• Picnic Play

    KIDFUN blogger Sharla Feldscher Shares Her Tips For Easy Fun At The Park

    By Sharla Feldscher

    Picnics are a wonderful bonding experience for families; if you bring tasty snacks and drinks and pick a shady spot, chances are your kids will be content to sit on a comfy blanket and eat, read and play. However, in the event that your serene family picnic turns into a temper tantrum, or the kids just can’t sit still, it’s helpful to have some easy, no-mess activity ideas up your sleeve! Here are a few easy ideas to keep the kids happy and entertained for hours.



    KIDFUN Carnival Games
    Here are couple ideas that might remind you and your kids of
    an old fashioned carnival, but are still plenty of fun to play! 


    *Pyramid
    Piles
    – On a picnic
    bench placed in a clearing in the park, stack 10 paper cups in the shape of a
    pyramid. Start with four on the bottom. Then three stacked above them, resting
    in the center of two cups below. Then add two cups on the three and one on the
    top. With a rope (or other object), place a boundary line about three feet away from the bench.
    Give the kids a soft plastic ball (perhaps from a wiffle ball game) to throw
    toward the pyramid. How many cups can they knock down? How many can you
    knock down? Do it over and over. It’ll be fun!

    What You
    Need:

    10 paper cups

               
    1 plastic ball

               
    Rope

    *Shave
    the Clown
    – Blow up
    a nice-size balloon and with a permanent marker, draw a clown face on it.
    Depending on your child’s age, he can make this jolly clown himself. It doesn’t
    have to be elaborate – two eyes, a round nose, a big smiley mouth and curly
    hair will do. Then spray shaving cream around the clown’s face (as if he had a
    beard). The challenge is, with a kitchen timer ticking away for 60 seconds, see
    if the child can wipe the clown clean using a popsicle stick in only a minute.
    Have paper towels nearby to clean up the mess! 

    What You
    Need:

    Balloons

               
    Permanent Marker

               
    Shaving Cream

               
    Popsicle Sticks

               
    Paper Towels

    *Park Bowling – Arrange six large, empty and
    clean soda or water bottles as if they are the pins in a bowling alley. Like Pyramid
    Piles, stand the bottles in a triangular pattern with three in the back, two in
    the center and one in the front. Now make a boundary line around three feet
    away using rope. Give the kids a ball (a larger size for younger children) and
    see if they can knock down the pins.  

    What You
    Need:

               
    6 large, empty 64 oz. bottles

               
    1 plastic ball

               
    Rope

    STRIKE
    UP THE BAND!

    Did you ever go to a party
    where they gave out props? You know, like a life-size, colorful, plastic,
    inflatable guitar or a plastic microphone? I don’t care how old you are, these
    things are just plain fun!  Before your picnic, stop in a party supply
    store and look around for some of these inexpensive props. Maybe you can find a
    guitar, a saxophone … even a little drum! Maybe a couple nice-size twigs could
    be the drumsticks at the picnic. Try tooting into a paper cup, too! When you go to the picnic,
    bring an MP3 Player and speakers for some background music then surprise everyone
    with these props. Play the music and let ‘em rock! You can have your very own
    rock band, right there at the picnic. Okay, it might be the most silent band
    you ever heard but the laughter will be priceless!

    BRIDGE TO ADVENTURE!

    One of my favorite activities
    when I taught kindergarten was to take a trip with the kids. No, it wasn’t a
    real trip on a school bus, but an imaginary trip that we dramatized.

    Try it at your picnic. Put
    a picnic bench out in the open and tell the kids it’s a “bridge” – a bridge to
    anywhere! Do they want to go a theme park, to the zoo, to a far-away land? All
    they need to do is cross the bridge. The fun part is making up the stories
    about the adventures and coming up with activities they’ll do there. They could
    cross the bridge to a theme park and jump off at the end. They could run around
    the nearby tree and pretend it’s a train ride. They could hop on another bench
    and pretend it’s a rocketship, zooming into space. If you have a rope, place it
    in a circle on the ground and they can jump in and swim like the ducks –
    quacking away.

    Anything is possible and
    playing at a picnic is the perfect opportunity!

    If you have
    neat ideas to share, I’d love to hear them! Send them to www.kidfunandmore.com, add your name,
    your children’s first names and ages and I’ll try to share your KIDFUN tip with
    our readers, too.


    Sharla
    Feldscher is the author of several books of creative activities to do with
    young children, including “The KIDFUN Activity Book,” and “The KIDFUN Activity Book, Expanded,” available on Amazon.com. Sharla also blogs at kidfunandmore.com, where she shares a new activity for kids on each posting.
    She is also the grandmother of a
    three-year-old little girl and has another grandchild on the way!

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