Summer is almost here, and you are likely looking forward to enjoying picnics and barbecues with your family. Here are some tips to help barbecues and picnics with young children run smoothly for everyone.
Prepare in advance
Picnics and barbecues can be fun spontaneous activities, but parents of young children know that a bit of planning in advance can help you prepare for various scenarios, as well as curb meltdowns. Prepare a bag or basket with the following items, and you can more easily take advantage of the summer weather:
- A picnic blanket
- Vinyl tablecloth for a barbecue
- Paper plates
- Disposable cups and plastic forks and spoons
- Garbage bags
- Toys and games suitable for the outdoors
- Paper towels
- Sunscreen and bug spray
Keep the food simple
Picnics and barbecues for adults are often more elaborate than those for children. Think about food that’s both easy to eat and easy to transport. Some examples for picnics include: Grapes, carrot sticks, simple sandwiches, crackers, and pasta salad. For barbecues, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, and fruit salad are classics that children also enjoy.
Pick the ideal location
A good picnic or barbecue location has plenty of space for children and adults alike to stretch their legs, and to enjoy outdoor games such as tag, Frisbee, or even hide and seek. Of course, your own backyard can also be an ideal spot for your family to enjoy a barbecue or picnic. No matter the location, spending time in nature can turn your family outing into a fun and educational experience.
Keep safety in mind
Eating outdoors in the summer is always enjoyable, but it can also pose a number of safety risks. If your family is barbecuing, keeping your child away from the barbecue itself is key. Explain to your child the dangers of getting too close to it, and let them know how far away they should be. No matter where you are, your child will likely be excited and eager to run around and explore, so help them to understand basic safety rules for being outdoors.
Get your child involved
Asking for your child to help you get ready for your picnic or barbecue is not only a good way to help them feel useful, but it’s also an ideal time for them to learn. For example, your child can learn math concepts by helping you count grapes, or by helping you pack food into containers.
Enjoying summer weather by eating outdoors is an ideal way for families to spend quality time together. With these tips for eating outdoors with your child, you can focus on creating fond summer memories for the whole family.