I was so excited to be asked by Walker Books to join in as one of the hosts of the Picture Book Picnic Blog Tour with 9 other amazing blogs that I literally jumped around in front of the kids. Books and the outdoors are a passion of mine. Combining them in any way I can is great and a fantastic experience for children bringing the books to a new environment and reading them together.
It's summer holidays which although our parks are gorgeous they are full of children and with two toddlers who want to run and are used to the freedom of school days at the park this didn't seem a good idea so we set up a picnic in our garden. We invited over a friend - set up a picnic blanket and our books, filled the paddling pool and sorted out some snacks to have for our afternoon picture book picnic.
In the picture book selection there is many amazing books - our favourites have been The Duckling Gets a Cookie, Butterfly Butterfly and A Bus Called Heaven.
We started off the picnic with some paddling pool fun, the only way for toddlers to cool down on a hot summers day. They splashed and ran around throwing balls at each other and generally having fun in the garden.
When the heat got too much we headed to under the tree for our picture book picnic and some snacks. Our book for the picnic - A Bus Called Heaven.
We sat on the picnic blanket and got out the book - J, T and their friend F sat and listened intently as I told the story of A Bus Called Heaven by Bob Graham, a story of a stray bus that a little girl Stella adopts and brings home. The bus becomes a community symbol bringing together the neighbourhood.
For our snack we decorated medal cookies with 1, 2 and 3 on and enjoyed eating them once our story was finished.
I had activities planned to do after we had read the story including decorating our own cardboard box like in the book - however the children had other ideas and it was a return to the pool and creating their own muddy puddles to jump in and have fun.
How to host your own Picture Book Picnic
We took a blanket, set it up in the shade - I have this set up in the garden most days to provide an area to read outside and cool down, fill up a paddling pool, add some toys, balls and make some snacks, your children's favourites. Then when everyone needs a rest go over to the shade, pick up some books and start reading enjoying the books together.
From the Picture Book Picnic Site you can download resources to help you including hat templates and bunting to create.
Thank you so much to Walker Books for involving us in this and I really hope that I can encourage you to take story time out in the garden on a nice day and set up your own picture book picnic.
We are the 2nd stop on the blog tour for the picture book picnic - it's over to A Mothers Ramblings tomorrow for their Picture Book Picnic.