Stores are full of Easter baskets, chocolate rabbits and candy chicks; kits to dye Easter eggs line the shelves. But there are all kinds of novelty items, such as bunny suits, pyjamas or T-shirts. Consider a personalised letter from the Easter bunny, egg-shaped hand soap or Easter plates and mugs. Give your teenage daughter a Barbie doll wearing an Easter outfit, or buy a younger child a picture book. Teach your child to bake bunny cupcakes, and instead of buying live chicks, think about buying some robotic chicks from a toy company in Japan.
Buy your small child a bunny suit. One with floppy ears, slip-on bootees and a stuffed, oversized carrot is available through gifts.com. The website also carries suits and hoodies for older children. Personalised pyjamas for smaller children are another alternative, or buy your teenage daughter an Easter Barbie doll. These dolls come clothed in a variety of outfits, including one wearing a lavender floral dress and carrying an Easter basket and another one dressed for church and accompanied by the Kelly doll dressed in a bunny suit.
Order a letter from the Easter bunny with a personalised message to your child well in advance. The Personalization Mall sells bunny gift stickers with the child's name printed on them. The Stationery Studio stocks note cards with the Christian cross imprinted on them; the online store also sells humorous cards with cartoon characters of your family members are another option.
Plan an Easter party for children and buy pottery such as chickadee platters, bunny plates and Easter mugs. The Disney Family Fun website shows you how to make Easter bunny cupcakes and other treats and is full of ideas on holiday parties. Gifts.com offers a religious-themed gourmet gift basket. Use eco-friendly Easter egg dye kits available on the same website; the colours are made of soy, fruit and plant extracts if you are conservation-minded.
Check online for books with an Easter theme. "Happy Easter, Mouse!" written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond is about a mouse that decorates eggs the night before Easter and then has to figure out who's leaving Easter eggs all over his house. "Easter Bugs: A Springtime Pop-up" by David Carter is a number one "New York Times" best seller. "Before and After Easter Activities and Ideas for Lent to Pentecost", written by Debbie O'Neal and illustrated by David Larochelle, lists facts about Lent and Easter, describes activities and provides ideas for worship.
Forget about buying live chicks. Sega Toys, a Japanese toy company, has come up with the robotic Yume Hiyoko Dream Chick, which comes in yellow and blue. Stroke its head and it peeps and ruffles its wings. It initially costs more than a live chick -- £33 -- but eats nothing, lasts longer without growing and requires no cleanup. For a demonstration of this toy, see the video on YouTube.