First, claim a bit of the forest floor for yourself and your family. You want a blanket that is handsome but machine washable (because: food, forest, kids). You also need it to cover a good amount of space so that nobody is left to make a seat of leaves and sticks—this one succeeds on all counts.
You aren’t a pack of wild dogs. Just because you’re eating al fresco doesn’t mean you must eat from the ground. Elevate your meal with this stunning and easily packable table in a bag. The legs simply screw into the table top (sans tools) to make an elegant wooden setting.
Because these are summer picnic memories your children will carry with them through life, how about making the basket an heirloom to pass down with them? This one is handwoven in New England by a 163-year-old company.
With every great kid-friendly picnic comes a great mocktail. Treat your kids to a thermos of Shirley Temples. But instead of playing roulette with the germs your dear kids may be harboring, pour everyone their own cup of grenadined bliss. You can even choose a different watercolor design for each family member so that there are no more tantrums about which cup belongs to whom.
Do away with wasteful paper towels by providing each picnicker with their own individual cloth napkin (this is a good trick for dining in the home too). You have children so you do laundry on the regular; what’s a small handful of cloth napkins to add to the load?
Unless you brilliantly put together an Ethiopian feast or you bought burritos from your nearest taqueria, chances are you will want a fork for this meal. Finally, some versatile flatware that works well for kids and that adults can use without the risk of self-infantilization.
Put all of your items in your (collapsible) picnic wagon. This puppy folds up to the size of a pack and play but when unfolded, can wheel around your small kiddos and your picnic supplies. The sturdy tires are great for gentle “off-roading” to get to the part of the park that is free from college students who started drinking at 11 am.