Wednesday, April 20, 2011

sweet things that aren't candy

Now, we don't deny our child candy, but we're pretty big on regulation of the sugar substance.  Even when she pulls in a cache of the stuff for the candy holidays (Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Christmas, etc.) we confiscate it and dole it out piece by piece. Usually after five days or so, our dear one forgets about the stockpile and mommy and daddy have to take care of it for her...if you know what I mean.
Yup, that's what I mean.
And I really don't need to eat candy every day either.

That's why, for a few years now, I've been trying to come up with candy substitutes, at least on the occasions over which I have some control.  And the Easter Hare and I, well, we're good friends.  I've got a lot of pull when it comes to this upcoming celebration.  We've had talks about candy and there will be some for our lovely Naiya Sophia, but that Hare will have some other goodies to offer as well.

Since this has been a discussion amongst mommies I know, I thought I'd share some of our current and past ideas.  Some are bought, some are easily (or occasionally not so easily) made and almost all are of natural materials.  This particular list of ideas are things that will fit inside of an egg (of either the felted or plastic variety) and a few have been listed on this blog before.  I don't know how well connected you might be with that Bunny, but if you've got any sway and you're looking for non-sugar Easter Egg filling options, perhaps this will help...

Mini wooden figures.
These people are from PlanToys.  The bunny is from Holztiger (which can be quite pricey), and the chick was, I think, locally made.

Hand painted stones.
I did these a few years ago with regular old acrylic paint and had turtles, bees, flowers, sunbursts, and sheep but these ladybugs (currently residing on our Nature Table) were all I could locate at the moment.

Needle felted critters.
This little guy was put together in about 10 minutes.  (For a quick tutorial click here.)

A variation of the above but in 2-D
These butterflies as well as some bees and dragonflies were made of craft felt with edges sewn in a simple blanket stitch.  (We hang these on our seasonal Spring tree.)

Little knitted finger puppets.
Perhaps I ought to be embarrassed to admit that I still do not knit.  These were all purchased at various fairs and crafty stores.

Felted flowers.  (Are you sensing a love of wool on my part?)
For a tutorial on these click here.

Pocket people.
Made with three wooden beads (one large for the head and two small for the hands) glued onto a tiny armature of a single pipe cleaner with bodies of felt sewn on with the standard blanket stitch.  They're stuffed with wool and some have wool roving hair.  They've all got acorns for hats from our neighborhood trees.  (Click here for a tutorial.)

Additionally we have stuffed Easter Eggs (or other holiday vessels) with wooden bead bracelets and rings, fairy stickers, fancy bells, those little cut crystals that refract light and make rainbows in the morning light, dried fruit, polished stones, play dough, beeswax (molded into simple shapes by hand or with cookie cutters), silk scarves, hair clips and lip balm.

I will admit that when Naiya does find the occasional egg with actual candy inside, she is quite, quite pleased.  I would warn therefore to create with discretion.  There's nothing that'll quell the desire to craft like the disappointed face of a beloved child upon discovering a darling trinket it took you hours to make.


  1. I have been enjoying your blog so much. I'm making the play dough right now. I have a question - when you painted the rocks like ladybugs - did you seal them after you painted them?
    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.

  2. Thanks Quazymama! I wasn't sure how to get back to you so I'm hoping you check the comments here for a response. With the ladybug stones I didn't seal them with anything and over time they did chip a bit. Since then I have discovered Mod Podge which is a non-toxic adhesive (available in most craft stores) that looks and works just like glue but also makes a good cover coat. I haven't actually tried it on the stones but I think it would serve as a sealant and it does dry clear.

  3. Hi there,

    I loved your ladybirds so much that I have linked to this via my craft blog -here:

    I hope you don't mind!

    1. That's fine Hodge Podge. Thanks for the complimentary message :)


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