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Picnic Perfection

It won’t be long until summer is here, and with the warmer weather come more chances to get outdoors and relax.

Anywhere outside on a sunny day is good for a picnic, whether it’s a park, the beach or even your back garden.

If you have a cricket player in your family, a picnic is the perfect activity so you can support your cricketer while keeping the rest of the family entertained and happy.

Picnicking can be as elaborate and sophisticated or as relaxed and casual as you want it to be.

But no matter what style of picnic suits you and your family, you’re going to need some basic equipment.

First of all comes what you’re going to take the food in.

A wickerwork picnic basket is traditional for picnicking English style, but given the climate here on the Gold Coast, an esky is usually a whole lot better.

Lukewarm cucumbers aren’t particularly appetising.

The next piece of equipment is something to sit on, which reduces your chance of putting your bottom down on an ants’ nest.

These things to sit on could be cushions and a blanket or folding chairs – whatever is easiest to carry.

A lot of picnic food can be eaten without plates, if you plan properly, but it’s wise to slip in a couple of plates to prepare food on, especially if your picnic involves anything that needs to be sliced or cut.

As children learn by watching (one of the key principles of Montessori learning), it’s best if you don’t slice the tomatoes in your hand,

even if you can – this is something that you don’t really want them trying to do. Picnic plates come in three types – plastic, paper and china.

If you prefer not to risk your chinaware, then plastic and paper are the other options.

Of the two, paper is better, as it is biodegradable, meaning that you can stick it in a compost heap or rip it up to use as tinder with a charcoal barbecue, if you have one.

Paper plates are also good additions to a make-and-do craft box for small children: punch a couple of holes in the side, add string, cut eyeholes and decorate the front and you have a mask.

If you have to get plastic, look for sturdier plastic plates rather than the flimsy sort that cracks easily and can only get used once or twice.

Plastic plates also have their uses for encouraging children’s artwork, as they make great palettes for mixing colours.

However, if you want to stick to Montessori principles and not mix equipment, it’s best to designate a special plastic plate for use with the paint rather than getting out one of the plates set aside for picnics.

You will also need somewhere to put the food as you dish it out.

In a lot of parks, you can find handy picnic tables, but if you’re finding your own spot or going in your garden, then you’ll need a blanket to spread out for the food to go on.

Alternatively, just keep the food in the esky and use the closed lid as a table to prepare food on, if you need to.

Picnic is always fun at Fridays Child Montessori

Picnic Perfection  
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