There’s something magical about having a picnic outside. Everyone seems hungrier and food seems to taste better. The kids are able to run around freely and burn off energy, and eating with your hands is perfectly acceptable.
So you’ve decided to go on a picnic, now what?
Get the kids involved
Sit down with the kids and plan the picnic menu. Instead of leaving the food options wide open, only give them a few choices. For instance, let them choose between chicken wraps or chicken kabobs for their main dish. Instead of chips and dip, offer them pita chips and hummus or salsa. Take along some frozen fruit. By freezing the fruit it helps to keep the rest of the picnic cold and it will thaw by the time you are ready to eat it and it will be a cold, refreshing treat. Ask them to choose between a couscous salad and a spinach salad. Take vinaigrette dressing to go on the salad so that it’s safe to eat if it gets warm. Make up a batch of healthy muffins for dessert. These can be made any time and will last a long time in the freezer. Freeze some bottles of water to have for drinks and to help keep the lunch cold. If the kids have a hand in planning the menu they are less likely to complain about the food.
Now that the menu is decided on talk about what activities they want to do on the picnic. Decide if you want to bring a Frisbee, soccer ball, kite, baby toys, or something else. Pack up the toys in a washable tote bag. It’s comfortable to carry and it’s quick to clean up should something get on it.
The day of the picnic grab the family and give everyone something to be in charge of. Down to the smallest toddler, everyone can help. Send the littlest one to grab the picnic blanket. Ask another child to grab the toys and pack them up in the tote bag. Have someone grab the cooler or the picnic basket and start gathering up the food and drinks. Gather up paper plates, napkins, and plastic utensils and bring a trash bag to clean up after yourselves. Make sure to include some wipes for washing little hands and quick clean ups.
If everyone has a part in planning the big event they will enjoy themselves all the more. The pride that comes from helping and doing something well will stay with your children.
Once your supplies are gathered, pack up the car and head out to your picnic destination. Find your spot, spread out, and have fun!
P.S. This post was proposed to me for publication by Maryanne Williams. I'm therefore publishing it by her invitation and under her permission. See also the link below fore more information: