Fun with Little Ones: 5 Musts for the Perfect Family Picnic

Springtime is picnic season!Springtime is picnic season!Now that the sun is out, I've been feeling a lot more motivated to come up with fun activities to do with my daughter and it's inspired me to do a recurring series called "Fun For Little Ones"! I'll be sharing fun activities and outings that are child-friendly on a regular basis and will make sure to include details (what to bring, tips to make it go more smoothly, etc…) to make it fun for everyone. Today's activity? A picnic in the park!

Here are some ideas for a fun picnic outing with your little ones:

1.Invite your friends
While a picnic with just your immediate family could be cool too, I have the mindset of "the more the merrier". We planned our outing with our friends and their kids as well, which made it more fun for the littles and more fun for the grown-ups too. BONUS: we could all take turns chasing each other's kids so we could actually eat some of the delicious food we brought!

2. Plan ahead
We coordinated with our friends to figure out what to bring for food to our picnic. Some of the food offerings were things that only we as grown-ups would like to eat, but other things were definitely baby-friendly. Some of the items on our picnic menu included: a meat and cheese platter, baguettes, pickles, apricot preserves + goat cheese, and a few salads - including an amazing pasta salad that my daughter loved. I would suggest blending or pre-dicing any items for your little one ahead of time. I didn't and it would've made life much easier. (See picnic recipes at The Little Things We Do).

Related: Just the two of us: 10 awesome dad-and-baby outings

3. Choose your location
We are lucky enough to live near a park that has a great wide open green space and a great play structure all in an area that makes it easy to see everything. With little ones running off all over the place, you will probably want a location with good visibility that also has some fun play options so that the experience will be more enjoyable for all.

4. Choose the right outfit
You may be thinking, "How could I possibly choose the 'wrong' outfit to wear to a picnic?" Trust me…it's possible. Fern and I both wore dresses since it was a sunny day, but sitting on a blanket and chasing after a toddler in a dress wasn't the greatest idea I've ever had. Also, the dress Fern was wearing was white and promptly got strawberry juice on it. Basically, just learn from my mistakes and wear something comfortable that will hide messes.

5. Have fun!
I realized very quickly that mobile babies don't like to sit still to eat (or at least mine doesn't!) for very long. Thus bites of dinner happened in between little jaunts here and there all over the park, which was fine by me. Bear in mind that if you have little crawlers and walkers you will likely end up spending a bit of time chasing them down, but it's all part of the fun! Just relax and enjoy your time in the sunshine with good food and good friends!

- By Lauren Hartmann
Follow Lauren on Disney Baby

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