Parenting advice clearly indicates the need to plan trips with the kids, taking children to places that blend family time with the outdoors. For parents, planning a picnic shouldn’t be difficult as long as they have invested some time in creating a work-life balance. Sunny days and a holiday or even a weekend, usually makes for the perfect picnicking opportunity with the family. During winters, friends usually want days when the sun blesses us with its warm energy. Overall, such short day-trips are very efficient at giving the parents a vital break from the boredom of their daily schedule too. And there is no reason to Google the top picnic spots in your area as any playground, camping ground, or an outdoor trail with greenery and some basic facilities can be a good spot. However, families need to understand one thing—all picnic spots are not equally safe and they need to do some groundwork.
First, Some Wisdom for Identifying Good Picnic Destinations
While historical places, monuments and the banks of waterways have been the preference of Indian families for a long time, now families are looking for forested trails, somewhat isolated hillocks, and well-networked islands. Travel planners often get requests for travel groups searching for picnicking packages at bird sanctuaries like Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (Rajasthan) or the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (Kerala). Lately, some waterfall locales have also emerged as a trending location for Indian families planning picnics that are usually not more than a day-long trip. This includes locales like the Tamhini Falls of Kolad (Pune, Maharashtra).
Now, the Wisdom: Understanding Hazard is not an Adventure
This might sound like amateur advice, but you need to inform close friends or someone you trust about the picnic. Don’t leave the updates hanging for Facebook posts or WhatsApp status updates. The fact remains that the weather can be unpredictable. With a group that has kids you might run into a medical scare. You need to inform someone you feel is smart enough to call-in the help needed during a crisis. While it is a good practice to keep the smartphone on Mute mode, ensure that your location is shared as preparedness for the worst. With the kids, you can no longer assume that a picnic gone wrong will turn into a mighty adventure—be more responsible as a parent.
4 Picnic Planning & Safety Tips
1. Always Sanitised: Keep Yourself Clean & Watch-out for the Unseen
It sounds weird when you are going to spend a whole day at a campsite or picnic spot but sanity is critical to safeguard yourself against biting insects, invading animals, and keeping away bacterial or viral infections that can instantly bring about sneezing, runny noses, sore throats, or allergic reactions. Carrying a good hand sanitizer is recommended. Ensure the kids use it every time they are about to eat something. You are essentially using a location that will be used by others too. So, don’t litter the place. This is also a good way to teach the kids a thing or two about basic manners and social discipline. Coming back to the safety protocol – if the picnic location includes rides that are located near dustbins or have easily visible threats like an ant/termite hills or stagnant water that can invite insects, keep away the kids. The ground where you plan to spread the lunch should be inspected for hard, sharp, edgy, and exposed tips that can cause serious injuries. You might want to invest in a carry & use type of mat that provides an insulated and secure seating space no matter how bad the ground conditions are. When using the public facilities, carrying soap strips or medicated hand-rub/disinfectant is a good idea.
2. Keep it Covered: Think Comfort, Protection, Playfulness in Clothing
Run an online search for picnic safety tips and you are bound to run into results that over-hype the need to carry sunburn protection and SPF lotions that have been tested for sensitive skin of the children. However, not all picnics happen during the summer. Not all locations are baked under the sun or happen to be dripping wet. What you need is a basic understanding of how to layer-up, ensuring the clothing helps you relax, unwind and stay protected. Mosquito Repellent Clothing This is why carrying inner and outerwear is vital.
You need more layering options. This means that when it gets cold, you can layer-up with jackets or when the sun is beating down you can take-off the shirt and play around in a summer tee. There is no sense in carrying too many fashion accessories. If playing cricket or hide-and-seek or just running around is going to be an essential part of the afternoon fun, choose apparel with some degree of stretchability. If you are going to camp-up during the evening hours, ensure carrying some lowers or shorts that make it easy to lie down. Choosing full-sleeved clothes is a good option as it ensures more coverage, helping to keep away the threat of insect bites.
3. Handpick Foods: Pack Light, Choose Easy Carry/Serve – Don’t Dine!
Sunny days and the hot wind can easily spoil the best cooked meals if you allow food to sit out. However, you shouldn’t have carried well laid-out meals in the first place. This is not the place to recreate fine dining experiences. It is much better to have easy-to-carry snacks, including packaged snacks that have already been diced into bite-sized proportions. Light foods are as important as keeping yourself hydrated. Keep drinking water and other healthy beverages, and ensure that the kids take a sip every hour or so. Popular picnic destinations will have food being sold on roadside stalls but who guarantees the purity of food? Nourishing and hydrating fruits like watermelons, oranges, and lemons are a smart choice. If you have been carrying food inside an ice-box or cooler, don’t trust the food to survive for a long time. Packing biscuits, tea dips, and chocolates is easy and helps to keep the kids happy. Use easy-to-disposable serve-ware like paper plates that can be responsibly dumped.
4. Safety Matters: First Aid Boxes & Protective Outerwear
Picnics mean a lot of fun with the kids more than curious to climb trees and explore unguarded locations. Big groups invariably run into some bruises, cuts, and sprains. This is why carrying a first aid box for emergency-like situations is a good idea. If the troop is going to include the family dog, ensure that any kid with animal fur allergies has some anti-allergic medication. Similarly, insect stings and bites can become painful and infected. But you need to think beyond the scope of treating insect bites. Why even allow them and risk your kid being rushed to the hospital with a serious viral infection like dengue? You need to identify a smarter answer to the problem. Something like BugShield Clothing can help. Available in sizes for the entire family, these clothes have decent outdoor protection performance and awesome, insect-repelling capabilities. Rather than wasting money on skin lotions and mosquito roll-ons, choose BugShield apparels where the treated fabrics repel the most threatening mosquito species!
Some Concluding Thoughts
Playgrounds with the best online reviews and family caravanning locations boasting of the best facilities cannot guarantee a happy picnic if you are not prepared. Keeping it simple is as critical as investing in insect-protection apparels. Don’t complicate things with heavy camping supplies unless you plan to set-up base and hike unforgiving mountain peaks with the kids tied to your back! Ensure that every storage space in the car or the family vehicle is used to carry stuff that the kids will really need. This doesn’t include a tablet PC or a foot massager for yourself. Enjoy this time with your family with just a dab of caution to ensure everyone comes back in good health.
She is adored for her witty comebacks and undying commitment towards sarcasm. Dark humor comes easy to her and so does interactive writing. She is acing life and adulting the same way everyone else is—by relying on caffeine, science fiction movies and sitcoms. PS: She loves Japanese Manga and Classic Literature.