Summer picnics are the perfect way to unwind after a long week. Picnics are also always fun on hot summer Saturdays for the whole family and a wonderful way to spend time together in a fun atmosphere with amazing food and games. One thing though to keep in mind: picnics do require a bit of planning. You need to account for everyone's food needs and requests, make sure there are enough toys, games, and books to quell any kid boredom, bring along sunscreen and bug spray and find the perfect venue whether it's at a neighborhood park, the lake, or at the beach. Here are all the essentials you'll need for a perfect summer picnic.
- Picnic Food: No picnic is great without the proverbial picnic food. Basics like sandwiches and chips are sure to make most happy and are quick picnic foods, but if there are some picky ones in the bunch consider taking a trip to the grocery store deli. They typically have nice salads and even finger foods that won't disappoint. Also, don't forget that you can grill out with everyone's all-time favorites: hotdogs and hamburgers or non-meat options that are also great to throw on the grill. The main thing to remember is you will need options so plan ahead!
- Picnic Blankets and Tote Bags: No matter where you and your family decide to have your picnic you will need blankets for comfort. Picnic blankets don't need to be expensive. In fact, you can find many on sale. Look for picnic blankets that are specifically designed for outdoor use and are washable. You will want to use your blankets time and time again, so get the best ones possible and remember that doesn't mean you have to pay top dollar. You just need to search around for ones you think best fit a picnic setting.
You will also want to carry tote bags for books, toys, and games for the kids and for the whole family for that matter. Nature, tree, bird and insect books are always a hit! There's nothing better than reading outdoors when you'd like to relax.
- Games, Toys, and Books: If you have little ones you more than likely will want to bring along games, books, and toys. After they are bit worn out from all of the running and playing they are bound to do, they might want to relax as well with some of their favorite books and toys. Books are really a great way to pass time at a picnic. This is especially so during the summer when you want to keep your kids' school skills sharp. Give your kids a great surprise and stack your totes with brand-new books either from the bookstore or from the library. They will love it!
- Picnic Basket and Cooler: You really cannot have a picnic without a way to carry everything. Insulated coolers are a must because there are sure to be picnic foods that you would like to stay cold like salads and drinks.
Picnic baskets are great these days because they often come replete with plates, napkins, glassware, and utensils. You can't go wrong with that and it makes your picnics super easy. If you can avoid paper products, definitely take along a picnic basket with stocked with everything picnic sized. Target.com has some really cute picnic baskets.
- Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Top sunscreens and bug sprays are not all created equal. Most people try these products from reviews and word of mouth. To pick the right sunscreen for you and your family make sure to avoid toxins. You also want to make sure the sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 30 or higher. According to the American Cancer Society, you need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.
In terms of bug sprays, also avoid any toxins like DEET. Even though the FDA says that the risk of toxicity from DEET is low, some people still want to avoid it altogether. There are natural bug repellants on the market that work just as well. You just may have to apply and reapply a little more often.
The most important essential of any picnic is to make sure to have fun! Take photos to remember your family's special day. Even take videos. You can make your summer picnics an annual event and watch your children grow year after year. They will look forward to it and so will you!
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