Why Picnics are Important

Many years ago, parenting and homeschooling could sometimes seem rather overwhelming, Some days my children refused to do what I asked. Or everyone needed me at exactly the same moment. Or I felt so tired I didn’t want to do anything at all. It sometimes became too much and I wanted to run away. “I’ve had enough!” I’d yell before running outside. 

I’d sit on the garden wall, my body stiff with tension. Then gradually as I calmed down, I’d notice the warm sunshine soaking into my skin, and the flowers blooming alongside the wall. I’d glance up and see my children peering nervously at me through the window. Then all of a sudden, I’d jump up and shout: “Make some sandwiches. We’re going on a picnic!”

The crisis was over. I’d remembered what was most important: my children. We were a family. We were supposed to enjoy each other. And that’s exactly what we were going to do: We were going to leave the problems at home and go on a picnicking adventure.

Eventually I left that stressful life behind. I stopped trying to make my kids do things other people thought important. Instead I listened to my children and their needs. And my own. Of course by that time, I’d discovered unschooling.

These days I rarely get all worked up over unimportant things. But we still go on picnics. We go on lots of them. I don’t wait until we need a break from our routine before suggesting we set off on an adventure. I try to take advantage of every suitable picnic moment.

We grab the picnic basket and fill it with food. We pack the sunscreen and make sure we have our cameras. Of course Nora is coming too. She climbs into the car and stretches her long doggy body on the middle seat next to Charlotte.  Sophie and Gemma-Rose are in the back, and Imogen is in the front. We are ready. Off we go!

Soon we are at the park.

Imogen hands out sandwiches filled with potato salad and ham and cheese.

Charlotte fills cups with coffee or icy cold water.

Then we eat.

And when we can’t fit in another mouthful, we go for a walk.

We take photos…

 of ducks…

and flowers…

and each other.

When we go on a picnic, we get outside and enjoy nature: We observe flowers and birds and trees, and how everything changes with the seasons. We practise our photography skills. We stroll along paths and down bush trails, breathing in fresh air and exercising our legs. And while we are doing all of this, we talk and talk about all kinds of things. We link arms and smile. We soak up all the pleasure of living in the moment. We love and enjoy and the bonds between us grow stronger.

And that’s why picnics are important.

So when was the last time you went on a picnic? Do you have a favourite picnic place? And what do you like to pack into your picnic basket for lunch?

The Angels of Abbey Creek

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  1. Reply

    Now! I need a picnic now! School began again after a rainy autumn holidays, which was so stuffed wiht family and visits that we had barely time to relax and enjoy. If the sun keeps on shining, I'll go shopping with the Owlets, leaving the local supermarked to decide what'll be in our picnic basket today. We're not going far, just to the local woods – MY woods! – hoping to find some mushrooms and peace of mind.

    1. Reply


      It sounds like you need a holiday to recover from your holiday! I love quiet holidays with lots of time to relax. But seeing family is good too!

      Your picnic food is similar to ours. We go on lots of impromptu picnics and so don't have time to cook anything special. We just pick up food from the supermarket on the way to our destination.

      I bet your woods are beautiful at the moment. Yes, mushrooms under the trees after the rain! I hope you enjoyed your picnic!

  2. Reply

    It looks like you had a sunnier day than us, today. We've been swinging between summer and winter, over the past weeks, but a picnic sounds like a nice idea whatever the weather.

    Nice photos, Sue πŸ™‚

    1. Reply


      Our weather has been like yours. We are back at winter again at the moment. I actually wrote this post a few days ago. The photos were taken on Charlotte's birthday. It was winter when the day started and summer when it ended!

      Oh yes! Picnics are good whatever the weather. We've had some great picnics in the car in the rain!

  3. Reply

    Picnics really are wonderful! We used to go on so many as a family when I was growing up. I have also done it with my children, though not as much. I do try to get us outside on adventures though. We go for walks, we play games, we discover. The fresh air, the sunshine, and the lovely world we live in help me to relax and to "Carpe Diem" πŸ™‚

    Your girls always look so nice in the pictures..

    Hope your day is filled with joy! <3

    1. Reply

      Virginia Sue,

      Picnics are great occasions for making happy family memories!

      I wonder what you discover when you go on an adventure. I always discover how much I enjoy spending time with my children!

      Thank you for your kind words about the girls. They were wearing their birthday smiles. When we're happy we always look good!

      I hope you had a joyful day too!

    • Anonymous
    • April 14, 2017

    I love the idea of more picnics. I have never heard of a potato salad sandwich. We have egg salad though.

    1. Reply

      I don’t know if anyone else eats potato salad sandwiches. One day we bought a container of potato salad from a delicatessen and spooned it into fresh rolls. Delicious! It’s become a family favourite. I also love egg salad!

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