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Catherine’s Picks: Toddler Picnic Essentials

Before we know it, sweater weather will be in full swing as the leaves start changing colors. But there’s still time to soak up the last sweet days of summer with a fun and simple picnic with your little one – so grab some supplies and head outside!

Our co-founder Catherine Jaxon rounded up her must-have toddler picnic essentials to keep their tiny hands busy and their tummies full – and make sure cleaning up is a breeze for you. Pro tip: backyard or park picnics also make great playdates (so you can catch up with a friend, too!).

Oversized Picnic Blanket

We love this oversized, water-resistant picnic blanket (bonus: it’s machine-washable and dryer-friendly!). Easily wipe up any messes or spills, and with 79” x 79” dimensions, it’s plenty big enough for a large group or the whole fam! When you’re all done, it quickly folds up to a compact size with a convenient carrying handle so you can just roll and go. We all know moms often feel like sherpas – this is so lightweight, you’ll barely notice the extra 2.6 pounds.

Egg Carton Snacks

For this fun and sensory distraction activity, you’ll just need to check your fridge or recycling bin! Repurpose an empty egg carton and fill it with snacks…then watch the magic happen as your toddler spends time exploring the variety of foods. For added Insta-worthy zhush, drop a cute cardboard menu in the top of the carton. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, consider a reusable plastic option with 18 slots for snacks (...we see more picnics in your future).

We all know that the snack selection makes the picnic! The beauty of this egg carton activity is that you can grab whatever is in your pantry – and use up some of those near-empty snack pouches. We use options like dried berry mix, freeze dried strawberries and apples, yogurt melts, MightyMe Peanut Butter Puffs and Nut Butter Puffs (the stars of the show!) and Goldfish.

Sticker Books

Stickers are your best friend at a picnic! Larger options like the paperback First 100 Animals Sticker Book (with 500 stickers) ensure you’ll be well-stocked for a while. Train those attention spans and help little ones develop fine motor skills with a sticker book to keep them occupied, entertained and focused.

Hat for mama, hat for little

Even on overcast days as the weather is cooling down, sun safety is key outdoors! Keep little scalps and necks protected with a hat like i play’s Flap Sun Protection Hat, offering UPF 50+ sun protection (available in tons of cute colors) – and don’t forget a wide brim option for yourself. 

Scavenger Hunt

Feeling adventurous after your picnic? This Mollybee Outdoor Toddler Scavenger Hunt features 20 cards with cute, colorful prompts that will tap into your little one’s natural interest in the outdoor world (recommended for ages 2+). Great for exploring at the park or the playground!

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