Parent Watercooler: Have the Best Picnic Ever

Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador
This collection of creative-play picnic tips is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington.

Enjoy the grass between your toes!  -Zina

5 Tips for the Best Picnic Ever!

There is something enchanting about picnics. They offer us a chance to “pause” our lives and enjoy the laziness of summer. This is one of my favorite shots of my grandparents. I love that my stern grandfather has taken off his boots to relax. We live in a chaotic world. Now more than ever we need to slow down and get our bare feet in the grass. Picnics are an inexpensive and easy way to connect with your family.

Below are five tips for making
a simple picnic magical:

1. Nom, nom, nom.
Put your child in charge of choosing and packing the snacks. A hodgepodge of odds and ends always makes for an exciting adventure. Did your little ones pack marshmallows in their snack containers? Don’t worry about it! You can ensure they have veggies with dinner.

2. You’re “where it’s at!”

If you have time to head to a local park, a nearby river or a neighborhood playground . . . wonderful. If not, don’t underestimate the value of having a picnic in the backyard. If you give your child your undivided attention, they’ll be content at any location. You’re “where it’s at,” Mom & Dad!

5 Tips for the Best Picnic Ever!

3. Invite the bookworms.
Pack the books, baby!
Grab titles from the house or stop at the library. You can increase the anticipation by telling your child they are not allowed to read their books until the picnic has begun. Go in a circle taking turns reading out loud as the group snacks. Be sure to allow everyone a turn, including early readers. Toddlers can take turns making up stories about their picture books.

5 Tips for the Best Picnic Ever!

4. Tick, tock?
Give yourself time to slow down. Schedule a nice long slot of time, turn off your phone and enjoy your child’s company without the clock interrupting.

5 Tips for the Best Picnic Ever!

5. Rain, rain, go away.
Don’t let the weather get in the way! The most memorable picnics at our house occur on rainy and snowy days. If you want to be the coolest mom on the block, prep a simple meal. Put down a blanket in the living room and when the kids come to the kitchen for lunch yell (yes, YELL) “Picnic!!!” I guarantee there will be jumping, excitement and smiles. Earn extra brownie points by setting the blanket with the adorable Scootin’ Turtle Mealtime Tableware Set for Kids!

Do you have any additional picnic tips? Perhaps a favorite snack or location?
Let’s chat in the comments.


Zina from Let's Lasso the MoonZina Harrington is the author of Let’s Lasso the Moon, where she inspires parents and children to interact creatively and enjoy the beauty of everyday moments. Visit Zina at, say “Hi” on Facebook or check her out on Pinterest!


  1. I had a plan to have a surprise picnic with my kids today. I’m so excited! And the next picnic is Saturday after we visit the zoo with Grandma (also a surprise!).

    • Zina :: Let's Lasso the Moon says:

      Surprise picnics are the best! I hope you have a wonderful time Kristin!

  2. Kristine says:

    I was just chatting with a five year old and when I asked her about what she was looking forward to the most this summer and her answer was PICNICS.