The Perfect Summer Picnic Baskets

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The Blessing, 500 XL pieces, SunsOut. Browse our picnic jigsaw puzzles for inspiration this summer!

It’s summertime, and that means it’s picnic time. Take the family out into the sunshine and nature and pack a yummy, healthy, on-the-go meal! There’s a lot of information out there on what makes the perfect picnic, like safety tips on eating food before bacteria can grow, whether it’s pre-cooked or packed in the cooler to stay fresh. Then there’s the checklist of what essential items you need to bring, and recipes upon recipes of what food you can prepare and bring.

We’ve done you the favor or sifting and sorting through all the information so you can have the perfect picnic!

First, you need to decide what kind of picnic you’re having. Is it on-the-go, where you’ll skip the cooler and the hot foods, or is it part of a larger outdoor potluck or day out?

Whatever it is, you’ll need some essentials:

Pre-Picnic Packing

  • Plates, eating and serving utensils, and cups for eating and drinking
  • Cutting board, cutting knife, corkscrew for on-site prep
  • Napkins for hands, moist toilettes for sticky fingers and faces, napkins for cleaning out dishes before re-packing
  • Large and light blanket for easy travelling and to comfortably hold all picnickers and food
  • Backpack for stowing all food for easier traveling (it’s easier to carry than a basket)

Cupcake Picnic. 1000 pieces. Layfayette Puzzle Factory.

Next you’ll need to keep in mind how to keep your food safe.

Health and Safety Tips

  • Take what you think you will eat to avoid waste
  • 2 hour rule: don’t leave perishable foods out longer than 2 hours
  • Keep food covered to keep away from bugs carrying germs
  • Keep warm/hot foods out of the cooler
  • Warm/hot foods should stay at 140 degrees or warmer to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Only prepare these foods if you plan on eating them as soon as you get to your location (within 1 hour), or if you plan to keep them warm on a grill
  • Cold food should stay at 40 degrees or cooler–make sure you put cold foods in cold. For instance, don’t buy a brand new jar of mayonnaise and expect it to cool down to the proper temperature in the cooler. Tip: Pre-frozen items will help keep other items cooler
  • Fill cooler with ice packs, ice, frozen water bottles just before you leave the house and no sooner
  • Transport the cooler in the back seat rather than the trunk, which is the hottest part of the car
  • Keep raw and cooked food separate, both in containers in the cooler and on prep plates
  • Once you’ve eaten, put the food away as soon as possible instead of leaving it out while you go swimming or do another outdoor activity to ensure everything stays fresh

Winning Recipes

Winter Folk Art

Summer seems like the season for folk art, what with farms bursting in bloom and color. But winter makes just as great of a subject for folk artists, including Debbie Mumm and Jane Wooster Scott, who take their talents to the holiday season in these cheerful and fun snow scenes. Check out our selection below:

jane wooster scott winter puzzle

Turning Back the Clock by Ceaco. 750 pieces.

winter jigsaw puzzle

Snowfall in in Goose Creek by Ceaco. 750 pieces.

jane wooster scott jigsaw puzzle

Sweet Shoppe by Ceaco. 750 pieces.

ceaco winter puzzles, snow jigsaw

Yuletide Cheer by Ceaco. 1000 pieces.

Santa’s Workshop by Ceaco. 300 pieces.

santa jigsaw puzzle

Here Comes Santa by Ceaco. 300 pieces.

debbie mumm puzzle

Winter Wonderland by Ceaco. 300 pieces.

Old Montreal by Dowdle Folk Art. 500 pieces.

Meeting the Train by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

 

Holiday Gift Guide: Puzzles for Kids

Kids can be tough to buy gifts for sometimes, because we don’t know what toys and games they already own or things they will like to use for a long time. It can also be hard to find the perfect difficulty level where it is easy enough to use to be fun but challenging enough to keep interest. A puzzle is a fun, interactive gift that can be enjoyed by the child and his or her parents, as they help their child develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and more. We have a great holiday gift guide on our site, with puzzles separated by age group, featuring some of our best-loved puzzles for ages 1 through 12.

AGES 1-2+

christmas kids puzzle, toys for kids, gifts for toddlers

Christmas Tree Chunky Puzzle by Melissa and Doug. 13 pieces. Age 2+

music games, sound puzzles, melissa and doug kids jigsaw puzzles, gifts for toddlers

Sound Puzzle: Musical Instruments by Melissa and Doug. 8 pieces. Ages 2+

farm puzzle, good first birthday gifts

Large Farm Jumbo Knob by Melissa and Doug. 8 pieces. Ages 1+

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AGES 3-4+

thomas the train puzzle, thomas the train games, kids puzzles

Thomas & Friends – Meeting Friends by Ravensburger. 80 pieces. Ages 4+

snow puzzles, horse jigsaw, puzzles for kids

Chestnut and Acorn by Cobble Hill. 35 pieces. Ages 3+

 

Black Lab Puppies (Tray Puzzle) by Cobble Hill. 35 pieces. Ages 3+

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AGES 5-6+

wizard of oz jigsaw

Jouney to Oz by SunsOut. 63 pieces. Ages 5+

Noah and the Ark by SunsOut. 63 pieces. Ages 6+

low piece count puzzles, puzzles for children, wildlife jigsaw

Mini Puzzles: Tiger by Ravensburger. 54 pieces. Ages 5+

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AGES 7-8+

teddy bear puzzles

Teddy Bear Workshop by . 275 pieces. Ages 8+

educational puzzles, space jigsaw, science puzzle

Dino’s Solar System by Dino’s Illustrated World. 500 pieces. Ages 8+

Gingerbread Makers by Cobble Hill. 275 pieces. Ages 8+

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AGES 9-10+

Gingerbread Fun by Springbok. 400 pieces. Ages 10+

Frogs by SunsOut. 200 pieces. Ages 10+

nellie bly, puzzle games

Around the World with Nellie Bly by Pomegranate. 300 pieces. Ages 9+

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AGES 11-12

click photography series

Affectionate Pups by MEGA Puzzles. 1000 pieces. Ages 12+

Anif Castle 3D Puzzle by Hasbro. 769 pieces. Ages 12+

dragon puzzle

Dragon Storm by Melissa and Doug. 500 pieces. Ages 12+

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Only 6 Days Left to get your order by Christmas! Order by Tuesday, Dec 17 to ensure delivery by Dec. 24.

New Puzzle Design Kickstarter

If you’re looking for a completely new puzzle experience, consider backing Mike and Tina’s Kickstarter. These circular puzzles are created using a deck of 52 cards. Place the cards in the right order in the circular holder, and your finished image will appear. It comes packed with hints to help you along, or the Math Challenge Deck for kids offers the added challenge of equations Ion the reverse side. If the equations are solved correctly, it will help the puzzler place the cards in the correct order.

Extra advantages to this new, innovative type of puzzling is that it’s easily portable and lightweight, as well as simple to keep track of your “pieces” in a car or plane. Some decks can be turned into regular playing card decks after use; others have images on each side for twice the fun.

Kickstarter is a new way for artists of all kinds to get funding for their projects. With Mike and Tina’s project, you can pledge as low as $1 to help them get their product to the market. If you pledge $15 or more, you could win special prizes for supporting them, such as souvenir puzzle cards or one of their first edition products. Watch their videos on their page to see how much fun their customers have had putting together their puzzles!

As of December 6, there are 2 weeks left to help them raise their goal of $100,000. So far 46 people have helped them raise a total of almost $6,200!