Picnics with the kids are one of the simplest, most wholesome, and most enjoyable ways to get the family outside for a bit of fresh air.
It’s all the fun of gathering for your favorite meal, but outside!
You get to take in the sights, enjoy time spent in nature, and bond over a delicious lunch or dinner.
The question many parents ask, though, is what exactly should I bring for the perfect picnic with the kids?
The answers may surprise you!
Keep reading to find out exactly what items you should always remember to bring whenever you head out for an outdoor meal with your family.
1. A Picnic Blanket
First, you’ll definitely want to bring along a picnic blanket.
Sure, you could sit and eat right on the grass or dirt, but then you’d better get used to the idea of sharing your sandwich with the local ant colony.
Bring a sturdy, easy to wash picnic blanket that everyone can relax on without worrying about any pesky little bugs snacking on their lunch.
2. Ample Bug Repellant
While we’re on the subject, bug repellants of different kinds should also certainly be on your packing list.
Bug spray, citronella candles, fly swatters, mosquito killers – whatever it is that you need to keep your family bug-bite free, it’s definitely worth packing.
Worried about harsh chemicals? There are all-natural bug sprays that work just as well and are totally safe for your kids!
3. A Trusty Cooler
Your cooler is the cornerstone of your picnic: it keeps sandwiches and drinks cool, has a handy bottle opener, and even makes a perfect chair if you’d rather not rest your rear on the ground.
The perfect hard side coolers should always be included when you go for a picnic! You can store plenty of ice for your sodas in it, too.
4. Your Picnic Meal and Snacks
Of course, no picnic is even a picnic without the picnic part of the picnic – your meal!
Picnic foods can be whatever you think you can successfully transport and serve while outside.
Many people opt for easier-to-prepare options, like sandwiches and hotdogs, but if you’d prefer tikka masala or spaghetti bolognese, be our guest!
Just remember to pack plenty of snacks for the kids, too – crackers, chips, and fresh cut veggies are our go-to choices.
5. Enough Water for Everyone
Spending time outside often means exercising, sitting under the sun, and being generally exposed to the elements. That means that you need plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated.
When spending time outdoors, it’s a good idea to bring about half a liter of water per every hour you spend outside – per person, of course.
Bring a reusable water bottle or insulated thermos filled with cold water for each person on your picnic.
The last thing you want is to have to leave the park early because someone has become severely dehydrated! That would definitely be a worse ending to a picnic than ants getting in the peanut butter.
6. Sunscreen for the Family
Of course, in addition to water, your family needs to be directly protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Too much sun exposure can lead to sunburn, heat rash, heat stroke, and in some cases, skin cancer.
Invest in an all-natural sunscreen that’s light, easy to apply, and smells great – that way the kids don’t complain too much when you slather them with the stuff.
It’s also wise to bring along an umbrella for your picnic site, and be sure to pack a baseball cap or sun hat for everyone in your family.
7. Fun and Games!
What you bring is totally up to you, but here are some of our favorites:
- Jump rope
- Ping pong
- Hacky sack
- Dinosaur toys
- Lawn darts
Ask your family what games they’d like to play while spending time at the park, then load up the car with their favorites to create a truly memorable day at the park!
With the right planning, foresight, and of course a delicious meal, your picnic day will be as perfect as can be.