Summer is in full swing and that means it is the perfect time to grab a blanket and a hat, and head to the park for a picnic. We’ve put together a list of five things that will take your picnic from humdrum to huzzah.
Set A Theme
Teddy Bear’s Picnic, anyone? There is something magical about bringing Ted to the park for a picnic and having a play on the swing with him. Magical memories will be made, especially if you bring an extra plate and cup so he can join in, too. Not in to soft toys? No problem. Have a “Pit Stop Picnic” and bring some cars or trucks. Make sure you race them down the slides and seesaws for extra fun.
Picnics don’t have to be plain. Put together a platter filled with sushi, meatballs, colourful fruit, vegetables sticks, dip, cheese, and crackers. It’s not just adults who eat with their eyes, the kids will not be able to resist such a beautifully presented lunch. If your kids are of the Vegemite sandwich loving variety then a few lunch punches or cookie cutters can instantly turn your boring bread in to a delicious delight.
The park is full of nature’s treasure! Turn a simple picnic in to an educational activity by creating a Scavenger Hunt for your kids. On a sheet of paper write down some of the treasures you might find in a park like sticks, stones, feathers, seed pods, and flowers. Personalise the game to suit the needs of your family: draw pictures for pre-readers, add a counting element (find four rocks) for little ones who are starting with numbers, or even have a tween/teen take photos of all the items on their list instead of ticking them off.
The Resourceful Mama has a selection of free scavenger hunt printables, or ask the kids to make one for each other using the prompts such as “Three things that start with B” at Picklebums.
Since you’re already hunting for the treasures, why not collect a few in a basket to take home and create some nature artwork. Get a sheet of cardboard and some glue and ask them create a pattern or picture out of all the wonderful treasures they have collected. If you’re feeling super arty grab some air dry clay and help them create marvellous monsters with honky nut eyes and feathered arms, or find an empty tissue box and create a gorgeous animal habitat or fairy house.
The Floor Is Lava
So, the only place to go for a picnic is the local park that you’ve been to 300 times and the kids are a bit bored of it? Then consider using the space in a new way. Play a game of The Floor Is Lava and see who can get from one end of the playground to the other without touching the floor. When they’ve successfully navigated it a few times start adding in obstacles (the slide is lava, too!), or create your own Ninja Warrior course and time the kids to complete it; if you’re trying to avoid win/lose games have a different course for each child so they are only racing the clock.
Photo credit: Images 2 & 4: Justin & Jim Photographers on behalf of Toots and Co; Images 1 & 3: Leah Ladson Photography
Baby bag by Toots and Co; picnic set up by Betty May Vintage Hire.
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