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PlaygroundEquipment Blog
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Playground Picnic Hacks for Fit and Fun Kids

Tot Town Sand & Water Snack Shop
RSVP lessens the likelihood of shortage on picnic drinks and food.
Picnics and playgrounds are not only truly nostalgic, as they are recreational areas that allow us to spend time outdoors. Playground picnics give us our much-deserved leisurely break from the constricts of our daily routines and must-do’s. A good way to up the ante of playground picnic is injecting themed play that instantly morphs your playtime to a mini party. This leisurely activity effortlessly develops your kids’ unstructured creative spark. After all, who can resist the idea of munching homemade goodies on a park with carefree kids who believe that they can actually conquer the world while riding down a slide, right?

However, the true test of making a picnic fun is when kids not only spend a grand and creative time with nature while playing. Due to the sedentary lifestyle that is impeding kids across America, picnic in a playground can be a channel for kids to get fit through physical activities while learning the ropes of healthy eating. This simple bonding time between you, your kids and your circle, too, could be made manageable and special by looking into these curated playground picnic hacks.

Game Plan, Grand Plan
Picnics and even playtime are usually out-of-the-blue moments that is haphazardly planned. In reality, busy parents tend to grab whatever they can on the pantry and zoom out of their homes. Like any activity, a great playground picnic requires simple planning.

Have a checklist on your phone or on your planner. Decide on the theme, but before doing so, check if you have party favor leftovers. Perhaps you’d want to hold a nature art afternoon that would unearth the artistic potentials of kids while letting them see nature up close. You may even want to introduce kids to healthy eating by introducing them to simple food art to make greens and fruits friendlier and more accessible to them, as well.

This does not only allow you to have a clearer picture of your very own fun time, all the more it lends a more active learning for kids and adults, too.

In the Mood for Good Food
This kiddie food pyramid will enable you to think of food and drinks that would help kids appreciate healthy living which largely depends on better portions of real food. Fast food has always been a part of a kid’s life. While it is highly convenient and readily available, parents must take their children’s food and drink consumption seriously. Though, it is not advised to make drastic changes in your kids’ diet. Through playground picnics, gradually inject tiny doses of the importance of a balanced diet through creative storytelling. Turn veggies and fruits to heroes and heroines of the stories you share to your kids.

Recreational RSVP
More often than not, one reason why parents do not fancy picnic playground is that supply does not meet the demand - running out of iced cold drinks or utensils in the middle of a park, zoo or camp calls for tantrum time or worse, early pack up. To ensure that this would be less likely to happen, ask your circle to make a simple RSVP to your mini playground party.

Take advantage of Facebook or even Viber to send out paperless invites. This also makes your picnic a bit dressier sans too much effort. Kids are highly visual, so giving them a sneak peek of what to expect makes them more open to the idea of having some time off their screens, training, and homeworks, too.

Prime Location
Find a location that has ample running water, restrooms, and even a parking space for bikes. Make sure that this area would allow kids and adults to have a fun and safe time. Since children do not really have so much time for exploring the outdoors due to safety issues, make this an easy yet worthwhile experience for them.

Square Fabric Shade
Kids need to see that playgrounds are fun and safe in one.

A-list Amenities
A playground picnic is greatly dependent on weather. Make sure that dependable amenities are within your area should you need shade from the glaring sun or a sudden rain. While you want your kids to soak the fun under the sun, they would most likely repel this initially. Being in the comforts of the indoors usually means shunning the precious time to explore the outdoors. Then again, studies showed that kids perceive time with nature as a memorable and cool activity; so help them embrace it gradually.

Another very important thing to check is if the playground has updated accessible playsets for kids with special needs. Along with this, the play area must be able to cater to infants, toddlers, and school-aged kids. A-list playground must have well-maintained playground equipment that would allow children to freely play without having to deal with injuries.

Single Entry Bike Rack
Park the car. Take that fun bike for a spin!

Like, Hike, Bike
It is best to encourage children and parents to walk to the location or ride their bikes for a change. Community playgrounds are usually forgotten spaces that may give way to communal learning and caring. Tap these spaces and see how your community can work for a better, greener and healthier generation through playtime.

Friendly Zone, Pet Zone
There is a steadier demand for parks and other recreational spaces that allow pets to take part in physical and social activities. If your community happens to have this kind of space, you may want to hold a pet party.

Just to ensure that the place is well-maintained, observe pet etiquette at all times. More than giving your pets a venue to see their furry friends, this may also be a venue to instill empathy among kids for non-human living things.

Superb Sandwich
Prepare sandwiches at home but pack the condiments with you to avoid soggy, unappetizing bites. Take your kids with you and let them prepare their own creation. As they pile it up, tell them the benefits of greens and cheese, and how protein would help make the stronger, brighter and happier. Be careful not to lecture them point blank. Instead let them see that eating healthier is actually doable, easy, and practical. This activity also teaches them independence and preparing food with caution.

Fun Fruits and Nuts Finds
Time to hide the cookie and candy jar! Get an ice tray and fill it with cheerfully-colored nuts and fruit bites. Guide toddlers as they brush up on identifying the colors, shapes, textures, and names of the their food tray. Make sure that all the food won’t cause your toddlers to choke. You may even add in a yogurt dip to tickle their palate and fancy.

Cut it Out, Go About
As much as possible, avoid unnecessary chores that get in the way of assisting your kids while bonding with them and your friends. Before you hit the road, cut all meat, fruits, and vegetables. This also allows you to have an easier time packing as you can conveniently store food and drinks in stackable containers.

Thrill of the Grill
Frozen meat and deli treats must always be kept in their ideal temperature to avoid food poisoning or upset tummies. The rule of the thumb is to keep them at at least 40 degrees. A tip when packing these is to set a foundation in your cooler by using frozen water jars. Remember not to keep them with your fruits and veggies to avoid contamination.

Grilling food provides an outdoorsy vibe to your dining experience. It also lets your kids see possibilities of being able to move outside the bounds of home.  For safety check, get in touch with the amenities team before you proceed with grilling.

Ice, Ice Fruity
Playground time and picnic time is best done during spring and summer. To quench the thirst of your kids in a healthier way, bring some homemade iced smoothies or juice. More than adding a bright burst of flavors, your kids get an immune and energy boost, with every stick.

Speak-a-Cup
This mini project is a good venue to get your kids to marry the old world with their techie daily grind. Get two paper or plastic cups and an empty tissue roll. Make a rectangular cut on the tissue roll that would allow your phone to stand while its base is inside the roll. Now, place the tissue roll in between the two cups. Trace the diameter of the tissue roll on both cups. Carefully pierce the cups and insert one side of the tissue roll on each paper cup. Check whether your speaker is able to stand on its own. This amplifies your playground picnic party playlist without shelling out any money.

If you do not have the luxury of time, just place your phone inside a cup and position it at the middle of your picnic table or picnic mat.

The Perfect Picnic Stack
A wobbly picnic stack increases the likelihood of spoiling the fun in eating outdoors. Who would want to consume messy food after all, right? The trick to get a perfect picnic pack is to use mini chopping boards in between your food containers. Place the heaviest items at the bottom of your bag. Add a mini chopping board and check if it’s stable enough. Add the other items according to their weight while adding in another mini board as you go along.

Using mini chopping boards as food holders could also be a better and more presentable way to serve your food and drinks.

Ditch Disposable
Reusable containers are not only easier to pack and stack. They also save you more money and shopping time while taking some carbon footprint off your shoe.

Bug-free Drink, Anyone?
Bugs are nature’s best friends, but our drinks’ worst enemies. To keep the bugs away while you and your kids are at play, place inverted cupcake holders on top of your drink. Punch a hole in it using your straw so that the wind won’t blow it away.

Pack Track
Train your kids to make use of recycle centers found in your playground. These teach them to segregate their waste while letting them differentiate recyclable from non-recyclable products. You could even propose a compost pit to make soil richer in parks with green spaces. With this, you help your kids to care for nature in a more sustainably practical manner.

Origins Elevated Garden Beds
Edible play space is a better way to fuse learning and play.

Go for Garden Gold
Play spaces with green gardens could be the source of some of your picnic food and drinks. As kids run around these nature-themed play sets, they get to grow their own good food, while having fun. This is a great way to let them appreciate the outdoors and free play once more. Studies revealed that growing a plant gives a sublime yet superb self-worth as it is fulfilling to give birth to a living thing. Not to mention, spending time in green spaces also gives kids and adults a much needed productivity boost, too.

Nantucket
Sow the seed for the new breed of nature-loving kids.

New Breed, Sow the Seed
With these playground picnic tips and tricks, we here at Playground Equipment call parents, educators and other organizations to come together and give rise to a generation of green movers and shakers through fun, safe and sustainable play time. It is not too difficult to tap the old ways where play spaces are hubs that teach kids’ life best lessons. Playground picnics are more than just sheer fun as they are opportunities to promote healthier lifestyle while honing your child’s development through free, nature-themed play. Go ahead, sow the seed, and see your child take the lead.

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