Monday, March 21, 2011

Non-Candy Gifts for Easter Baskets


I am a chocaholic. Wait, let's be honest. I'm a candyholic. As I approach my 40th year, my love for anything sweet seems to have intensified. Except for black jellybeans and black licorice, I have never met a piece of candy I did not enjoy down to the last bite.

The trouble is that my penchant for sweet treats has not been kind to my waistline or my dentine. And as a mom of 3 little kids who seem to have inherited my taste buds (especially my daughter), I need to keep the quantity of candy in my house to a minimum.

But, alas, it's Easter and the colorful treats beckon wherever I shop. Every year, despite my best intentions to limit the candy, my children are tickled to find heaps of candy overflowing their baskets. That in and of itself is not a big deal.

It's the onslaught of candy that continues the rest of Easter day. First the grandparents from both sides arrive bearing baskets. And next, there's the big neighborhood Easter egg hunt. By the end of the day, we could open an Easter candy boutique!

If you, too, want to limit the candy consumption on Easter day, here are some of my best non-candy gifts for Easter! (Maybe I'll even take my own advice for once....)

(1) Do not substitute JUNKY toys that you will just throw away in a day. That is a complete waste of money. Just had to get that one out of the way. We've all done it!

(2) Do stock up on plastic eggs that you can reuse year after year. Sure, they're great for jellybeans, but get creative about other treasures to put inside. Hint: A dollar bill can put a big smile on a child's face and help them save toward a more valuable purchase later.

(3) Do not turn Easter into a mini version of Christmas. Sometimes parents feel guilty about limiting candy, so we substitute more lavish presents on our children to compensate. I don't think you need me to list the reasons why this is a bad idea. I've done it and paid the consequences. Keep the bar low and your kids will learn to appreciate their Peeps.

(4) Do put in a bunny. If your kid likes chocolate, go to town and find the biggest, most embellished hare on the shelf. There is nothing better than munching on a big bunny ear or the sickly-sweet candied facial features.

(5) Do not be afraid to toss in a great Easter book. In fact, make it a tradition to include a new book about the holiday every year with a note from the Easter bunny inside. Here are some great non-candy Easter gifts ...books from The Lollipop Book Club!

(6) Do read this article about other fantastic Easter gifts for kids! It is full of ideas on how to make your child's holiday extra special this year.

Easter Gifts for Kids from The Lollipop Book Club

Send some sweet Easter cheer to all of your little bunnies from The Lollipop Book Club! Each Easter gift for kids will arrive in a cheerful package delivered to the child's home.


Inside the child will find a wonderful Easter book, an adorable Easter lollipop, and a special note from you for inside the book.

Here are just a few of the best Easter books that make wonderful Easter gifts for children from The Lollipop Book Club:




Everyone knows that the Easter Bunny comes every year with a basket of painted eggs and chocolates. But who is the Easter Bunny, and what is his story? At last, the famous bunny's secrets are revealed in this delightful tale perfect for springtime.







In this version of Clement Moores's classic poem, two siblings witness the nighttime arrival of the Easter Bunny.









Pauline the hen lays unusual eggs, but Mrs. Pennywort, her owner, thinks they're beautiful, and she and Pauline work together to open an Easter egg farm.












Just as a little boy named Sam and an old man named Henry remind the town of Easterville, best-selling author Melody Carlson reminds us as well that the true meaning of Easter is not Easter bonnets, baskets, colored eggs, candy, or decorations, but the story of the Cross.



Two stories in one book While grandmother prepares for Easter above ground, the rabbit family below pesters their father, who they are quite convinced is the Easter bunny. By the end, he's not so sure he isn't.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Sick Day for Amos McGee- 2011 Caldecott Medal Winner




Each year a new children’s picture book earns the highly distinguished Caldecott medal. This golden stamp that adorns the jacket cover is an award for the illustrator’s captivating work of art.

The recipient of the 2011 Caldecott medal is a simple, endearing book called A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Erin Stead is the talented illustrator who created this book in cooperation with author/husband, Philip Stead.

The story is about a zookeeper named Amos who lovingly cares for the animals day in and day out. But what happens when Amos is sick and needs a caretaker himself? Well, the elephant, rhinoceros, turtle and other zoo creatures step up to the plate and deliver a heartwarming display of friendship and compassion.

When sharing this story with your kids, take your time and soak in the details of the woodblock and hand drawing illustrations. The delicate sketches and hints of color complement the storyline perfectly.

To read more about Erin Stead and her process in creating the pictures for this year’s Caldecott winner, you will want to hop over to her website for a visit- http://blog.erinstead.com/2009/04/here-is-how-i-make-picture-slightly.html.

Only then will you truly appreciate the amount of thought and hours of work that go into each and every page of this year’s worthy winner.


 

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