This is a great play idea to teach your child about a traditional and popular outdoor (or indoor) activity.
STEP 1: Explain the overall picnic concept to your child, i.e., traditionally held outdoors with family and friends. Suggest different types of food that can be eaten easily outdoors on the grass and ask your child to think of what they would want to eat at a picnic.
STEP 2: Ask your child to go through your kitchen closets and take out the food items and/or use play food you may have in the house. (If there are any other items you want to include but don’t have “real” examples, suggest drawing them out on paper and coloring them to include.)
STEP 3: Pack all the food and the place setting items into the picnic basket and go outside to a pre-determined picnic area.
STEP 4: Help your child set out the blanket on the grass (or if playing indoors, set the blanket out on the floor).
STEP 5: After you both set out the blanket, have your child set out the place settings with the plates, cups etc.
STEP 6: Invite friends (real, stuffed and/or pretend) to join in the fun. Go around the blanket and suggest each friend choose a food to eat. Make it a memorable afternoon!