Filling up the Easter Basket, West Coast Moms Style

 
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Fellow WCM writer Kristy Symes and I teamed up to come up with this post for those parents hitting up shops this week to fill their kid's Easter baskets. 

Both Kristy and I share an appreciation for buying local or supporting small businesses. I think we also have similar taste in kids fashion and appreciate good quality. Watch for key words in bold of local/small businesses.  

So here it goes. 

Kristy kicks it off with how she's planning on filling her children's Easter gift baskets:

It's just days before Easter and it looks like my procrastination has gotten me into a bit of a pickle again. I haven't started shopping for my kids baskets. I know I can throw some chocolate eggs around the room and my son will be happy, but that doesn't satisfy my Pinterest-filled mind. 

To start, you will need a basket to fill. Personally I love the idea of getting an artisan basket from the Community Farm Store. After Easter you can use it for storage in the kids rooms or for market shopping. 

Next on the list is a pair of pyjamas. I plan to grab a pair of Whistle and Flute's pjs from Victoria. I love how soft their bamboo panda pjs are. 

I love to mix useful and fun items together so I will head over to the Matraea Centre in downtown Duncan to grab bath products. We use their line for both our baby and toddler. 

While I'm there, I will grab a loulou lollipop natural wood teether for the baby from the Matraea Baby Boutique.

I might also grab a t-shirt from The Wild Kids Apparel for my toddler. It is one of my favourite Canadian clothing companies and I was so excited to see their clothing available at Matraea. 

Fingers crossed the Red Balloon Toyshop also in downtown Duncan still has Playmobile eggs because that would be perfect to round out my toddler's basket. If not, a Thomas train or another small toy will do the trick. 

Stainless steel water bottles and sippy cups are a useful basket stuffer. They are a great green option and should outlast your kids. The Community Farm Store sells Kleen Kanteen.

I also love the gift of an experience. Here are a couple ideas I had: a gift card for a ride on the train at the BC Forest Discovery Centre is the perfect addition for my Thomas-loving toddler. They are open for the Easter Eggspress and every weekend starting in April; a swimming pass for the Cowichan Aquatic Centre; or maybe a gift card from a local photographer.

Putting all that investment down at once can be intimidating, but small gift cards at Easter, birthdays and Christmas add up quick.  

Add some chocolate (there are a couple great local options downtown Duncan as well) and it will be a basket to remember.

Here are some of Ashley's basket ideas:

A spring or Easter related book from Volume One Bookstore in downtown Duncan is a great idea. This cozy shop always has the best selection of children's books. Usually when I'm shopping for kids birthday gifts, I end up in Volume One.

Walking past the shop recently, their colourful display of children's Spring and Easter books was super cute and inspired me to pop in and pick up a few books for my children, although Jack's book/Easter gift is not spring related at all, Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets... Hey, if it gets him excited about reading every night, that's all that matters. 

Owner Sonia said Little Blue Truck, Springtime has been a hit lately. Llama Llama Easter Egg by Anna Dewdney has also been popular as well as the hide n seek border collie book, Let's Find Momo, which now comes in a board book. 

If you're anything like me and despise when the kids get overloaded with what I call throw away-type toys - the ones that break easy or the pieces get lost within a day, or they're loud and annoying and quite often mysteriously disappear - and prefer practical but special gifts, then both Area 51 and Beyond the Usual are perfect shops. 

I ran into Area 51 (downtown Duncan) after Volume One (how convenient is that!) and picked up the kids super cool Herschel lunch kits, which they needed anyways. Both stores are stocked with great gift ideas. They carry People and Native shoes as well. Both shoe companies are always coming out with new and cool designs and colours and are perfect for the nicer weather that's coming. For my Lake Cowichan peeps, Dot's Shoe Store just stocked up with Native Shoes for kids as well. Audrey's getting a pair of Slater People slip ons from her Grandma from Area 51 and Jack is also getting a pair of People Slides from Beyond the Usual (THANKS GRANDMA!) Another favourite and local company of ours, Westcoastees makes the cutest, West Coast-inspired children's apparel too. I actually bought Audrey their bear hoodie from Beyond the Usual (which is located in Chemainus) in pink as her Easter gift but couldn't resist giving it to her early. 

Between the book and lunch kit, that pretty much fills their basket, however of course I will add some sort of chocolate in the mix. Probably lots of chocolate, so it too can mysteriously disappear. 

Kristy + Ashley