helpful for keeping kids entertained or even organizing your home. This is where we found a bunch of toys and other knick-knacks that fit perfectly into an Easter egg.
- Mini rubber duckies
- Small Cloth Snack Bags
- Nail polish
- Spring seeds
- Hair clips
- Shoe laces or twine
Obviously, some of these things are more for older children while some are better for little toddler hands. We have a late-night egg-stuffing session (while binging on some Netflix or Hulu, and maybe some Cadbury Eggs because we deserve a treat) and then we keep them in separate bags to make it easier to hide. The non-toddler-friendly stuff goes in one bag and gets hidden in tree branches, up high and in more complicated areas while the little-kid goodies are in more blatant hiding spots. A quick conversation with the older kids about fairness and participation helps make the morning fun for all! You can also color-coordinate and designate one color for one kid, one color for another kid, etc. Or put initials on the bottom of each egg, let it be a free-for-all hunt, and then divvy them up before everyone opens them together.
We also hide coins in eggs for the older kids as well, which we get from grocery store by simply asking for change. It's a great way to start introducing them to the idea of saving and spending, and they look forward to a trip back to the grocery store to pick out a trinket or two with their coins.
Have you ever sourced your Easter egg stuffers from the grocery store? I'd love to hear what you picked out!