Sometimes the Easter Bunny brings a lot more fun than the few seconds it takes to consume a chocolate egg or find one hidden in the grass.
Think beyond traditional Easter fillings: Put a solar-powered chick in a window and watch it swing and sway. Or, hand over a watering can painted with Ninja Turtles and see what happens in the garden.
Even the Easter basket can get a makeover, like a toddler-size wheelbarrow you can fill with little gardening tools. Or, fill a plush bunny with puzzles and coloring books.
Then send the kids outside to blow bubbles.
Here's a look at Easter supplies found at local retailers, just in case you need some inspiration or last-minute goodies.
Easter fillers: Trying to avoid filling the Easter basket with nothing but candy and sweets? Five Below in Fairview Heights has loads of ideas that cost from $1 to $5. Fun fillers include Bunny Glasses and coloring/activity books for a buck, bags of puzzles (3 for $5), cool Rockin' Solar Buddies (pick chicks or turtles), $2, that swing when set in the sun, and a twosome of plastic carrot containers holding liquid bubbles for $3.
If candy is necessary, buy a set of 16 plastic animal-face containers filled with wrapped jelly bean candies for $5. The plush baskets also come with blue ears for boys. They cost $5.99.
Kids bowls: When you set the Easter table, don't forget the toddler's spot. These BPA-free melamine bowls are $1.99 each at TJ Maxx in Fairview Heights. Look for them near the checkout counter.
Garden supplies: Tell the kids that it's time to get out in the garden and lend a hand. These cute and colorful items are from the Fairview Heights Target store's gardening section. (Check other locations, too.) The Ninja Turtle gloves are $3.99. The $2.99 metal trowel comes in Hello Kitty pink or turtle green. Hats come in guy and girl colors and designs, $5.99. The water cans come in pink, blue, green or yellow and are also $5.99.
Little wheelbarrow: The Schnucks store in Swansea has more outdoor goodies for the little ones. The toddler-size wheelbarrow is $6.99, while the set of three garden tools (rake, hoe and shovel) is $3.99.
Horse around: Plush ponies on a stick have an added bonus. When you press a button, the pony whinnies and makes the sound of horse hooves clopping. It includes reins, and the stick is cloth-covered, from Gordman's in Fairview Heights, on sale for $9.99, regularly $15.