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10 best non-chocolate Easter gifts for children that are just as good as the sweet stuff

Avoid the dreaded sugar-high and sticky fingers with these chocolate-free children's Easter gifts - they're guaranteed to last longer than five minutes too

Give a gift that lasts longer than a few minutes ( iStock/ The Independent )

We finished last Easter’s chocolate this February. Some of it was out of date by then, much of it was squished and almost all was over-packaged. 

This is a festival that has become a minefield for the health or eco-conscious parent, with foil- and plastic-wrapped chocolate eggs arriving from all quarters at a rate that far outstrips anyone’s capacity for consumption. 

Yet nobody likes to be a Grinch when relatives and friends want to bring gifts, and Easter can be a joyous, family-centred celebration of spring even for the majority of us who pay minimal heed to its religious origins. 

The good news for those who are trying to eschew the eggs is that there are some great, chocolate-free gift options out there.

Below are a selection at different price ranges and for different ages, all with an Easter or Spring-related theme. 

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. 

 

Easter egg plant pots: £5.95 for four, Baker Ross

An Easter present that doubles as a Bank Holiday-filling craft activity and, potentially, a gift for the grandparents? Sign me up. These plain white ceramic plant pots are the ideal size (8cm x 8cm) for small flowers or herb plants, and can be decorated using ceramic pens and paints, which are also available from Baker Ross. The paints cost from £7.99 for a set of six, and the pens start at £8.99 for five, but in both cases they would last you for many more projects than these plant pots alone.

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Playmobil egg: £4.99, Amazon

It if just has to be egg-shaped, these Playmobil Easter egg sets are a great alternative to its chocolate counterpart. Each one of the four differently-coloured eggs in the collectable set contains a different figurine and accessories; pirate with cannon (yellow egg); zookeeper with seal pups (green), space agent (blue) or fortune teller (pink), and the shells themselves can be kept for use as carry cases. Suitable for kids of four and above. 

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Frugi spring skater dress: £30, Frugi 

One of our abiding memories of childhood Easters is our grandparents giving us a new outfit rather than an egg. This puffin-print dress from Frugi, purveyors of generally excellent ethical and sustainable kids' clothing, is a great option for anyone looking to continue that tradition. It is short-sleeved and features a design that longs for park trips and beach days, but the cotton is heavy-duty rather than flimsy and so well-suited to changeable spring weather. It’s perfect for parties, but also hard-wearing enough for every day. Frugi gear always washes and lasts well; note that the sizes (which range from ages two to 10) are on the generous side. Three other prints are also available in the same style.

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Wooden Easter egg hunt kit: £19.50, Not On The High Street

Expectation management is the key here. If children think that they will find chocolate at the end of a hunt, there will be trouble when the sweet stuff is not forthcoming. As long as it is clear from the start, however, that you’ve hidden non-edible gifts (perhaps stickers, pens or bubble pots), this kit is the foundation of a very jolly bit of garden exploration. It contains 11 charming, etched wooden sign posts, some of which are arrows with hints such as ‘this way’ on them and some that are bunnies or flowers that can be used as markers for treasure. A lovely keepsake that will make repeat appearances for Easters to come. 

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Wedgwood Peter Rabbit three piece set: £33, Wedgewood

We would never actually let a baby loose on tableware anything like as lovely as this fine Wedgwood porcelain, but this three-piece set featuring Britain’s most famous bunny would be a gorgeous keepsake gift for a baby born around Easter time and would look very sweet displayed in a nursery. For parents with nerves of steel who would like their young children to actually use it, for special occasions at least, the set is dishwasher and microwave safe.

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‘Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory’, published by Oxford University Press: £4.99, The Book People

This witty picture book from author-illustrator Elys Dolan was a bit hit with both our three and five-year-old testers. It tells the story of an evil capitalist rabbit, his sidekick Edgar the quality control unicorn and their chocolate egg empire, which is staffed by oppressed chicken workers. Does Mr Bunny’s “profits before poultry” ethos win the day? Of course it doesn’t. Note that the hardback is actually cheaper than the paperback.

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Kit and Kin organic white bunny hat: £16.99, Kit and Kin

Who doesn’t want make the infant in their life look like a super-cute Easter bunny? Pretty much nobody, that’s who. But for anyone who had qualms about novelty purchases that aren’t actually going to get worn, and will simply add to the planet’s “fast fashion” waste problem, there is this high-quality, organic cotton solution from Kit and Kin. Yes, the floppy rabbit ears are undeniably part of the appeal, but the chunky knit and under-chin ties make this a practical gift that will keep baby’s head warm while keeping you entertained with its adorable-ness.

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Bunny jump board game: £21.99, Argos

This is one of those great games, along the lines of classics like Operation and Buckaroo, that has young children giggling with nervous anticipation. The aim is to steal the most carrots from the bunny’s field, but extracting some of these plastic vegetables will cause the watching rabbit to leap out of his burrow, at which point players can catch the critter to win extra points. Marketed at children of aged four and up, but children of different ages will play this happily together.  

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'Press out + Colour Easter Eggs', published by Nosy Crow Ltd: £6.98, Wordery

This is a lovely collection of 20 Easter Egg shapes in thick cardboard that can be coloured in and slotted together in pairs to make seasonal decorations. The designs are intricate and decorated with foil, and so look perfectly nice as they come, but older children who love a little bit of intricate crayon-work will love adding a range of hues. 

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Vinsani Tomy Toddler hide ‘n’ squeak eggs: £7.49, Amazon

This hard-wearing set is a fantastic option for older babies and toddlers that has been much-loved by many small people we know, and the six plastic eggs could conceivably be hidden around a garden or living room to provide a chocolate-free hunt. Each egg comes out of its shell to reveal a differently-coloured chick, and fits into only one hole in the carton, providing plenty of scope for colour recognition practice as well as shape sorting and general merriment.

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The verdict: Non-chocolate Easter gifts for children

For Easter-themed value for money, the Baker Ross plant pots are hard to beat. For something less breakable to hide at the end of a hunt, the Playmobil eggs are a great egg-shaped alternative to chocolate. 

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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