How to throw an indoor picnic with the kids

Bringing your picnic indoors.
Bringing your picnic indoors. Photo: Getty

Picnics are always great fun and you don’t have to let the weather stop you from enjoying one.

Indoor picnics are a lovely way to change up your usual routine with your children and it could add some excitement on a rainy school holiday day.

The added bonus is you don’t even have to leave the house.

The key to making this a fun family activity is to have your children help out with as much of the preparations as they can.

This will help build their excitement and keep them interested: Better yet, with some extra help you’ll be ready to picnic in no time.

Preparing your picnic room

To make cleaning afterwards easier it would be best to pick a room with floorboards or tiles, and choose a room you don’t mind rearranging. A lounge, dining room or even a kid’s play room would be perfect.

First, push most of the furniture to the sides of the room, so you have a big empty space in the centre. Collect a number of different tablecloths and get your children to help spread them out to cover the floor.

If you’re going to be dining on carpet, it would be wise to use a waterproof picnic rug or a cheap plastic table cloth to avoid stains.

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Even though you’re inside, proper picnic crockery and cutlery is a must. Buy brightly coloured plastic plates and wooden disposable cutlery for an authentic feel. 

If you have camping gear, even better: Nothing says picnic like enamel cups and plates.

Picnic Food 

It wouldn’t be a picnic without the proper picnic food. As well as the standard fare – what would a picnic be without coleslaw or potato salad? – it’s also an excuse to make some fun finger food with the help of your little ones.

Fruit kebabs are great fun, and easy for little hands to assemble.

Pre-cut a variety of different fruit like banana, watermelon and strawberries and place them in a bowl. Add some washed grapes, and you can even include marshmallows in the selection.

All you need to do now is hand your children some skewers and let them assemble the kebabs any way they like.

Because you have the comfort of all the indoor amenities including a full kitchen, it’s a nice opportunity to add some warmer dishes to your picnic menu.

Ham and pineapple pizza wheels would be a tasty addition to your picnic and perfect for a cooler day.

If you want a quicker option, sandwich scrolls are a delicious variation on the standard and your children can make them themselves.

Simply cut the crusts off square loaf bread (whichever variety you prefer) and provide your children with various fillings: pickle spread, tzatiki, cheese, ham, shredded chicken and salami all work. 

To assemble the scrolls, thinly cover the slice of bread with whichever fillings you like and roll it up, securing in place with toothpicks. You can then slice the scrolls like sushi and turn them into individual, bite-sized sandwiches.

Meatballs are another great dish which importantly won’t leave your floor covered in crumbs. Try chicken meatballs for something a little different, and serve them with a yoghurt dip.

Because everything miniature is instantly more fun mini pita pizzas are another great picnic addition. The bonus of these mini pizzas is children of most ages can assemble their own special pizza.

For drinks, you could make your own lemonade or even a big thermos of (warm) hot chocolate.

Then it’s just a matter of everyone helping themselves to some tasty treats as you dine inside, picnic-style.