I always go overboard at Easter when it comes to baskets. I mean, really overboard. Not in spending too much money, because the items are just little, essentially stocking stuffers. But to the point that stuff does not fit into the basket. At all. I have to prop up all the extras around the basket. And I always vow to control myself the next year. I did a little better this time, partly because I bought Bubba a bigger basket last year. But it's mostly because Bubba is at that difficult stage. Not difficult in attitude (yet!), but difficult to buy for. No longer a little kid (he does still love his stuffed animals), but not entirely a big kid either (not looking forward to THAT day!). Also difficult in that I'm not exactly sure if he believes in the "Easter Bunny" anymore. Not that it will matter though. He'll get an Easter basket even when he doesn't believe. I didn't believe in the bunny when I was 17, but I sure looked forward to that basket!
So even though I tend to buy too many basket stuffers on my own, I still felt like I needed a few ideas. The seasonal section at Target wasn't much help; the items there are for really little kids or girly or just not right for my boy. Googling "tween boy Easter basket" didn't help much either. There were suggestions for teens (who are clearly not believers in the bunny anymore, making gift cards a big addition) or entire baskets available for purchase from Amazon, which really isn't my thing. I finally decided to use some of the teen suggestions and added some of my own ideas, based on what I know E likes. And I went overboard. Again. But I think it's fun and I hope he likes it. It's exciting to see his face when he finds the basket (and all the accompanying overflow of loot) on Easter morning!
If you're looking for a few last-minute Easter basket ideas for your tween boy, this is what I came up with:
Video Games - E likes video games (what tween doesn't), so when I found a used Nintendo Pirates of the Caribbean 3DS game online for a reasonable price, I built around that. He needed a new DS car charger (check) and ear buds (check). Hubby picked up some Angry Birds gummy candy and a Mario Pez-type dispenser to toss in as well.
Books - My boy loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, so I included a hardcover copy of the first in the series. He also likes graphic novels. I found the Action Bible at Sam's Club, which was perfect, considering it is Easter (after all!).
Art - Ever since he used the Biggie Perler Beads at vacation Bible school a few summers ago, Bubba has been wanting to have some in his art stash to work with. I also bought a mechanical pencil, a doodle pad, and some water color pencils for my little artist.
Summer Toys - I always used to buy bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and sandbox items for his Easter basket, but I think he's probably outgrown those. He needs sunglasses that don't have Mickey Mouse or Thomas on them, so those seemed a natural choice! We have always included a nice kite and I continued that tradition with a fighter plane-style model this year.
Silly Stuff - What 9-year-old boy doesn't love a whoopee cushion? And a Superman bobblehead? And glow-in-the-dark bracelets, for that matter?!
Traditions - Candy, of course! I know he loves gum and KitKats. Cadbury Eggs. Peeps. Life Saver Gummies. A chocolate bunny. And I was really excited to find a chocolate CROSS at Walmart (although now I don't know if I feel right about eating the cross...but that's another discussion entirely). I also put a little cash in a "golden" egg. Because money burns a hole in my boy's pocket. I'm sure I'll get it back pretty quick when he decides to buy some Amazon downloads with it! Oh, and a fun new toothbrush with a new kind of toothpaste. E hates trying new toothpaste, so maybe if the bunny brings it, it will go over better. And our dentist won't completely disapprove, either.
I also considered including an Amazon or iTunes gift card and a tennis racket, but I clearly already have purchased enough. I also thought about swim gear, but I bought him new swim trunks on clearance last summer, he's not a big fan of flip-flops, and we have plenty of beach towels. I've done DVDs in the past, which always go over well. In future years, when I'm certain the bunny is absolutely no longer a factor, coupons for privileges and small treats like frozen yogurt or bottles of soda are thoughts, too.
Do you give baskets for Easter? If so, what types of items do you usually include?