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Stuck on summer plans? Don’t sweat it!

The sun may be shining but don’t let that stop you from heading out for fun.  Beat the heat, sip an ice-cold drink, relax under a shaded tree and have a picnic!

Pick a day for picnicking this week and pair your family’s favorite food with these tips and snacks for a fun and stress-free afternoon lunch!

 

Picnic in a Pool

  • Kiddie pool
  • Blankets
  • Pillows

Don’t go spraying bug repellent or other chemicals around your food and picnic. Keep the marching ants out of your snacks, with this simple hack!

Head to the park or the yard to dust off the ol’ kiddie pool and find yourself underneath a shaded tree.

Next, arrange blankets as a base and pillows around the edges of the pool.

After settle in with snacks in your comfy, enclosed picnic area free of pesky pests!

Spritzer & Skewers

  • Assorted fruits, per preference.
  • Wooden skewers

Cool down at your picnic with this fruit stick spritzer.

Use your favorite fruit to personalize your fruit stick: from berries to apples and grapes to melons, get creative!

Cut fruit into bite size pieces and poke through the skewer.

Keep a few away inches from the bottom to form a handle.

Next fill up the skewer, form different fruity combinations of sweet and sour along the way!

Want even more possibilities? Sweeten with chocolate drizzle to over strawberries and bananas or spice up pineapples and watermelon topped with chamoy or Tajin!

 

Sun Tea

  • Drink pitcher
  • Tea
  • Water
  • Optional, sugar/fruit add-ins

Forget the sugary drinks and soda at home and bring refreshing ice-cold sun tea instead. 

Simply fill up a drink pitcher with water, any size will do here. Brew as much as you'll need for the picnic or save some for later. Typically I use a 1-gallon sized container. 

Next, select your tea. Per taste, use your favorite black, green, white or even herbal teas. Since there is a great variation use the instructions provided with your tea. Keep in mind that with more tea added than the more concentrated the tea will become. I'll use 6-8 normal-sized bags, or 4 family-sized bags in a 1-gallon pitcher.

Allow the sun to do all the work here in this seemingly DIY-less tea. Wait for the morning to heat up and pick an area in direct sunlight to place your pitcher. You'll want an area that is in sunlight for the duration of the brewing time. Let the tea steep for about 3-4 hours. Avoid over steeping or bitterness by checking periodically for flavor and stregnth of tea along the way. You may want to pull it sooner or allow it to sit for longer. 

Add some sugar for a little sweetening, lemon for a citric-kick, fresh mint or even steep with cinamon sticks for a refreshing twist on tea!

BONUS: Chill out! Put the fruit skewers in the freezer over night before infusing with your tea for a natural sweetner!

DIY Horseshoes

  • 11 Paper plates
  • 1 Paper towel roll
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Optional, paint and other decorative supplies

Once the food’s finished, enjoy outdoor time with a game of horseshoes!

Leave dad’s set at home to make your DIY of this game.

Take 10 of your paper plates and cut out the center portion. These will be the “horseshoes” you will use to score points. (Make your horseshoes out of the used plates you’ve brought to avoid waste!)

To make the goal post, cut the bottom of the paper towel roll making six, one inch slits on one end of the roll. Fold the small rectangular pieces that are made once you have made the cuts.

Next lay your last paper plate face down and place the paper towel roll on the back of it. Tape down the rectangular pieces so they’re flat against the plate.

Now that everything is assembled take it a step further and decorate your horseshoe plate and paper towel goal post. Even form teams and pick different colors for opposing teams! Go all out in a friendly competition or battle over that last fruit skewer!

To play the game you will set the goal as far from you and your friends as you would like. Each person will take turns trying to throw the horseshoes and make them onto the goal. The person with the highest number of horseshoes scored, is the winner!

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Kristopher Yanez is the proud father of 1-year-old daughter Kennedy, a journalism student at Pima Community College and is also the first-ever Bear Essential News Summer Reporting Intern. When Yanez is not doing school work, he is off doing daddy duties for young Kennedy.