Let's Have a Preschool Picnic

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Here are some ideas for having a picnic with young children in your preschool program. Remember picnics can be just as fun indoors on a dreary day.

Start out by decorating your own picnic blanket. An old flat sheet works best. Let the children paint on the sheet using either tempra or fabric paints!

Picnic Games and Movement Activities

Hungry Ant: Have children sit in a circle. In the middle of the circle have a variety of picnic items such as napkins, a thermos, a paper plate, a sandwich, a fork, a banana etc. Have all the children close their eyes. Select one child to be the "Hungry Ant." That child removes one item and hides it behind their back. When children open their eyes have them guess what the "Hungry Ant" took away.


Picnic Tossing: Have children take turns tossing plastic play food into a picnic basket. Keep moving the basket farther away to see how far they can throw the items.

Ants go Marching: Play the song 'The Ants Go Marching' and let children march around room or outdoor area.

Picnic Songs

Let's Pack a Picnic Basket

A-tisket, A-tasket,
Let's pack a picnic basket.
We'll fill it up with food to munch.
What's in our picnic lunch?

Ants at the Picnic (tune: "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!

Picnic Books

  • A Summer Picnic by Richard Scarry
  • Little Critter's the Picnic by Mercer Mayer
  • Once Upon a Picnic by John Prater
  • The Bears Picnic by Stan and Jan Berenstai

Picnic Art

Ketchup and Mustard Bottle Painting: Fill empty ketchup bottles with red paint and empty mustard bottles with yellow paint. Let children create their own designs or drawings on construction paper.


Picnic Placemats: Have children dip small, square sponges in red paint then stamp onto white paper in checkerboard format. When dry, glue ant pictures or plastic ants or ant stickers to the placemats to add some character.

How to Make a Paper Plate Watermelon: From FamilyCrafts.com: Make a craft that looks like a slice of watermelon using a paper plate and real watermelon seeds.

Ant Thumbprints: Make thumbprints with black paint or an inkpad. When dry, add legs and faces and other scenery.

Picnic Math

Picnic Sorting: Place a picnic basket and a toy tub in the middle of the floor. Give each children a brown bag with an item in it. One at a time, have the children open their bag and decide if it is a picnic item or not. If it is a picnic item, have them place in the picnic basket. If it is not a picnic item, have them place in the toy tub. At the end, count to see which category has more items.


Picnic Sorting: Cut about 4 shapes of picnic foods 1-4" in size from construction paper. (Example: chicken leg, cookie, strawberry, watermelon slice, hot dog, ear of corn). Using plastic ants, see how many ants it takes to cover each food and record answer.


Picnic Science

Watermelon Exploration: In your science area, add watermelon seeds and a large watermelon to touch and explore.