(Family Features) - Whether it's a trip to the park or an impromptu backyard barbecue, family outings invite lasting memories. However, it can be a struggle to pencil in the time. Kathy Peel, Lloyd's Barbeque Company Family Manager, has compiled a list of tips to help create events the family will remember for years to come.
"As a mother, I'm constantly looking for easy ways to incorporate activities that will lead to lifelong memories for my children," Peel said. "One of my favorite activities is having a picnic; they're fun, easy to prepare for and perfect anytime of the year."
- Update your list. Keep an ongoing grocery list in a prominent spot in the kitchen so everyone can record needs. When you're preparing dinner or packing a picnic, have one family member check on staples and add to the list.
- Assess your time frame. Can you take off for the park for some leisurely fun or does your child need to study for a test tonight? If the latter is the case, picnicking in your own backyard will still leave time for homework.
What's a picnic without food? Here are some family-friendly ideas:
- Hot Barbeque Sub Sandwiches - These are good for a picnic at the park. Bring a pre-made barbeque mixture and build your sandwich on site. Line up sandwich buns on a long piece of aluminum foil to toast your sandwiches on the grill.
- Grape Ice - Add pizzazz to fruity summer drinks by using frozen grapes as a substitute for ice cubes.
- Indoor S'mores - For a fun indoor picnic, top graham crackers with peanut butter, chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows and heat in the microwave.
Activities make the picnic, and the kids will treasure these:
- Story Time - Set out blankets in the back yard and tell a continuing story-an exciting drama or a hilarious comedy. One family member starts the story, and each person after that adds more to the adventure.
- Stargaze - Look at the sky and create your own constellations. When gazing at the stars, ask your child what he or she sees in the way of people, animals or common objects.
- Spuzzles - Secure a piece of tape across several wooden Popsicle(tm) sticks (set side-by-side). Turn the sticks over and draw a picture with markers. Remove the tape and mix up the sticks. Then, put the picture back together to solve the "spuzzle."
The Lloyds® toolkit is available online at www.lloydsbbq.com/PicnicAnytime.