the perfect picnic
Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

5 Tips for Planning the Perfect Picnic 

Taking your family on a picnic is a great way to get your kids outdoors and spend some time away from the house. Picnics make eating everyday meals more exciting and are something fun to look forward to throughout the day.  

Going to a beautiful park also can also give your family an outlet after a busy week. The sunshine and fresh air will refresh you, and your kids will have an opportunity to burn some extra energy before bedtime.  

You really can’t go wrong with an outdoor picnic. Here are five tips to help you plan your next family outing:  

1) Check the Weather 

Before saying the word “picnic” out loud and getting your kids all excited, make sure you check the weather. Temperature, weather events, and park features can all affect your plans. For instance, a park with plenty of shade can offset extremely hot weather. 

Forecasts can change quickly, so it’s a good idea to build in some flexibility. Planning a picnic earlier in the week gives you a second chance if a sudden rainstorm interrupts your plans. Of course, you could always stage an indoor “picnic” to make the most of a rainy day inside. 

Picnics are supposed to be fun, so don’t stress too much about making it happen if the weather isn’t agreeable. The sun will come back out soon! In the meantime, challenge your kids to get creative and have fun in spite of the rain. 

2) Review Your Expectations 

For some people, the word “picnic” brings to mind idyllic images of summer dresses, brightly checked tablecloths, and lots of watermelon and lemonade. While picnics can be a fancy event, not every picnic has to fit this image.  

You and your kids will enjoy picnics more if you set realistic expectations and lean into every moment. Because picnics happen outside, they almost always involve dirt, bugs, and wind. There’s also a very real potential for scraped knees and sunburn.  

However, picnics also mean fresh air, raised vitamin-D levels, and an opportunity for your kids to use their imaginations and burn extra energy. Plan ahead for what can go wrong, and you’ll be able to enjoy the experience much more during the moment.  

3) Get Yourself Organized 

One of the best ways to prep for future picnics is to create a picnic bag that’s stocked with everything you’ll need. Fill this bag with disposable or reusable dishes, utensils, and cups. Don’t forget to include napkins, wipes, and a waterproof tablecloth.  

Picnic meals can range from fancy to very simple, but the most important thing is to ensure your meal containers fit comfortably inside your picnic bag. If your kids are very small, you may also want to pack a second change of clothes or toys to take with you.  

After each picnic, take ten minutes to restock your bag and wash the containers so that you’re ready for next time. Following these simple steps will ensure you never forget what you need, and you can pack up quickly for last-minute outdoor dining.  

4) Make a Flexible Plan 

Planning helps you create parameters so your kids know what to expect and you can make family picnics a success. However, it’s important to avoid overplanning your outing – part of the fun of a picnic lies in its spontaneity and room for creative license.  

Children thrive off unplanned playtime, and picnics are a great opportunity for them to make up games, exercise their bodies, and explore nature. Group games and mealtime are fun opportunities for bonding, but it’s not necessary to schedule activities for the whole time you’re there.   

This is one of the best parts of taking your kids outside for a meal. While they’re having fun, you get to rest and enjoy the beautiful outdoor weather as well. Picnics give your whole family a much-needed break and a new appreciation for life indoors when you return home.  

5) Give Kids Autonomy 

Planning a picnic is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids organizational skills and get their hands busy as they anticipate upcoming outdoor fun. Children enjoy learning how to do grown-up things, and they like to be needed.  

Ask your kids for help with picnic prep, and show them how to clean up afterward. Eventually, you can put older children in charge of checking your picnic gear, packing toys for younger kids, and even helping with meal prep.  

Once you get to the park, though, set your kids free of responsibility so they can run and play on their own. Encourage them to watch out for their younger siblings, and teach them how to identify poisonous plants and dangerous animals so that they stay safe.  

Imperfect Is Enough 

Perfect picnics would be fun, except that they never happen. Someone is sure to feel grumpy, get a bee sting, or dislike the food you pack. However, perfect is not a synonym for good. You can enjoy outdoor meals with your family and make wonderful memories even if things don’t all go according to plan.  

Take these opportunities to teach your children about the importance of resilience, cheerfulness, and a grateful heart. Your kids will follow suit, and soon you’ll be enjoying sunny times both in and out of the house! 

%d bloggers like this: