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Friday, March 11, 2011

Sensory Friendly Easter Baskets

With Easter around the corner I have been starting to see baskets pop up everywhere.  Although colorful and fun looking, most of the pre-packaged baskets wouldn’t work for little ones with sensory issues.  I have put together a list of cool items, helpful suggestions and links to websites that will help you build a fantastic Easter basket while keeping in mind the different needs of our kiddos.
Candy! I stumbled across this site while looking for suckers for my little guy that don’t contain preservatives.  From a really cool pre-packaged Easter egg or a chocolate bunny to individual candies, this shop has it all.  You will find GFCF, Feingold, Allergen Free, Vegan and Organic all in one spot.
Fidgets are ALWAYS a great stuffer for any gift.  There are multiple resources on the internet for finding some really neat ones, I like the citrus scented from Abilitations but there are some pretty fancy ones out there these days including ones that look like jewelry for the older kids.
TOPS! Spinning tops are wonderful and colorful, the smaller ones also make great fidgets.  You can find these at just about any toy store or online. 
Koosh balls!  These sticky tactile balls come in all different colors, textures and sizes. They are affordable and the perfect item to put in an Easter baskets.
Stuffed animals! A stuffed animal was always the centerpiece of the fantastic baskets my mother put together for us on Easter.  I really like weighted stuffed animals in different textures.  There are all types on the market but my son’s favorite is a stuffed monkey filled with lavender that you can heat in the microwave.  Children’s Hospital gift shop keeps these in stock regularly and they are awesome for those little ones who seek heavy input.  They are made in England by a company called Intelext.  On the web at
Rubber duckies! My son ADORES rubber duckies and has quite a collection.  You can find a wide variety of holiday themed (including Easter) duckies at
Play Putty!  Silly Putty is GF/CF safe and also comes in an egg so it really works for the Easter theme.  You can also get GF/CF friendly dough by Colorations at Discount School Supply.  For those who don’t have gluten issues, good old fashioned PlayDoh is great and comes in so many pretty colors.  Add a few Easter cookie cutters and a mini rolling pin from the dollar store and you have a perfect little gift set. 
Stickers! Stickers work for some kids, some can’t stand them.  My little guy likes to collect them, but doesn’t like them actually sticking to anything.  We collect them in a tin and take them out to look at them from time to time.  Any stickers work, but if you have a GF/CF or LATEX allergy concern, Mrs Grossmans has a ton of awesome stickers that are gluten and latex free at .
Trading Cards:  You can usually find these at the dollar store.  These are very popular with most kids, Braylon’s fave is Thomas the Train.
And don’t forget the tissue!  If traditional Easter grass is too messy or your sweetie pie just doesn’t find the texture pleasing you can always substitute with tissue paper.  I like the wax varieties, and they make a fantastic crinkling noise that your child may enjoy. 

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