*This is a Collaborative Post*

Summer can be the perfect time to enjoy activities outside with your family (providing the sun stays out, and it doesn’t rain). Eating al fresco is a great way to make some fun family memories and switch up your meal times over the school holidays, and a picnic is a simple route to take. The following are some ideas for those who want to enjoy their food, with their little ones, outdoors in the garden this summer (sat on a blanket of course).

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Comfort

The kids will love the novelty of bringing out blankets and cushions to sit and enjoy their food on; so you can keep it simple and grab some things that are already in the house. You may already have a picnic blanket or a blanket that will suffice; in which case you should utilise them and add some soft pillows and throws on top to enhance the outdoor experience.

Take a look at The Independent for some ideas on which picnic blankets are the best.Old bed sheets and towels will also provide a great surface for nibbling treats on, and can double up as canopies for homemade tents and dens; another perfect way to keep the kids occupied. Make sure that everyone has their jumpers and cardis at the ready, so that when a chilly afternoon breeze hots; you won’t al have to return inside the house.

Food

Your food can be a mixture of healthy and nutritious choices, and some sweet treats to finish the meal with. Everything should be easy to eat without cutlery, and the whole family can be involved in creating their favourite sandwiches and choosing the snacks and nibbles. Check out Terri’s Little Haven for some ideas on how to make healthy meals for your family before you write your list for the supermarket. Fresh sliced fruit and vegetables are delicious, crunchy snacks for little hands, and you won’t have any stray wrappers to tidy away at the end of your picnic.

You could always spend a couple of days beforehand in the kitchen with your little ones, baking some cupcakes and decorating them for your picnic. Not only will this fill up some time during their school holidays; they’ll begin to get excited about the picnic and will feel more involved than if they were just eating the food. Paper plates and cups in lively colours are a fun way to serve your delicious treats (and it’ll save on your washing up).

Decorations

As the picnic will be in your garden; you can have as much fun as you fancy decorating it. Bunting is always a classic choice, and it’s another way to spend a day or so with the kids, getting crafty. Your blankets and floor coverings can provide a colourful and decorative element to the meal, and paper lanterns, balloons, and outdoor fairy lights are lively additions that will create more of a party atmosphere. Remember that you’re already outside in nature, which is decoration enough, and your family will have a great time whatever you do or don’t decide to string up in the branches.

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