As soon as we feel the warmth of Spring, our whole family gets giddy for picnics. Our youngest who is in Kindergarten loves it so much that he’s always hoping for a picnic at the park right after school. This isn’t always practical, but whenever we get the chance, we take our picnic stuff when we pick him up and go straight to the park or a nearby stream.
A lot of the times, we do “unplanned” picnics so we often just pick up any food that we have in the pantry or the fridge. We usually have some picnic staples like apples, bananas and nuts and often, we have these lying around, so rush picnics are often very easy to organize.
At other times though, especially when there are visiting relatives or we’re going out with friends, I make sure I have all the things we need for a “proper” picnic. My picnic checklist comes in handy at this time.
I know that picnic checklists differ depending on what kind of picnic it is (a lazy day at the park? A romantic picnic? A bbq picnic?), so if you’re looking for a specific kind of picnic checklist this may not be the right place to look for it.
I have however a general picnic checklist for kids or a checklist for families with kids.
Must Have Picnic Checklist
__ blanket or picnic mat
you can use any blanket you have. We have a roll-up picnic blanket with underside that’s water-resistant. We love it.
__ wet wipes or kitchen roll
always handy to have
plastic ones are lighter if weight is a concern
__ plates, cups
disposable ones make clearing-up much quicker, but if you want to be more eco-friendly, use reusable plastic ones
you may have to prepare some food beforehand. Refer to this article for some ideas on easy picnic finger foods with kids
__ cold beverages: juice, soda, wine or beer for the adults if not driving
don’t forget water. I know there has been a time in the height of the summer season that we have forgotten water. Not a problem if you’re near some shops but can be a total pain if you aren’t
we don’t often pack knife during a picnic but I know a lot of families will need this. If you are taking a knife, make sure it comes in a plastic cover, or wrap it with a piece of newspaper.
__ chopping board
This should probably not be in the list of must-haves, but if you’re taking a knife, you might as well have a small chopping board with you.
__ rubbish bags
Preferably three. One for the rubbish, another one for used plates for the dishwasher later on and another one for spare
If you have the time, lather on the sunscreen on the kids at home before you go. Sunscreen is best applied at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. And then just top it up if it gets really hot or you stay out in the sun far longer than you anticipated.
__ insect bite appointment/bug repellant
I consider this very important to have when going out with kids. You never know what they could be up to and you never know what insect/bug they come across.
__ band aids
the best way to fight the boo boos away
__ zip-lock bags
best way to transport food or to put leftover food in. Always handy to have.
definitely a must-have in the summer. Sunburns are not very nice
when the kids are much bigger and they can run around the park or play in the stream, you won’t need to buy as many toys. But when you have a toddler or baby with you, it’s always handy to have some toys to play with.
some things you just have to document with a snapshot.
__ picnic coolers
great to have for a really hot day.
__ tables and chairs
we use to smirk at people who have tables and chairs on a picnic – doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of a picnic? But now that we’re a few years older (wink wink), there’s nothing more comfortable than tables and chairs. We might even throw in a portable gazebo when we’re not too lazy and there are a lot of people coming.
CASE BY CASE BASIS
__ food cover
we don’t always need to bring one. But in the summer season, one of our picnic areas attract a lot of flies and the food cover are very useful then.
__ flask with hot water
in the winter, we still have picnics when the sun is out. Sure we’ll be wrapped up in our thick winter coats but with a coffee or chocolate drink on hand, we’re usually very content and happy.
__ hot drinks – coffee, milk, sugar, chocolate drink
we usually put these in little jars and prepare the drinks at the picnic area.
__ extra clothes
kids could get themselves into a lot of mess while playing out. This is usually fine by me, I just strip them down to their undies if they’re really dirty when going home. But if this is not practical for you, then an extra set of clothing is useful to have.Also, in the winter, don’t forget to bring, extra jackets or windbreakers.
__ bathing trunks and other bathing gears
when going for a picnic at the lake or the beach
__ hand sanitizer
this is not something that I always take with me but one some of you might find necessary to have. Usually, the wet wipes will suffice.
__ salt and pepper
if the food you’re taking needs it
__ bottle/can opener
__ umbrellas, raincoats
whenever we’re in England and going out for a picnic, we never forget these….
__ beach umbrella
but it seldom rains in the summer where we live, so we take a beach umbrella with us instead, especially when we’re off to the lake or the beach.
you never know when you need one
Have I missed anything? Please write your suggestions in the comments section below