From BBQs to Roadside Picnics, we do love to eat outside, in fact, the best part of summer is being able to eat outside without freezing. Now our children are getting a little older, we’re getting a bit wiser when it comes to planning picnics, with the obvious benefit of them being able to help!
With that in mind, we have collated our favourite tips and tricks when preparing for your next picnic – having tested them all out thoroughly so far this summer!
1. Simple is best
You’ve heard it all before but keeping a picnic simple really is the best option. I have even been known to put everything in the hamper, and then play ‘Construct Your Own’ when we arrive at the designated picnic spot, picking up fresh bread on the way. Using an ice block (or even refrigerated small fruit juices) keeps sandwich fillings cool and salad crisp.
We recently had an even simpler picnic: we went for a bike ride, after reaching our destination we bought some food and sat on a village green to eat it, before cycling home.
2. Its all in the planning
While we have just said its best to keep it simple, a little bit of planning goes a long way.
– Keeping fruit juice cartons in the fridge save having to add extra ice blocks to the hamper.
– Baking snackable (yet non melting) puddings, such as fairy cakes or flapjack, means marginally less mess when eating.
– Prepare a little more for dinner today to use pop in the fridge and use on the picnic tomorrow.
– Keep small sachets of sugar, oil, salt and pepper so your drinks and salads are to your liking.
– And of course, keep your picnic blanket and thermos near or even in your hamper so you don’t have to search for it every time!
All this can be done beforehand so you can be Picnic Ready in no time!
3. Everywhere is suitable
Finding the ideal picnic spot is great if you know the area well. It can be harder once you’ve been walking for a little while and everyone is getting hungry. There are very few places that can’t be used for a picnic, however.
We sometimes play ‘Left, Right, Straight On’, where, as we get near a junction, the children must decide which way to go. We’ve discovered plenty of new picnic places this way. Don’t forget emergency clothes for riverside picnics and that our Bright Bots Training Pants do give you a few more moments when looking for a toilet!
Of course, sometimes its just not picnic weather. In that case, we spread out the blankets on the lounge floor and have an indoor picnic instead! We find a outdoor soundtrack and pretend we’re by a campfire, in a rainforest even or by the beach!
4. Think outside the box
I do love a well-structured picnic, but sometimes, a little bit of silliness is in order. Backwards Lunch is always a favourite, where we eat puddings first, then move on to savoury. Amazingly, they still eat everything!
Completely spontaneous picnics are also always fun, so I try to keep nuts and sweets in the car in case we want to stop, as well as a small kite to play with.
Relaxing picnics are also very enjoyable, and especially during the holidays, we try to read as many books as possible. A nice outdoor meal (even in the garden) followed by a few pages (or chapters for the older ones) sets you nicely for a run around afterwards!
5. Everybody join in!
Getting everyone involved makes getting picnic ready much quicker. The children collect the hamper and blanket, while the adults gather together food and drink. We all then pack any books, balls or toys (the frisbee lives in the hamper to save time!) – and we’re ready!
Working together before the picnic means we all enjoy the time together while we’re picnicking.
Do you have any tips, tricks or ideas for summer picnicking with young children? Let us know – we’ll be very happy to try them out!