We recently discovered a new family fun favourite activity: an indoor picnic!
A few weeks ago, we had a very busy Saturday. By the time we got home, no one was overly motivated to do anything and I was particularly unmotivated to make dinner. We didn’t want takeout as no one was very hungry. I hadn’t taken anything out of the freezer. So I had to make do with what I could find in the fridge. Then the lightbulb dinged with a great idea: Grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices and a movie, all in the form of a picnic in the living room.
I mentioned the idea of a movie during dinner and my daughter got very excited. We don’t watch TV during dinner, it’s a household rule. She assumed that meant we were going to eat at the dinner table which is in plain sight of the living room TV. Then I told her my bright idea for a picnic in the living room. I have never seen my four year old’s eyes light up like that!
In today’s day and age, we all think we have to go above and beyond for our kids to give the impression of being the best parents ever. But despite the current times, our kids are still just kids. They crave the simpler things in life and oftentimes we forget that. Sure, you can plan that Disney trip with all the character dining or take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese. Will they love it? Sure. But I’ll tell you what else they love: quality time spent with mom & dad.
It’s not enjoyable for kids to sit around the dinner table and discuss their day with their parents. We need to breathe a little fun into their lives in a simpler way. Connect with them on their level: literally. When you are all sitting on the floor eating grilled cheese sandwiches, you become more of a friend and trusted confidant than that bossy parent telling them to eat their peas.
It doesn’t take much to have an indoor picnic. We laid out blankets and pillows and favourite stuffies. Whip up a simple, kid-friendly meal with a low mess-factor. We’ve had a few picnics now and I usually opt for grilled cheese sandwiches or chicken fingers. Kids don’t always want to eat their greens so sometimes it’s okay to just have their favourite fruit with dinner. Apple slices are a go-to in my house. Both kids love them and they won’t stain your furniture or floors. It’s perfectly acceptable to throw a little junk in there as well: potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, whatever salty snack your kids love.
Put in a movie that will make everyone happy. We’ve watched Bambi, The Secret Life of Pets and next up will probably be Finding Dory! Miss O requests a picnic dinner on the weekends and we usually oblige. It’s a great way to wind down if you’ve been go-go-going all weekend.
If you just want to set the kids up for a picnic and enjoy your dinner later, Holly has a fantastic & simple date night in you can have with your partner once the kids are in bed.
What are some fun family dinners in your home?
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.