Did you know that April 22 is National Picnic Day? Luckily, you don't have to wait until National Picnic Day to enjoy an alfresco lunch! And you've got the perfect picnic area right outside your back door. This week, I have some ideas for making your backyard picnics simple and enjoyable. Try out these ideas and enjoy!
A Waterproof Picnic Blanket
Part of the fun of having a spring picnic is sitting on the ground for a bird's-eye view of the flowers, trees, and plants all around you. If you don't have a picnic blanket, you can use a bed sheet, quilt, or throw blanket. Get a shower curtain liner to put under your blanket to protect it from moisture on the ground.
A Muffin Pan for Side Dishes
Chances are good that you have a muffin pan or two in your pantry at home. Use it to hold side dishes and extras such as deviled eggs, pickles, banana peppers, or tomato and onion slices. These and other slippery food items are less likely to end up in the grass when they're kept in the cups of a muffin pan. If you have it, I'd use a muffin pan with a lid so you can protect your food from flies.
Even the lightest of breezes can scatter the stack of paper napkins you bring out for your picnic. So why not make a simple napkin-holder that will keep them from floating away? A tin cookie box with a lid also makes for a great place to store your napkins while you're enjoying the outdoors. Or you could always place a paperweight on top of your stack of napkins to keep it together.
A Soap Dispenser for Sunscreen
It's a good idea to have sunscreen available for both the kids and adults at your picnic. Instead of taking a bottle or tube of sunscreen outside, pour some of it into an old soap dispenser bottle. Whenever someone needs sunscreen, the person can pump the handle, allowing a few dollops to fall right into their palm.
A Portable CD Player for Tunes
If you want to add some ambiance to your backyard picnic, get a portable CD player and set it nearby. Be sure to get a stack of CDs with music for every taste. Or if you have a laptop, get it charged up and stream music from your favorite radio station.
A Dish Rack for Used Dishes and Silverware
As an alternative to paper plates and plastic utensils, use plates and utensils from your own kitchen. This is environmentally friendly, and you won't have to deal with your paper plate folding up under the weight of your burger, hot dog, coleslaw, chips, baked beans, and other picnic goodies. Take a dish rack outside so you'll have somewhere to put the dirty dishes and silverware when your family and friends finish eating.
And here's one last handy tip: Mix water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle to use around your picnic area. The fragrance of peppermint will make the ants think twice about joining your party. Thanks for reading! - Alan