Before you rush out the door to the dollar store to put together an Easter Basket, here are a few ideas for lovely and edifying Easter gifts that you can make happen in a hurry. And sometimes for nearly free!

Printables

Shining Light Saint Printables! Just a word of caution, you could. just. die. of the cute. It could happen. 

Twenty-three of the adorablest saints you ever did see, available for free. Print out two of each on cardstock for a matching game. Print one on Iron-On Transfer Paper
and make a patron saint t-shirt. Print one out and glue it onto a composition book for a doodle book. And maybe next year, plan ahead a little and buy the dolls.





Kelly Saints Stamps. These fun saint illustrations have endless possibilities. Print them out on sticker paper for a sticker set. Use them to convert your existing Connect 4, Checkers, or Guess Who games to cuter, more Catholic versions. I got a chance to pre-view this set and, wow, there are a lot of things you could do with it. There are 42 different saints, in 2 different styles, and 4 different sizes. There are dozens of suggestions for crafts like bottle cap saints and saint stones, and games like bingo and plinko that you can put together at home.

I’m working on making the saint stones with these Clear Glass Tiles
, and craft glue
. A one inch hole punch would make things go more quickly, but I’ve been managing without it.

Kelly Saint Stamps are available for purchase at Equipping Catholic Families, but if you head over there now and leave a comment, you could win one for free!

Betsy McCall Paperdolls. These darling vintage paperdolls, originally from McCall’s Magazine, can be downloaded and printed on cardstock for free. There are dozens to choose from, but 1960 Betsy is my favorite. She has a wardrobe for each month.

Avengers Printables are available from Disney Family. They’ve got masks and printable playsets.

CubeCraft offers hundred of free printable papercrafts featuring characters from Lego to Superheros to Star Wars to Doctor Who (just look at the little T.A.R.D.I.S.!). I’m going to print some of them out as a craft for my older kids, but you could also make it yourself as a gift for younger kids.




Books

If you happen to have Amazon Prime and order before Wednesday, you can have pretty much anything in the world. ‘Cause it’s Amazon. But to help you narrow it down a bit and Easter-ize it (I’m making that a word) here are some of our favorites:

The Children’s Bible
Tomie dePaola’s Book of Bible Stories
Saint George and the Dragon
Oliver

Do you have an iPad or other e-reader? There are dozens of great classic books available instantly and for free. My ten year old daughter is currently reading A Little Princess, and loving it. Ann of Green Gables, Peter Rabbit, Pinocchio, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and dozens more are all available for free. Check out this page for more titles, and this page for places to go look for them. (Although I have had good luck finding them right in iBooks. OR as free audiobook Podcasts.) You can load up the iPad with free books, and print out certificates to hide inside plastic eggs. And they’ll never have to know they were free!

For LOTS more Easter book recommendations, see this post:

A Little Peek Inside Our Easter Baskets (hint, it’s mostly books)

Movies

I recommended some movies in my Holy Week post, that are available as an instant download from Amazon as well.

Plus there’s this one:

VeggieTales: An Easter Carol

Sing it with me now, “The bunny, the bunny, oh, I love the bunny.” No? Just me? Okay. moving on.

And here’s a whole post on Holy Week Movies

Subscriptions

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

We gave the kids subscriptions to Kiwi Crate for Christmas, and ALL my kids, really love them. We get Koala Crate, Kiwi Crate, Doodle Crate AND Tinker Crate to cover all of our age groups. My kids who can read can do the projects on their own, or younger kids can do them with help from a grownup or older sibling.

The nice folks at Saint Mail sent me one of their kits to review, and we liked it so much that I subscribed for the rest of the year myself.

Not free, but I can personally vouch for the awesomeness of both services.