Every year for my daughter's half birthday I host a picnic for her and her little friend who has a half birthday close to hers too! This post is to share how you too could host a toddler picnic play date! Picnics are a very fun thing to do in the summer, so there certainly doesn't need to be a special occasion to have one.
Here's what our picnic table looked like all set up.
I lay out a piece of fabric that looks just like a picnic blanket with giant ants crawling all over it. It's so adorable and makes a great themed table cloth. You could probably find some similar fabric to use, use a plastic table cloth from Dollar Tree, or no table cloth at all!
Now, before I get into what're some good ideas food-wise I'm going to tell you some things I think are crucial to have a sucessful outdoor picnic with no problems:
- A plastic bag for trash
- A thing of wet wipes for wiping off hands and faces/possible messes
- Paper plates, napkins, and cups. Using plastic ones would work too, but this way they can just be thrown into that plastic bag when finished and there's less clean up.
- I found that a sandwich container was the perfect thing to put our fruit salad in. It has a lid which is great for covering it up when not being used, and traveling with it. It's not a huge size either, and holds a good amount for a few toddlers to enjoy together.
- Cold water bottles are good to have on hand and ready to be used
- Toddler utensils of course
Now, I'm starting to get into the food of it all so I'll just list off what I served:
- PB & J Lunch Box Muffins. This recipe from i should be mopping the floor is phenominal! I make these quite often and knew they'd be a great addition to a picnic. Kids love PB & J and these muffins were a great, mess-free way to pack a protein into the meal.
- Toddler Fruit Salad. I cut up a few strawberries, a kiwi, and a handful of green grapes and then sprinkle wheat germ on the top. I refrigerated it for about an hour before the picnic.
- I had out a little dish of a goat cheese with honey in it that my daughter likes
- Snacks & Hummus Tray. Kids love to dip and one of my daughters favorite healthy dips is hummus. I put some on a tray along with some broccoli, carrots, gluten free pretzels, and Multi-Grain crackers!
After that food was finished up, I brought out some homemade vegan ice cream that I had prepared the night before. It was so delicious and just adorable. I fell in love with these Ice Cream Pop Molds from Tovolo. They're such a fun thing to put our vegan ice cream into and great for little ones to hold and there's no messes made either since the drips are caught by the cone part!
The ice cream was made by blending a cup of frozen mangoes with two frozen bananas and a splash of almond milk. My daughter was eating hers up so fast it was hard to get a picture!
Now, I always like to have a craft or activity at the play dates I have. This time, to stick with the theme, we made an A is for Ants craft! I had it set up on my daughter's little table like this
- Green construction paper
- Brown construction paper
- Glue stick
- Black Sharpie marker
- Black washable tempera paint
- A dish for the paint
I had cut out capital letter A's from the brown construction paper and wrote "A is for ant" on the green construction paper ahead of time. All they had to do was use the glue stick to glue their letter A's down, and then dip their fingers in the black washable tempera paint and make some prints on the paper for ants. The letter A represents an ant hill that the ants can be climbing on or near. It turned out really cute. You can go back and add antennae and legs to the ants with the marker if you want.