Welcome to Plugging Into Your Kids from Direct Energy. In this series, we will share ways you can spend focused time with your children – specifically by unplugging from technology. We want to help your family make a conscious effort to connect with each other by avoiding electronic devices and enjoying some real-life interaction.
We continue exploring ways to tune into your children, and to tune out from social media, technology and other electronic devices, by taking your kids on picnics!
Picnics don’t have to be laborious, and you don’t need to own one of those cute woven baskets lined with red and white gingham that come with little glasses, plates and cutlery, to go on a picnic.
Getting out of the house and into a space that doesn’t cost a dime is better than heading to a messy home after a long day. Our houses can often be points of stress, so getting out of the house can often help us leave the duties of home for another time.
Conscious moments like these in parenting make our children feel special. It builds memories for both parties, and besides giving your children an adventure, lets Mom or Dad take a load off by relaxing at the park for an afternoon or enjoying the sunset.
Grab these few items, your kids, and head to your local green space, to spend quality time with the little ones that matter the most. Don’t forget to leave your phone in the car! This is all about enjoying our children and their conversations, their curiosities, and taking a moment to appreciate how amazing they really are.
The 365 Day Picnic Blanket
Start your new tradition of picnicking by keeping this one essential in the trunk of your car at all times: the picnic blanket. An old quilt or blanket is handy to have in the back of the car for a number of reasons, emergencies, and when you’re caught in the rain and are soaking wet, or you guessed it, for an impromptu picnic.
Even if the family is grabbing take out for dinner, rather than rushing home to eat it at the dinner table or worse, in front of the television, take a detour to your local park, and pull out the blanket to have dinner on. We can promise you you’re more likely to remember this moment than if you were to continue on home.
Packing a Picnic
Life with children is hectic and complicated enough, so there’s no need to make quality time with them even more complicated. Keep it simple when it comes to packing a picnic.
If your children are beneath the age of 5 years, then pack things like grapes, crackers, cheese cubes and easy sandwiches. If your kiddos are older, then maybe a simple pasta salad will suffice for a picnic dinner.
Bring individual water bottles, or a little bottle of fizzy French lemonade to really take it to the next level of imagination and fun. Avoid bringing actual glasses and opt for either small metal, or plastic cups.
Keeping the environment in mind, and setting a good example for your children, elect to bring actual plates as opposed to disposable ones. Either plastic or enamel ware plates make great picnic accessories. Also pack real silverware and cloth napkins.
Use a small cooler with handles to pack all your items, or if you do happen to have a large woven basket, then now is the time to use it. Don’t forget to toss in a plastic grocery store bag to throw your trash into. Not all green spaces have public trash cans.
Make it a Habit
Sometimes we have to consciously unplug from the world to make these moments matter. Set a goal for yourself and your family and try to picnic twice a month. Maybe you go after the soccer match on Saturday, or decide to have dinner every other Tuesday night.
Start simply, and you might find that you start to look forward to that relaxing afternoon lying on a blanket while your kids run wild.
In the end, it’s the little things that count. We feel pretty certain that your picnics will be memories you’ll remember in years to come.