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I grew up as part of a big family on Long Island. I am one of five children. When I was younger we would spend most of our time hanging out in the backyard, playing hide and seek, roaming the neighborhood in search of other kids and riding our bikes. These days things are very different. Everything in my ten year old daughter’s life is so structured. She has school, sports, extracurricular activities and playdates. She doesn’t get to just hang outside and play that often. When the opportunity does arrive that we have a free moment, I try to make the most of it. One of our favorite ways to do that is to pack a picnic lunch and hang with friends at the park. We spend all day outside in the sunshine.
Here are my tips for planning a great kid-friendly picnic:
TIP ONE: A PICNIC IS NOT THE TIME FOR FANCINESS
In terms of food I try to keep things simple. There are plenty of occasions where you can showcase your fabulous beef wellington but this will not be one of them. Finger foods are best (especially when your picnic includes kids). My basket usually contains cheese and crackers, fruits that don’t need to be cut (such as grapes, strawberries, apples), sandwiches and cookies. I stick with the basics.
TIP TWO: DONT FORGET THE MUSIC
There is nothing I love more than relaxing with friends, sipping some iced tea, watching the kids play and listening to some happy, upbeat tunes. Nowadays there are so many inexpensive portable speakers that will sync with your phone through Bluetooth. I have a running playlist on my iPhone that is child-friendly and perfect for picnics, barbecues and gatherings.
TIP THREE: BRING THE SUNBLOCK
There is nothing worse than having a wonderful day spoiled by cranky, uncomfortable kiddos that are burned from not having worn sunscreen. I have dealt with that so many times that I make sure to apply and re-apply throughout the day.
TIP FOUR: LET THE KIDS BE KIDS
Sometimes, when I see Taylor running around in the mud or wading into the duck pond to look for fish I cringe. I think of cleaning her dirty clothes later and I want to call to her to stop what she is doing but then I realize that she needs to be a child. There will be so many years later on when she can be concerned with cleanliness but now is the time where she can smile, laugh and have fun with abandon. It is easier for me to stop from policing her when I remember that I have all® Fresh Clean Essentials™ at home.
all® Fresh Clean Essentials™ is a new, sulfate free laundry detergent that helps me keeps Taylor’s clothes bright and clean. I don’t have to worry as much about her getting dirty because I know I have the tools at my disposal to get out the mess without destroying her favorite outfits. Tip: Be sure to follow the directions on the back of the package exactly. I ordered it from Amazon and had it delivered right to my door.
What are your favorite tips for enjoying the perfect picnic? If you’re planning on getting messy with your kiddos this season, be sure to head to the Love Your Laundry Hub for some fun ideas!