Love quality family time that is low-key, low-stress + filled with joy + happiness? Me, too. It seems like events with kids typically include some level of chaos. So, stress-free plus kids is kind of like a unicorn. Rather than waiting for a unicorn I try to plan ahead to curb as much stress + chaos as possible. I'm sharing 10 tips for a stress-free family picnic.
1. Choose a location that is new or fresh for the kids. Maybe head somewhere with a great view of the mountains, trails, a lake, or river. A new place can give you lots to talk about with your kids. Maybe a geology or history lesson? Maybe clarity for mom? A new + beautiful place always helps for a clear head that can refresh mom + bring more patience + happiness to the day.
2. Pack your lunch in a picnic basket that will keep your food cool. A picnic is best spent when some walking, hiking + exploring is done. That sure makes for hungry kids! Cold, cool food sure brings happiness to tired + hungry kids. Plus, it might give you all a little more energy to explore a little more before heading home. We love this adorable picnic basket from CarriEight + our food stays cool + cold.
3. Pack healthy, nutritious food in your picnic basket. We all want our kids to eat healthy. When healthy food is the only option, the kids are more likely to eat it. No running to the pantry or fridge when we are on a picnic, the food that we brought is what our options are. Plus, if you hiked to your picnic spot, your kids will probably be hungry, maybe even hungry enough to try something new!
4. Pack re-usable cups + plates. We love our planet + we want to help keep in clean. Re-usable cups + plates are sturdy enough to not blow away in the wind. They are also perfect to pack out so you have less chance of trash blowing away out in nature. We love these adorable + re-usable cups from JJ Rabbit.
5. Pack naturally snack-able foods. It's important to plan + prepare a fun picnic for our family, but it's most enjoyable when we aren't cooking up a storm for our picnic. Pack naturally stackable foods like: blueberries, tri-colored carrots, sliced melon, cherry tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, raisins, dried cranberries, celery, cucumber slices + pepper slices. The more variety of color the better! Plus, remember to sneak something new in there to see if they will try it! We love these stackable containers for travel.
6. Pack a bottle of cold juice. You'll thank me later! Don't forget the ice packs!
7. Pack a blanket or mat for the picnic that will make the trip comfortable + easy to clean up. We love the Gathre mat because it is thick enough that sticks don't poke through. Happy little campers are the best kind of campers. Plus, it completely wipes clean. Hey, one less day that I'm not sweeping up crumbs in my kitchen is totally a win for me.
8. Choose a shady spot for your picnic. Sometimes the top of the mountain or right on the beach seems like a fun spot for a picnic. But, staying out of the sun gives everyone a little refresher, helps to reduce the sunburns + gives a cozy feel to the day.
9. Pack a first-aid kit. Bites, stings, pokes, slivers could all make an appearance at a picnic + it's better to be safe than sorry. We always carry band-aids + antihistamine cream with us because they are always in our EpiPen case + our EpiPens are always with us. But, the top of the CarriEight picnic basket has a small mesh pouch inside, the perfect place for some small first-aid supplies. Bowan got a sliver on this outing. Slivers are no fun! At least we had a band-aid on hand.
10. Pack a treat for a surprise at the end of your picnic. We like to eat healthy, but I am all for treats, too. Plus, nothing makes a mom happier than seeing her kids excited about a fun surprise! Plus, if you hiked into your spot the surprise can be a fun motivator to hike out. Here Bridger is trying his first taste of a brownie bite.
I know, maybe it seems like a lot of things to think about + plan for a picnic. But, just repeat to yourself: I will not have to sweep my kitchen floor... I will not have to sweep my kitchen floor... I hope these ideas are helpful! Let me know your favorite idea I shared or your favorite thing you love to pack for a picnic below.
Photography by: // Kathleen Peachey Photography