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Time for a Picnic!

National Picnic Week runs from 18 to 26 June 2022

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To celebrate the picnic season.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Time for a Picnic) and the means to display them.
  • Optional: you may wish to have available a picnic hamper that contains plates, glasses, cutlery and so on.


  1. Ask the children what month it is.

    Ask them whether they can think of any special things that might happen in June.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Explain to the children that today, we will be thinking about picnics.

    Ask the children whether they enjoy picnics.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  3. Explain that, in the UK, National Picnic Week runs from 18 to 26 June this year. In the USA, National Picnic Month is celebrated throughout July.

  4. Ask the children why they think that June and July would be chosen as special months for picnics.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Answers may include good weather, school summer holidays and so on.

  5. Ask a few children to complete the following sentence: ‘When I think of picnics, I think of . . .’

    Identify that picnics usually involve food and fun, and are enjoyed in attractive settings.

  6. Ask the children to help you plan a picnic.

    Optional: show your picnic hamper to the children.

    Ask for suggestions about what you might take.

    Ask the children, ‘What shall we carry our food in?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Show Slide 1.

    Explain that we might carry our picnic food in a bag, rucksack or hamper.

  7. Ask the children, ‘Where shall we hold our picnic?’

    Listen to a few suggestions about favourite places for picnics.

    Identify that picnics are often about getting away from it all and enjoying the fresh air.

  8. Show Slides 2 to 7.

    Discuss the fact that picnics can take many forms. Some can be big complicated picnics that take lots of preparation. Others can be as simple as sitting down with an apple in a field!

  9. Ask the children what their favourite picnic foods are.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  10. Show Slide 8.

    Ask the children whether any of them have heard of a book called The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

    Summarize the story and encourage the children to read the book in the future. Alternatively, if any of the children have read the book, ask them to summarize it for you.

    Point out that there is a part in The Wind in the Willows where, after Mole and Ratty have been messing around in a boat all morning, Mole begins to get hungry. He has seen Ratty stow a large wicker basket beneath Mole’s seat in the boat and he can’t help asking him what’s inside.

  11. Show Slide 9.

    Explain that Ratty answers with the words on the slide.

    Read the text with great speed and excitement.

    Ask the children whether they can decipher what was in Ratty’s picnic hamper. Can the children see where all the new words start? Why do they think that the author joined them all up?

    Show Slide 10 to reveal the answers.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to close their eyes and imagine their favourite picnic spot.

Ask the following questions.

- What do you see?
What do you feel?
What do you smell?
What are you doing?
What do you hear?

Remind the children that God has made a beautiful world. We can see flowering bushes and trees, we can hear birds and bumble bees, we can smell roses and sweet peas. God wants us to enjoy the beauty of nature and to know peace.

Dear God,
We thank you for the fun of eating picnics outside.
We thank you for warm summer days and for our favourite picnic spots.
Thank you for the beauty that you have put around us to enjoy.
Please help us always to be thankful.

Publication date: June 2022   (Vol.24 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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