Children always love going on picnics. It’s the novelty of having a meal outdoors in a new place, and getting to run around and play games while parents sit by and observe. Picnics are a great way to bond with the family – they’re inexpensive, fun, good exercise for kids, and are a nice way to interact without distractions. Take an afternoon out of your busy life of carpooling, doing homework and chores to relieve stress and have a great time. The memories you’ll create during your picnic outings will last a lifetime for your kids, and could become a treasured family tradition.
Don’t stress out over the preparation. Get yourself a nice, big picnic kit that comes with virtually everything you need, so it’s mostly ready ahead of time. There are lots of them available with enough supplies and room for the whole family. Pre-packed (also called ‘fitted’) picnic baskets, packs, and coolers save you the headache of seeking out individual items, and allow you to have spontaneous family outings. Most of these types of baskets & packs come with utensils, cups, plates, napkins, insulated food compartments, and even salt & pepper shakers. There are even super kid-friendly ones available with plastic tumblers and plates, so you won’t have to worry about little ones running around with glass in their hands. The Avalanche Picnic Cooler for 4 (pictured) is the perfect choice for an average size family – it has a spacious, hard-sided cooler compartment along with all the plates, cups, utensils and other extras you need – and it’s on wheels, so you won’t have to worry about lugging it around!
Keep the food simple & easy. The most effortless solution for picnic food is to stop by a place like Boston Market or KFC and get some family-sized buckets and sides to go – just pack them in your picnic cooler and head off to your destination! Alternately, you could make some simple dishes like macaroni and cheese and treats such as brownies – and get the kids involved in the whole process! They’ll love helping out and will be even more excited about the picnic since they were involved in the preparation. Other great kid-friendly food ideas include hot dogs, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, rice krispie treats, juice boxes, fruit and trail mix.
Bring along some toys and games to keep kids occupied. If you don’t already have some toys lying around that you’d be willing to allow the kids to bring, stop by the dollar store where you can usually find kites, Frisbees, beach balls, ping pong rackets, bubbles and more. You could also bring along butterfly nets, binoculars for nature observation, bug jars, and jump ropes. Have a scavenger hunt with some prizes hidden in the bushes & grass. Or, you could just have your picnic at a playground – built-in entertainment! Just remember to sit back, relax, and enjoy your children as they run around and have a good time.