Summer is a wonderful time when you are a kid. There is no school, just a few organized sports games or other activities in the evenings and ample amount of time to catch up on all that play time you have missed during the school year.
The first few weeks are always a blast! There are so many things to do and see, but inevitably the Summer boredom eventually kicks in.
So what do you do when the daytime blahhs occur and the kids are saying “I’m bored” every two minutes?
Well this is exactly the conversation I had with my friend Lizzy last week. I am expecting my two younger cousins, ages 12 and 9 to come over for a weekend and although I am excited to see them, I have been incredibly nervous about how to keep them entertained for a whole weekend and stay within my small budget (aka keeping it as free as possible).
Lizzy happens to be a babysitter for two children around the same age and had just recently taken the kids to what she told them would be an over-the-top picnic adventure at a local park that was just a short bike ride from the house. She let me in on a few of her strategies to create a whimsical picnic, keep the munchkins entertained, and your wallet happy.
Tips to create an affordable and whimsical picnic:
1. Utilize what you already have at home:
- Lizzy took inventory the day before of everything the family already had, such as a bed sheet, several board games, a few crates and bungee cords to carry the items on the bicycles, and cake mix for a cupcake snack.
- Using items that were already available made her shopping list short and also helped to rejuvenate items that the kids had grown bored of. After all Yahtzee at an outdoor picnic is much more entertaining than Yahtzee at a kitchen table.
2. Add a touch of whimsy:
- Since Lizzy wanted the picnic to be extra special she went to pick up a few added decorations from Walmart the night before.
- A few simple and affordable decorations such as lanterns, paper flowers, pillows, and candles help make the atmosphere that much more exciting and gives the picnic that over-the-top extravagant feeling.
- The kids also like helping to decorate the picnic area with fun and colorful decorations!
3. Make travel simple, fun, and a healthy experience:
- Lizzy thought it would be a great idea to get to the picnic by bicycle. The kids already had two Mongoose bicycles in the garage so all she had to do was ride her Schwinn Cruiser over that morning and strap the crates on to the bikes with bungee cords.
- Biking to your destination gives it a secretive and fun feel reminiscent of the book The Secret Garden and adds to the whole experience.
- Plus, bonus points, biking is great exercise and gets the kids moving!
4. Let them take control of setting up the picnic:
- Once you get to your destination let the kids set up all the goodies that you have packed in the crate. This well help them feel like they helped create the picnic and makes it even more special!
- After all the setup is complete the possibilities are endless! Play games, eat cupcakes, watch the clouds, and enjoy the spontaneity of a whimsical picnic!
Kiss those blahh days away and Get Out and Ride!
– Samantha C.