5 great ways to picnic

All you need is a rug and some snacks – even the rain can’t spoil these picnic ideas

If there’s one thing my daughter and I can agree on it’s that picnics are the best way to eat. We may not completely see eye-to-eye when she sits on my sandwich or kicks over her apple juice – but even these lunchtime-related scuffles seem better when sitting side-by-side on a rug. It doesn’t have to be sunny, either. Or even dry. We’ve been known to picnic in a tipi in the living room.

Plus, the promise of a picnic turns my bored 3-year-old into Miss Helpful. She makes her own sandwich, packs the biscuits (she never forgets the biscuits) and will even walk outdoors without stopping if she knows there’s going to be food waiting at the end of it.

Tempted? Make today a picnic day with these 5 ideas…

1) Pasta salad in a jam jar: a novelty way to eat their 7-a-day.

What you’ll need: cucumber, cherry tomatoes, colourful peppers, cooked tenderstem broccoli and green beans, chicken (or tofu), cooked pasta (we used beetroot and spinach pasta)

What to do:
Chop everything up and ask your child to pop it in the jar – simple! You can mix it up or add it in layers. Don’t forget to pack a fork so they can dive in.

2) Say cheese! A fun alternative to sandwiches!

What you’ll need: bread, fruit (like fresh pineapple, apple, grapes or cherry tomatoes) plus a hard cheese like cheddar and cocktail sticks

What to do:

1. Cut the fruit and cheese into bite-size pieces (halve the grapes and cherry tomatoes). Meanwhile, your child can use safe scissors to cut the bread into squares.
2. Now thread each cocktail stick with a piece of bread, fruit and cheese.

3) Indoor picnic. Blankets and snacks!

What you’ll need: your lunch, a rug and cushions (tipi optional!)

What to do:

1. Simply ask your child to make a cosy place to sit with the cushions and rug while you grab the food.
2. Then sit down together and eat on the floor.
3. When you’re done, take the rug outside and shake off the crumbs.

4) Teddy bear’s picnic: It’s a classic – and this winning activity is great for kids of all ages.

Your child just gathers their toys and sits them on a rug (or tea towel) and then serves them some pretend food. Or give them real fruit and veg to serve.

5) Treasure hunt: give them something active to do while you let your food go down!

What you’ll need: paper and pen

What to do:

1. Write (or draw) a list of “treasure” for your child. If you’re outside, it can be nature finds like pebbles, different coloured leaves and flowers. Inside, you could choose food items, like fruit.
2. Send them off to find the treasure.
3. Lie down and wait!

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