Our “unEaster” Baskets 2013

easter basket gifts to help your kid grow in the Lord

Yesterday we did our unEaster baskets. I have no idea where that title came from, but it’s stuck in my mind. My whole purpose in doing baskets is to give gifts that will remind our kids to grow in the Lord. I’m not naive enough to think these gifts will change their life and make them love Jesus forever. Nor am I so hyper-spiritual I think I am doing “better” or “more” than someone who fills up a basket on Easter morning with chocolates delivered straight from the Easter Bunny. This is just what we do and I really like it.

First, I send the kids out with Easter baskets in hand to collect rocks. Yup, rocks.

collecting rocks for easter?

When they bring them inside (and good grief, they found a lot of rocks yesterday!), we talk about Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

We write down sins we struggle with on these rocks, reminding us we don’t want these sins to rock-up our heart.

easter basket


Then we cover our baskets with a red cloth Snow White cape to remind us of the red blood Jesus shed on the cross.

Asa seriously thought I was about to do a magic trick here but I had them go upstairs for naps and rest time before I got to work…

creative way to do easter baskets to focus on Jesus

I put the rocks into a new basket labeled Jesus.

Then I filled their baskets with gifts…

easter basket gifts for girls to help them grow in the Lord

For Lydia: Lady in Waiting for Little Girls book, fun stuffed animal, Imagination Sation book, a chia-pet chickie thingie, a dress to wear on Easter and a piece of chocolate.

Jesus-centered easter basket gifts for boys

For Asa: His Mighty Warrior, a cute little stuffed animal, Dave and Giant Pickle DVD, a chia-pet type thing, a shirt and tie to wear on Easter and a piece of chocolate.

I added egg-shaped tags to each gift with a Scripture on it. (I just randomly had those egg tags in my craft closet.) I changed the Scriptures to add their names and I hope it made the gifts a little more meaningful.

When they came downstairs we read Romans 6:23 and talked about how Jesus took all our stony sins and gave us the gift of eternal life. We told them the gifts in their baskets were from Mommy and Daddy to remind them of The Gift Jesus gave them and hopefully, these gifts will help them grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Asa had just woken up from his nap (which is very rare that he even takes one these days) and I love his sweet little face when he walked downstairs to see the new basket all set up. He loved every second of it!

Christian Easter Basket Gifts

It was a fun way to start off this Easter week. The kids were literally jumping up and down they were so excited. They knew gifts were coming but they enjoyed the whole collecting rocks and talking, too.

easter basket gifts u-neeks from dayspring

For more Easter basket ideas (or unEaster baskets, if you will), here’s last year’s basket and gift ideas and some great ideas y’all gave on Facebook!

So, what are you putting in your kids’ Easter Baskets?




  1. Oh, I just got tingles as I read this. I love object lessons that paint such a vivid picture. We have not done much with Easter baskets – mostly due to financial reasons (ugh), but I’m inspired to try and pull something together this year. I remember getting such neat things like this in our easter baskets as a girl. We loved getting new devotionals and such.

    And oh the rocks replaced with God’s gift because of the blood of Jesus. Wow. Yup, we’re doing that for sure.

    • I love that they kids like doing it, too. Of course, last year since it was the first time we did it and they were totally surprised to see the Jesus basket when they came downstairs was the best. But now I like their anticipation and the big object lesson of that rock-filled basket. We left the basket out just to remind us.

      Thanks for your sweet words, Heather!

  2. Kathy Austin says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I just wanted to tell you that you are an amazing Christian mom and woman!! I am so grateful I found your blog. I’m only sorry that my kids are all grown up and I didn’t find this when they were younger. However, I am going to try to do some of these things with my grandchildren. What an honor to bring these stories into their little lives in such a way that it truly brings the Word of God to life in an easy to understand way.
    Thank you for sharing these little tricks with all of us!! Blessings to you, my friend.

    • Thank you, Kathy! I love hearing how you’re using these ideas with your grandchildren! What a blessing to have such a lineage of godliness in their lives. 🙂


  3. What a great way to start this Holy Week. I love the rock analogy. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I am crazy in love with this object lesson. Going to use it this year. thank you!

  5. Elizabeth C says:

    We have really been wrestling with what to do about holidays … It’s tough because our oldest is 9.5 and very used to what we’ve done in the past … I really like this idea and think it may help as we start to change our traditions

  6. Amy Baker says:

    I clicked on the link for last year, and then the link about giving jewelry for Easter, but it wasn’t there. Can you elaborate?

    • Oh, Bummer. I think it was just the idea of giving jewelry shaped like a cross (or maybe a butterfly, or something else meaningful) b/c jewelry is a significant gift. So, when your kids receive it and wear it, they’ll recognize how special it is and what it reminds them of.

      Does that make sense?

      • Yes, perfect sense. I just didn’t know if there was some other super creative idea that I was missing! Love all of your ideas!

  7. I just love finding new book ideas for my own kids through your blog. Thank you!

  8. I LOVE this! I have been searching the web for CHRIST centered Easter traditions to start with my 11 month old and 2yr old. I am also doing a blog post featuring different ones for families to do. This is by far my favorite one!! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be linking this up in my blog post. Check it out at faithfullydevoted.net.

  9. DOING THIS! THANK YOU THANK YOU I may have to steal your little messages becasue I don’t know where to find stuff in the bible! OH I LOVE THIS THANK YOU! HUGE help to me.

  10. Amanda,

    This is very neat. I so want to try this. I do have one question…what kinds of sins do the kids write and how do you explain that?
    My girls are 7 and we haven’t formally discussed ‘sins’….

    Any info you can provide is appreciated.

    Thank you!!

  11. I hope you dont mind me sharing this idea. I have always been hesitant about giving the kids and Easter basket filled with candy. Maybe because it wasnt tradition for us growing up, maybe because I feel like it takes a little more away from the real meaning of easter and they are already bombarded with that. but this way… I can do both and please my husband who enjoys doing the Easter basket thing. 🙂 Very creative!

  12. Kristine says:

    My children and I loved your truth in the tinsel. We have passed the web sit were I found the ebook along . we love it and will use it over and over again. I am looking on your site today to see if you have put together an Easter themed ebook to use over spring break to teach about Easter with hands on activities . Anyway if you ever do put together such a book please contact me. I love your uneaster basket ideas. Thank you and you are very inspiring . Homeschooling God loving mom of two and soon to be four.

  13. I love this idea! Thank you so much for the inspiration. I’m going to do a version of this with my kids this year.

  14. What a cute idea that was! Fun and learning.

  15. Oh, Amanda! How God blesses through you! I am so excited for today, my last day of teaching first grade before spring break. Since I teach in a Lutheran School, we really get to observe and celebrate holy week. So, today the sin rocks will be in the kids’ desks when they come to school. We’ll collect them in a Good Friday Basket and take them to the cross (in our sanctuary) Later, our principal will come and get us and wonder if the the bright balloons, chocolate crosses and other Easter treats might be for us! Whoooo Hoooo!!!!!

    Last year when I did this, one of the the kiddos kept saying “Look what Jesus did!!!” JOY

  16. Follow up—I am still smiling. This morning they kids completely wanted me to get rid of those awful sin rocks–talking back, loving something more than God, lying, cheating. They are 6-8 and are learning to see the ugliness of sin. We took them to the cross and then I got an email saying that I should come take care of my basket. Well, when we went out our old basket had been tranformed and filled with treats. One boy said, “It’s a miracle” another said, “Jesus took all our bad and we got treats instead!” So then the kiddos ate jelly beans and rejoiced while they did their school work. OH I LOVE MY WORK!!!!!! Thank you Amanda for being open to the Spirit’s inspiration and faithfully sharing ways to make Jesus real to children!!!

  17. Looks great! Another great year of Easter traditions! SO glad you have helped to spread this around! I am currently on an extended blog sabbatical after our 4th baby, but looking to return soon (maybe not at Little Llamas though) Still love following all your great ideas!

  18. Amanda I LOVE this. We are so collecting rocks on Saturday night!

  19. I love this and tried it with my 3 year old this year. I didn’t think he was really getting it or getting into it when we were putting the rocks in, but when I was tucking him in that night he said, “Mama, I think Jesus is going to get that sin out of my basket. I am going to check in the morning!” Then when he found them in the “Jesus basket” he had the idea to throw the rocks outside, which works too I suppose. 🙂 I got him that same “His Mighty Warrior” book that you got for Asa and it looks great; he has taken to calling himself “pirate of the Lord” so I hope he likes it too! (Any posts on that book planned for the future?! 🙂

    • SO SWEET! I just love it, Ellie. They just get it on their own little level, don’t they! I love the pic of him throwing those rocks outside.

      I need to do something with the Mighty Warrior book–thanks for reminding me!

  20. Roberta says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for such a great idea! We did this with our boys, ages 7 and 5, and they really got it! When we finished writing on the rocks (my 5 year old drew faces and pictures because he doesn’t know how to spell and it was awesome) my boys said to me “Mom let’s get paper and write the good stuff we can do”. Totally unprompted by me, they got out paper and wrote amazing stuff like “being king”, “obeying God’s Word”, “sharing”, and my 5 year old drew a picture of one kid tickling another kid and they both were laughing. That was the good stuff to him! We did the activity on Good Friday and left our baskets with rocks on the table covered in a red cape (that’s all the red I had) until Easter morning. It really made an impact on us all! Thanks again!!

    • Super cool, Roberta! Did they know you were going to put gifts in their baskets? I’d love to see their surprised faces. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. I love how they took it a step further–they really DID get it. 🙂


  21. Oh I love this idea. I’ve been struggling with how to celebrate the Resurrection and still let my kids “have fun” that they see the other kids having. We already “don’t do” Halloween or Santa, and I know from my own experiences that can make kids feel like they’re somehow “missing out” (I know WE know better but they don’t always see it when they’re younger). This is a great way to have fun and keep the focus where it needs to be.

  22. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! Will definitely be incorporating it into our Resurrection celebration this year! The idea of laying the red cloth over their baskets and filling a basket with Jesus’ name on it is terrific. Love Romans 6:23. Thank you!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I absolutely love this idea and was thinking how I really wanted to steer away from the Easter bunny/candy and teach my children the real reasons as to why we celebrate Easter. I am definitely going to try this, this year. I am not exactly sure where too look for some verses to put on the eggs, can you please help me out and maybe point to to a couple I can look up, do that I may put some on the eggs for my children as you did here.

    Thank you so much for your help and creative idea!

    • I just found the verses after I bought the gifts. So, the chocolate, I tried to find a verse about being sweet. So, start with the gift and go from there!

  24. Corrie Melton says:

    I had to share a funny story. I did the “un-Easter” basket with my three-yr old son this Easter. We were taking a walk yesterday afternoon discussing how Jesus took his sins (rocks) away. His response…”but I wanted them (the rocks)!” lol…that explains why he kept digging through the Jesus basket.


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