We chose a plain wooden basket and plain wooden blocks. These were all sanded and painted. And, painting that sucker took blooming forever.
So, the finished product is really cute and I do hope it is something he will play with and enjoy. I did tell my younger son when he has children they will not get a basket of blocks like this because it took ssssssssssssssoooooooooooooo llllllllllllllloooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg to paint it.
Although, when the time comes, I will probably change my mind.