Take advantage of the outdoor setting by organizing active, picnic games that your children can play in the park or in your backyard. Whether you're organizing the event as a casual gathering for friends and family or hosting the picnic for a birthday, holiday celebration or school function, devise outdoor party games that also give the children a chance to expend energy and calories from the meal.
Let the children test their taste buds, eat healthy foods and exercise at the same time with a food tasting contest. Set up five tables around the park, each supervised by an adult. Give each child a piece of paper as an answer sheet for the picnic game. When a child runs to table number one, blindfold him and let him taste a food, such as a carrot, piece of raw broccoli or a piece of cheese. Ask the child to write the name of the food by the corresponding number on his paper. When all of the children have visited each station in the food-themed game, provide the answers to see who got the most correct. Before choosing foods for the kids' picnic game, check with parents to ensure the children don't have any allergies.
Food Throwing Contest
Allow the children test their throwing skills with a fun party game that also let's them play with their food. Place five shallow bowls on the grass as targets for the picnic games. Give each child 10 food items, such as pretzels or wrapped pieces of candy. Instruct each player to throw the food toward the targets to see who can get the most to land inside a target.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
If you're holding the family picnic at a park, organize a scavenger hunt that requires guests to capture specific images. Begin the outdoor party game by dividing the children into teams and giving each group a digital camera and a list of items and tasks. Require the teams to take a picture of six children forming a human pyramid, a bag of carrot sticks or someone sleeping, for example. Award a prize to the first team to return with all of the required images on the camera's memory card. If you're playing the picnic games with younger children, let an adult accompany each team to take the pictures.
Create outdoor party games that use recycled materials from the picnic. Reuse plastic fruit juice or water bottles to devise family picnic games, such as bowling. Line up 10 bottles in a row and give each player three tennis balls to see who can roll them and knock down the most "pins." Create kids picnic games for teams by letting the team members roll balls at the same time to see which group can knock down all of its bottles in the shortest time.