Summer is on the way. You need to start thinking about being prepared for picnics, especially those times when everyone, at the last minute, cries, “Let’s go on a picnic!” Oh dear. A picnic. Whatever will we take to eat?
There are some things you can do to plan ahead for a picnic. Then, with a few items stocked and a game plan to follow, going on a picnic at the drop of a straw summer hat will be a piece of cake!
Picnic ideas– what to do to plan ahead:
- Pack a box or container with all the reusable, plastic dishes and utensils your family needs for a picnic. Don’t forget a knife to cut food, a pitcher for drinks, a can opener, serving utensils, etc. In your picnic box, you could include an old bed sheet for a table cloth. Twin-size bottom sheets work very well for this, as the elastic corners help it to stay on the picnic table without blowing off. Close up this box when packed and label “picnic.” If you will be using a park BBQ to cook food while out, then pack another box for the utensils needed, including pot holders, and label it also.
- Pack a box or two to put in the pantry with nonperishable food items such as: juice, cookies or crackers, pork & beans, canned fruit, canned fish or meat. Tuna in foil packets works well because it doesn’t need to be drained. Chips or pretzels could be included but go easy on these as they don’t deliver much nutrition. If you go somewhere that doesn’t have drinking water available, you could either pack bottled water or take a large water canteen.
- Keep some reusable freezer packs in your freezer to avoid having to buy ice at the last minute. They also don’t create the mess that the melting ice does. Keep your picnic cooler clean and in a handy place. Also, freeze some water in small empty yogurt containers, which are not bigger than the mouth of your water canteen. These can be emptied into the canteen to make instant ice water to take on your picnic.
Once you have planned and packed the items above, going on a picnic at the last minute really is a piece of cake. You’ll be ready in only a few minutes to head out the door. No muss, no fuss, no going to the store.
- Open your clean cooler and put ice packs inside.
- Throw in whatever you can find in the fridge: apples, carrots, cheese, leftover cooked chicken, etc.
- Place bread or buns on top.
- Cover food with a towel and facecloth and close the lid. The towel and facecloth are for washing sticky hands later.
- Grab your picnic box with all your utensils and dishes in it.
- Grab your pantry box with the nonperishable food and juices in it.
- Fill up your large water canteen with the ice cubes you made and some water.
Picnic Ideas: Brainstorm about where to go to enjoy your family picnic:
A picnic can be a fun, inexpensive family activity to do in the summertime. One thing extra you could do to be prepared is make a list of all the places you could possibly go on a picnic. Include your favorite parks and see what else the surrounding area offers. Decide how far away you are willing to travel and then make a list of all the possible picnic places within that area. One fun idea is to make a goal to visit each place once over the summer vacation. Don’t forget to encourage your family to give you input for new and exciting picnic ideas to try for next year.