Preschool Picnic Theme

National Picnic Day is April 23

Book List

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Songs & Fingerplays

Ants at a Picnic

Ants, Ants everywhere
Ants on my apple,
Ants on my pear.
Ants at a picnic
Are not so great.
I see five crawling
On my plate!

Picnic in the Park - sung to "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain"

Yes, we'll all go on
A picnic in the park.
Yes, we'll all go on
A picnic in the park.
Bring some lunch
And bring a ball.
There will be
Such fun for all!
Yes, we'll all go on
A picnic in the park.

~ Barbara Paxson

The Picnic Basket - sung to "Pop! Goes the Weasel"

Put salad, soda, and sandwiches in,
Forks and plates and cups.
Our picnic basket is filled to the top.
But I can't pick it up!

I'll eat some salad and sandwiches, too,
I'll drink some soda pop.
Now my basket's not so full,
And I can pick it up!

~Deborah Zumbar

Ants at the Picnic - sung to "Skip to My Lou"

Ants at the picnic, what'll I do?
Ants at the picnic, what'll I do?
Ants at the picnic, what'll I do?
Guess I will eat real quickly!

~Betty Silkunas

The Picnic Basket - sung to "The Mulberry Bush"

Here we go round
The picnic basket,
The picnic basket,
The picnic basket.
Here we go round
The picnic basket,
So early
In the morning.

Arts & Crafts

Make A Picnic

Duplicate picnic basket patterns on white construction paper. Have the children decorate, paint, or color the baskets as they choose. After the children have cut the baskets out, staple around the outer edge so the basket is sealed closed. Then give the children several magazines with a lot of food item pictures to choose from. The children may then choose the food they would like to take with them on a picnic. After cutting or tearing out the pictures and placing them in the basket, have a pretend picnic inside. Of course, this can become as elaborate as the caregiver and children wish. We have had at our picnics ants (raisins) and wooly worms on sprigs of greenery etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


We made placemats for our picnic tables today. We used wooden ABC blocks and card stock. Each child picked a color and dipped his/her block in it and then made a checkerboard print on their paper. I put their names in the bottom corner and laminated them when dried. They look like the red checked tablecloths you can buy.
~Submitted by Jeanette

Paper-Plate Lunches

Tear or cut pictures of nutritious foods out of magazines. Give each of your children a paper plate. Let the children brush glue on their plates. Then let them choose food pictures and place them on top of the glue. Display the plates on construction-paper "placemats," if desired.

Theme Ideas

Fancy Ants

Make an ant shape about the size of peanut from black, blue, red construction paper. With help pole 3 holes in the body. For the legs, place 2 paper fasteners into two holes next to each other and open to lie flat. Turn the ant over and place another paper fastener, point side up in the last hole. Bend back slightly. Draw some food on a paper plate, put the ants on the plate and place a magnet underneath. Make the ants crawl by moving the magnet.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Indoor Winter Picnic

Plan an indoor winter picnic Even in winter, it's not too early for summer fun. If your family gets the midwinter blahs every year with all the home and office cleaning and not much fun in the sun, lift your spirits with this "summertime without the mosquitoes" activity. Surprise your family with an indoor winter picnic. Spread out a checkered tablecloth on the dining room floor or in front of a fireplace. Serve cold chicken and potato salad, corn-on-the-cob, pickles, carrot sticks, and chips. Enjoy a fresh fruit salad or an ice cream bar for dessert. Wear summer shirts and hats and play summertime music on a tape recorder to set the mood. Tease the family by placing plastic ants or a plastic spider on an unsuspecting person's plate!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Memory Game

Have the children sit in a circle and start with the letter "A"

I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring (name something with an "A.") The next child has to remember what the "A" item was and add a "B" item, so on and so forth. It's fun when the children have to remember a bunch, you'll be really surprised as to how much they can remember.

GOING ON A PICNIC: Going on a picnic Leaving right away If it doesn't rain we'll stay all day. Did you bring the _____________(eg. lemonade). Yes, we brought the _____________ Did you bring the _____________ Yes, we brought the _____________... Going on a picnic HERE WE GO!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

A Simple Picnic

How about, simply having a picnic in the living room or any other room in the house with the children. Set up everything just as you were going to the park but go to the living room instead. My kids love to do this and we do it at least once every month especially on rainy days and even in the winter. Have fun!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Snowbank Picnic

Enjoy a snowbank picnic Whether your outing is skating at a frozen pond, snowshoeing in the woods, or cross-country skiing at a nature reserve, bring along a simple picnic to enjoy. When it's time to eat, spread out a blanket in a sunny area and gather your outdoor enthusiasts for a cozy meal. Everyone can savor a bowl of hot chili served with crusty bread, hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. For dessert, bring along citrus fruit or cookies with dates, raisins, and nuts.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Spring Picnic

Materials: blanket, picnic items --thermos, napkins, paper plates, cups, utensils, cooler, table cloth

Procedure: Choose a child to be a mischievous little squirrel who takes 1 item while the others cover their eyes. Children then try to guess which item is missing. Extension: Enjoy some picnic food after the game.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Blanket Picnic

Have a picnic on blankets -- children make their own sandwiches and pack them with junior juices (drinking boxes) in brown paper bags. Children bring their teddy bears to school. Dance to the song "Teddy Bears Picnic" with their teddy bears.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Picnic Bulletin Board

Give each student a paper plate. Have students dip apple and pear halves in paint and stamp them on their plates to make fruit paints. Have students glue five plastic ants (or dried black beans) to their dry plate. Staple a large tablecloth to a bulletin board and staple the decorated plates around the tablecloth's edge. Cut a large rectangle from yellow butcher paper and staple in the center of the tablecloth. On the rectangle write the following poem "Ants at a Picnic" (see Songs & Fingerplays above).

Snack Picnic

Prepare healthful snacks like grapes, carrot sticks, orange slices, apple slices, celery sticks filled with peanut butter, and bits of cheese. Invite your children to help wash, peel, and slice. Children enjoy preparing these treats. Pack everything in a basket for a picnic outside. This is even fun indoors on a rainy day or in front of a fireplace on a winter day.

Have a picture of a picnic basket ( a large one) and have children glue food onto it. You can also have a picture of a blanket next to it and glue people on it. Talk about actions, label foods, and actually plan to have a picnic of your own and talk about what you are going to do.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Fried chicken, watermelon, apple pie; Do you love picnics? So do I! Lemonade, root beer, chocolate cake, Lazy canoe rides along the lake. Games and singing -- let's square dance! And don't forget, at picnics, you'll have A N T S!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


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Picnic Theme Day - Family Theme Days

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