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Wait One Second, Mr. Easter Bunny!

Man in bunny costumer with bunny

If you ever feel like you are being bombarded by candy, you’re not alone. Despite attempts to donate it, share it, and eat as much as possible (the kids, I swear!), we still have candy from Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.

With Easter rapidly approaching, the grocery store is stacked to the rafters with chocolate-stuffed pastel wrappers!

As a children’s dentist in Mount Pleasant, I am obviously biased against candy. We don’t need more dental decay, and we already have more than enough candy.

But what are we to do about Easter? Easter baskets are usually full of sugar-packed sweets. Our family searched far and wide for some ideas to fill children’s baskets that won’t result in a dental disaster.

Easter Basket Gift Ideas for Kids


Fortunately, babies don’t know what they’re missing! There’s no reason to get baby started with candy in the first place, so use the opportunity to create a memorable experience for the family.

A friend of ours filled their daughter’s first Easter basket with pacifiers, a stuffed bunny, and a Pat the Bunny book. This is a great alternative to the traditional Easter basket. Exchange the candy for educational toys, bibs, outfits, and plush toys this year!


Healthy habits established now can stick with your toddler for the rest of their life. Toddlers are a lot of fun, and we recommend focusing on activities that will keep these little Energizer bunnies busy. Fill their Easter baskets with coloring books, crayons, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and other entertaining items!

Big Kids

Children are going to be on the lookout for candy, so we need to find some great ways to distract them! We recommend stimulating their creative processes with Mad Libs, art supplies, books, and crafting projects.

One mother we spoke with has a great idea: she creates coupons her children can cash in later. She suggested ideas like “skip a chore” or “trip to the park,” whatever thing it is that your child would value. Just make sure to include your terms and conditions on the back!


You might initially think that teenagers would be a little more challenging to create an Easter basket for, but we found, to our surprise, there were lots of good ideas. Teenage girls have a plethora of easy options, such as makeup, jewelry, stationary, PopSugar or BirchBox subscriptions, or music. Teenage boys, too, have a variety of options. Supplies for washing their first car, fishing tackle, movie tickets, or sports equipment are all great options.

It’s also a great opportunity to prepare a family activity. When you have teenagers it can be hard to gather the whole family together for a full day, so take the opportunity to play a game of bocce ball, croquet, or yard golf. Look here for some other great lawn games your family can try.

From the Pagenkopf family to yours, Happy Easter!

Easter is about more than candy or hunting for eggs. While you’re upgrading your family’s baskets, take time to teach your family about your traditions and why we celebrate this holiday. Show them what Easter in Mount Pleasant is really about.

Holiday Tip – get back to the basics this Easter! Although Easter is a modern, commercialized candy extravaganza nowadays, it hasn’t always been so. This year, consider sharing the history and origins of Easter with your kids, and consider including a Bible. Bibles are available for every age group and can be a great way to teach your children more about this holiday.

Regardless of how you celebrate, we hope you have a Happy Easter in Mount Pleasant!


Dr. Randy