May 21, 2019

Baby's First Picnic in the Park

At three years old, I have proudly watched my oldest daughter check many firsts off the list. But BY FAR my favourite first to watch her master, was becoming a big sister. 

Coming from personal experience, the role of big sister comes with many new responsibilities - learning to share toys (and mom’s attention) with little sister, teaching little sister new skills and sharing in many of little sister’s very own firsts. 

One of our oldest daughter Morley’s favourite places to visit is the local park. Throughout the year, you can usually find us there a few times a week, whether it’s tobogganing in the winter, swimming at the public pool on a hot day or simply enjoying a picnic on the grass.

Since little sister Berkley was born, big sister has been itching to show her “the ropes” (pun intended) at the park. And now that Berkley is nine months old and mobile, and the weather is FINALLY getting warmer, it’s about time we make big sister’s wish come true.

Besides going on the swings, down the slide and just having a good sit, watching big sister run around, one of our favourite things to do at the park is to have a picnic. What better way to take advantage of a sunny day? 

We love a good picnic - but picnicking with two littles ones isn’t always easy.

In order for the picnic to be a success, you must be prepared. Here is what we bring with us to make our picnics in the park both toddler- and baby-friendly, AND lots and lots of fun!

First up, the important stuff - no picnic is complete without the picnic food! Like any other meal, when picnicking with little ones, options are also key. 

Prepping meals for those at different stages of eating (i.e. those with teeth and those without) can be a lot of prep work, so I look for things that they can both eat.

For the babe: We bring apple sauce pouches, rice rusks, and favourite fingers foods such as diced fruit (blueberries and strawberries), quinoa and chopped avocado. It can get pretty messy, so make sure you also bring extra wipes, a change of clothes and towel. 

For our toddler: We bring cheese, meat and crackers, cut up veggies (cucumbers and snap peas are a favourite) with hummus, sliced fruit (usually cantaloupe and pineapple), apple sauce pouches, juice boxes, plenty of water and… cookies!

At just 5g sugar per serving, My First Bear Paws cookies are made better, so your child can snack better. With no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners and peanut-free, they are the perfect snack to pack into your picnic bag. They are now available in a new stand up resealable bag for easy snacking, and packing back into your bag at the end of your park visit.

As the spring temperatures can still be unpredictable, it’s important to dress for the weather. A light sweater, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and appropriate shoes are a must. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray (if needed). 

Don’t forget the other essentials - a picnic blanket, cooler, plates and cutlery. I don’t use disposables with picnics because there may not always be a trashcan or recycling bin near by. I keep a small plastic bag in my picnic basket for any trash we accumulate.

Lastly, the picnic location. These active kiddos won’t sit still for long, so it’s important to find a picnic area that has something to offer them — like a splash pad, pool or, in our case, playground. And if not, I suggest packing up a few activities or toys to occupy them while you eat. While our park does have a pool and playground, it’s always fun to bring buckets and shovels to play in the sand. A soccer ball, frisbee and bubbles are also guaranteed a fun time. 

Our baby- and toddler-friendly picnic list:

  • Blanket
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Wipes
  • Wide-brimmed hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Reusable plates and cutlery
  • Water (in reusable bottles)
  • Wagon
  • Cooler bag
  • Buckets and shovels
  • Bubbles 
  • Soccer ball
  • Frisbee
  • Food

While the picnicking part itself may last all of five minutes, and the prep may seem longer than the reward, the reward of picnicking with a toddler and baby comes in seeing big sister share one of her favourite spots with little sister for the very first time. And that better first, makes it all worth it. 

What are some of the firsts that you have enjoyed watching? I'd love to hear!

*Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Dare’s My First Bear Paws and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.


baby friendly park picnic tips

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