Easy ways to make berry picking fun for kids

Berry picking is a great activity for the entire family, especially if you do a little planning in advance. Use these tips to make your next trip to the berry patch a successful adventure for both kids and adults.

Easy ways to make berry picking fun for kids

5 Ideas for a fun day at the berry patch

Picking berries with kids seems like a good activity at first, until they get tired, start to whine and spill berry juice everywhere. Berry picking does not have to be a family disaster. With a little preparation, your berry-picking adventures will produce good memories.

  1. Pick the right clothing. Many berry patches are scratchy and some even have thorns, so long sleeves and pants are a necessity. Children should also wear athletic shoes to protect their feet while outdoors. Many berries can stain clothing, so providing children with old clothing saves parents the frustration of trying to remove berry stains.
  2. Pack snacks. Even though you are visiting a berry patch, children will likely tire of eating berries after a few minutes. Additionally, farms may not provide snacks or lunches for berry pickers so pack plenty of snacks. Easy snacks like prepackaged crackers, meat jerky and vegetable sticks prevent children from melting down from hunger. Water, juice or other beverages keep children hydrated while outdoors.
  3. Make berry picking into a game. Children may quickly grow weary of filling their baskets or buckets with berries. Make it into a game to keep them occupied and interested. Try racing to see who can fill their bucket faster, or have children hunt for the biggest berry they can find or the smallest ripe berry. Children may also like searching for other items while they pick berries, such as animals, birds or plants.
  4. Plan your time wisely. Don't expect young children to pick berries all day. Plan for an hour or two, and don't go beyond that time. Start picking berries at a time when children are engaged and alert, such as in the morning or just after nap time. Stop while children are still having fun, and don't wait for the first child to melt down before leaving the berry patch.
  5. Pick the right berries. Instruct children on how to choose ripe, fresh berries. Avoid berries that are small, under-ripe, or have broken skin. Show children how to place the berries into a pail properly to avoid damaging them.

Once the adventure is complete, take the berries home and eat them raw – after washing, of course – or make them into something delicious for dessert.

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