The next piece ofequipment is something tosit on, which reduces your chance of putting your bottom down on an ants’ nest.
These things to sit on could be cushions and a blanketor folding chairs – whatever is easiest to carry.
A lot of picnic food can beeaten without plates, if you plan properly, but it’s wiseto slip in a couple of plates to prepare food on, especially if your picnic involves anything that needs to be sliced or cut.
As children learn by watching (one of the key principles of Montessori learning), it’s best if youdon’t slice the tomatoes in your hand,
even if you can – this is something that you don’t really want them trying to do. Picnic plates come inthree types – plastic, paper and china.
If you prefer not to risk yourchinaware, then plastic andpaper are the other options.
Of the two, paper is better, as it is biodegradable, meaning that you can stickit in a compost heap or rip it up to use as tinder with a charcoal barbecue, if you have one.
Paper plates are also goodadditions to a make-and-docraft box for small children: punch a couple of holes in the side, add string, cut eyeholes and decorate thefront and you have a mask.
If you have to get plastic, look for sturdier plasticplates rather than the flimsy sort that cracks easily and can only get used once or twice.
Plastic plates also havetheir uses for encouragingchildren’s artwork, as they make great palettes for mixing colours.
However, if you want to stick to Montessori principles and not mix equipment, it’s best todesignate a special plastic platefor use with the paint rather than getting out one of the plates set aside for picnics.
You will also needsomewhere to put the food as you dish it out.
In a lot of parks, you can find handy picnic tables, but if you’re finding yourown spot or going in yourgarden, then you’ll need a blanket to spread out for the food to go on.
Alternatively, just keep the food in the esky and usethe closed lid as a table to prepare food on, if you need to.
Picnic is always fun atFridays Child Montessori