Fun + Functional Easter Must Haves


We try to be intentional about gifting around holidays and Easter is no different. My husband is pretty… frugal we will say. For me it’s important to make holidays special and have moments together and over the years we’ve found a way to do both.

Every year when Easter came around we found we were spending a good bit on Easter baskets and treats and then having to invest in all the things warm weather brings like Spring/Summer wardrobes and outdoor toys.

Fun and functional Easter must haves

Now, we try to make Easter baskets both fun and functional.

One year we leaned way far on the functionality side and each of our kids had a pack of underwear tucked behind the treats in their basket.

We’ve added a bit more fun since then and have found we like to follow the same rule of thumb for Easter as we do for Christmas: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read – while also trying to keep it mostly local!


For us, this is usually that one thing they beg for every time we go to the store.

Fun and functional Easter basket gift ideas sensory bin
These sensory bins will keep the kids busy for hours! Photo credit: Young, Wild and Friedman

We gifted the kids these sensory bins for Easter last year and they were the perfect Easter/COVID/summer busy activity ever. It kept them entertained for over an hour (which is unheard of for any single activity).

Our daughter received a Boogie Board for her birthday and both kids are totally obsessed. I’ve seen these at local shops, too!

They may not know they want Glo Pals, but trust me they want them! (Made in Starkville, MS!)

Plus Plus cubes are available at most local toy shops and they’re the perfect size for baskets.

Pop Its are all the rage right now, you can scoop one up  from Riley’s,  Miner’s, or Violet Bambina.

If nothing here sparks your fire, check out our extensive guide for toys and games.


Here comes the functional, but keep it fun (like maybe no underwear)!

This is anything we’ve been holding out purchasing like new masks, warm weather shoes, fun beach towel or hat, even bubble bath.

Fun and functional Easter basket ideas bath bombs
These bath bombs have special surprises inside. Photo credit: Musee

We love Musee bath bombs, they’re a safer brand made in MS! How adorable are these little bath bomb Easter eggs (scoop an extra one up for yourself while you’re there, my favorite scent is Dreamweaver).

We also try to think of things they will want in the Spring: sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water balloons, and outside toys, like this fun watermelon ball.

A few of our outdoor favorites are these DIY Huckleberry kaleidoscope and boat motor toys.

Also what Mississippi mom couldn’t use these ouch popsicles in our freezer for all the sunny day mishaps!


Easter is the perfect time for a few Spring wardrobe updates or getting their swim gear for the summer months. Think new hat and sunglasses, new swim suit, goggles, or coast-themed shirts from Tethered Skiff or The Cotton Patch!

Fun and easy Easter basket ideas fish shirts
These pastel fish shirts are perfect for spring and summer. Photo credit: The Cotton Patch

Check out our full list of favorite children’s boutiques here.


This year I’m going with their current main interest in book form. This means mermaids for my five year old and construction vehicles for my three year old.

We also love faith-based books to share the why behind this holiday and  Poke-A-Dot books.

Fun and easy Easter basket ideas books
Check out local bookstore! Photo credit: Southern Bound Book Shop.

Hit the local favorites first like Southern Bound Book ShopPass Christian Books, or Bay Books (you can call ahead and ask them to pull the subject you’re eyeing or a variety) or Usborne Books.


If you’re strapped for time, add them to your grocery order before Easter Sunday. If you want to make it extra special check out Candy Cottage in downtown Ocean Springs. They’re the stop for all things sweet themed fun!

If you’re low on energy and time this year check out these local spots offering preassembled and wrapped Easter baskets:

Fun and functional Easter treats
Photo credit: The Cotton Patch

My hope is that this method would be the sweet spot of fun and functional for you and your family and that you would scoop up some must haves that keep both your kids and frugal spouses happy!