Mar 7, 201206:34 AMMommy-logues

Exploring ways to be better (and more stylish!) parents

A-Tisket, A-Tasket, A Stylish Easter Basket

A-Tisket, A-Tasket, A Stylish Easter Basket

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Easter and the emergence of the warmth and color of springtime offer welcome reprieves from winter’s chill, and there are lots of simple, stylish seasonal crafts, treats and activities that will brighten your home and make the holiday a memorable one. Best of all? They don’t require much time or money!

Go Green this Easter

The color green is synonymous with spring, so consider reusing and repurposing everyday items to make Easter items rather than buying everything at the local mega-store. (It’ll save you another kind of green, too!) Martha Stewart’s website offers a wealth of DIY and eco-friendly ideas. Save those plastic berry containers from the farmers’ market, and convert them into miniature Easter baskets by attaching pipe-cleaner handles and weaving ribbon through them. Forgo the plastic Easter “grass” and fill baskets with thin strips of colorful paper or old magazine pages that are curled like ribbon. Turn envelopes into bunnies by cutting off the flaps, attaching paper ears and gluing eyes, whiskers and a pom-pom nose to the front. Fill them with candy, stickers and other treats.Find how to make these crepe paper surprise carrots at!

Crepe-paper “surprise” balls filled with small toys and trinkets are fun alternatives to the usual basket of goodies and make great party favors. Popular in Japan, these balls are simply layers of different colored crepe paper that the recipient unwraps and unwraps (and unwraps!), revealing the teeny prizes as they go. The blog Hula Seventy has a tutorial. Disney’s Family Fun website offers more “green” Easter ideas. Instead of dye, color with crayons right while eggs are still warm from the boiling water. Draw right on the eggs for a tie-dyed look, or sprinkle crayon shavings onto the eggs so they look as though they’ve been doused with confetti. The website even provides instructions for making woven Easter baskets from recycled magazines (like Susquehanna Style!).

Make baskets out of recycled magazines like Susquehanna Style!Make a colorful Easter garland out of paint chips, like the one on the blog Modern Parents Messy Kids. Grab a bunch in a rainbow of hues during your next trip to the home-improvement store, cut them into oval egg shapes (keeping the white line in the middle of each), and punch small holes in the top of each egg. String them together in a ROYGBIV row, and hang from a mantel or doorway.

Use the holiday as an excuse to green your own space. Kerry Lane-Wright, a mom of three from Mt. Holly Springs, will be adding seeds for the garden to her kids’ baskets. “I hope it will get the girls more interested in growing their food,” she says. “It will be a treat for them in their eggs, and then hopefully we can turn it into a treat later when whatever it is is all grown!”Make Easter egg garland out of paint swatches

You can even nestle a dozen empty, intact eggshells into their cardboard container, fill them with soil, and plant seeds inside to create a tiny herb garden. Keep track of which herb is which by labeling the eggs with a marker or writing the herb names on small paper “flags” wrapped around toothpicks.

Fun for Every Bunny

A surefire way to make the holiday exciting and memorable for kids is to throw a party, complete with the requisite Easter egg hunt. Again, Martha’s website is a go-to resource, with plenty of tips for egg-cellent Easter activities, including egg bocce (with hard-boiled eggs, of course) and an egg-on-a-spoon relay race. Steph Bernholz, a mom of three from Carlisle, takes a healthy approach when it comes to Easter, avoiding the candy onslaught by filling plastic eggs with dried fruit and nuts for her kids. She and her husband invite other families to participate in an egg hunt, Give seeds as gifts in eggshells that your kids can watch grow (even into something edible)!and each family brings two-dozen plastic eggs to hide. “It’s always interesting and fun, because each family puts something different inside their eggs,” she says. Her kids make blown eggs decorated with markers, crayons, watercolor paints, glitter and googly eyes. She coats the eggs with a thin layer of clear nail polish to preserve the artwork and then hangs them from Easter baskets and throughout her home.

During the festivities, give your kids (and the grown-ups) a little something besides chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps to snack on. French macaroons come in Easter-egg colors and an array of Macaroons are the perfect spring treat in pretty pastels!tempting flavors, from lemon and vanilla to chocolate and pistachio (and everything in between). Pile them up on a tray or nestle them into individual boxes, tins or small baskets for a truly special—and gluten-free!—treat. Buy them at Helena’s Chocolate Cafe & Creperie in Carlisle and in Lancaster at La Petite Patisserie, or find recipes online to make your own.

For more Easter crafts, treats and decorating ideas, follow me on Pinterest.