Sunny skies and warmer temps mean it’s officially picnic season. Whether you head to a local park or make a day trip out of it, picnics are the perfect way to get your kids off their screens and enjoy some family bonding time. April 21 is National Picnic Day, but you can plan one any time this spring.
For busy families, planning a picnic might be a stressful affair. But with these five simple tips, you’ll be able to create a outing that’s just as fun for the parents, too.
Get kids in on the prep
No need to prepare everything yourself — let your children lend a helping hand. Keep it simple and ask them to make their own sandwiches, fill water bottles and pack the bags. Older kids can chop veggies and cheese, while younger ones can help rinse fruit. Not only will they learn a skill or two, but your family can be out the door faster!
Pick a location and time in advance
Unplanned picnics can be fun with friends, but with young kids, it’s no walk in the park. Make sure your location has an accessible restroom for the kids, and maybe even a playground or activity area to keep them entertained. Most of all, pick a time when your group can have your own space to roam; if you’re interested in a popular spot, be sure to get there early in the day to claim some picnicking territory.
Pack reusable plates and cups
We’ve all been there: chasing flimsy paper plates on a windy day, only to never catch them. Reusable cups and plates with some heft will help you avoid the issue, and you’ll be able to stay eco-friendly. Plus, they’re a sturdier choice for dips and dressings. After eating, store them in a separate bag before you wash them at home.
Bring plenty of games
The last thing you want is for the kids to be bored. Make sure they have several games and activities on hand to keep them engaged. Throw a soccer ball or lacrosse stick in the car for young athletes, while artsy kids can bring along some chalk or a coloring book. You might even want to consider some portable games like dominos — something the whole family can play together!
Plan ahead for cleanup
You’ve had a fun afternoon … now it’s time for the dreaded cleanup. Save yourself the hassle and pack some damp washcloths inside a resealable bag. That way, you can wipe down picnic tables, chairs and anything else that needs cleaning. Clorox wipes will help you sanitize everyone’s hands after eating, too. Don’t forget a trash bag so you can easily dump any waste on the way out.