Tips for Going Berry Picking with Kids
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So…you want to take your kids out to the berry patch? Great plan! Berry picking with kids can be a wonderful time, or a huge frustration to all involved. The last thing you want on an outing for fun is for everything to flop!
But…as parents know, plans don’t always work out just like you thought, and while you may be reminiscing about leisurely days gone by in another berry patch, things could play out, shall we say…differently.
In God’s Garden
I can’t think of many more enjoyable experiences than to taste sweet berries straight off the bush or vine. You get to have all five senses involved. Taste the pop the sweetness as you bite into a juicy blueberry. Feel the air ruffle through your hair, and the texture of the soft berries between your fingers. Take in the beauty of the bright blue sky, and varied hues of ripening fruit as you hear the birds warbling and cawing all around you. Breathe in the fruity aromas of fully ripened berries, and enjoy the peace of just being out in God’s Creation. Because the berry path is pretty close to the Garden of Eden, isn’t it?
The Key is Being Prepared, Mama!
If you plan well, and pack your sense of humor, your berry picking with kids can be a tremendous memory-making event, and a good time for all! Not to mention the BERRIES–blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, gooseberries! There are so many berries to enjoy!
So let’s get down to business!
How to Go Berry Picking with Kids–What to Take
Before you head out to the berry patch, make sure you pack the following items with you:
- Hats for all. Choose wide-brimmed hats to protect your face and the back of your neck!
- Sunscreen Berries ripen in the golden sunshine! But, you’re not a berry, and that sun can burn you if you stay out too long, especially the little people! Make sure you cover your back and tips of ears!
- Bug Spray–bugs like berries, and they like you too if you’re sweet! Keep them away, but try to avoid poisons that could transfer to the berries or absorb into your own skin! We like to make our own with DoTerra’s Terra Shield, or Repel Natural. You can grab them both on Amazon, and they are nontoxic. They both smell great!
- Buckets, baskets, or bowls. Something to gather your berries into. Something to take them home in. Bags work, but tend to squish the fragile berries, so it’s better to opt for something with hard sides.
- Need an idea? Make this picking container for hands-free picking! My sister-in-law shared this idea with me, and it’s a great suggestion! You can just strap that cool picking bucket to your belt, and pick with both hands! Hands-free picking bucket tutorial
If I’m going to be out in the berry patch, especially in the lower bushes, I like to sit and pick. A stool or even an inverted metal bowl makes the job more comfortable for sitting. The little cart pictured above also makes a portable stool to sit on, but you’ll have to fight your kids for it! My parents gave us a hand-me-down stool like this, and we don’t always sit on it, but almost always bring it along for our supplies.
The rolling cart comes in handy for transporting full pails and other supplies, and some carts come equipped with tractor seats to sit on.
If you are picking rabbit eye berries, they can grow very tall. A step stool or ladder helps you to reach the ripe berries that grow up top.
Sunshine makes them the sweetest!
- Water to drink
- Water to spray yourself with if you stay out for awhile–this helps to cool you off in the summer heat.
- Long-sleeved shirts (lightweight and breathable) and long pants if picking wild blackberries. This will protect you from thorns scratching you up.
Now…Want to Hear My Secret?
That’s right–I have a secret ingredient to make berry picking with kids (and teens) a sure success…
Drum roll, please!
It’s Audio Books!
Yes, you heard that right! Pack a portable speaker and download some great books, and you’re all set for fun! You can inspire your kiddos to pick for “just one more story”, or listen on and on. Our favorites for the outside picking time are Your Story Hour. They have titles that all kids (and parents) enjoy listening to. Inspiring stories from history, stories of great men and women, Bible stories, Christmas stories, miracles, and more! We can listen and pick for much longer than we can without stories. And the funny thing is, when we listen to that same story again later on, we can remember just what bush we were picking at when that particular story came on.
We get our audio books off of Audible.com. With our monthly membership, we get our Your Story Hour albums for much cheaper than other places. They are the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere for Your Story Hour. We listen to each story over and over, so for us our membership has been worth it.
Audible Free Trial Membership
Audible has a special deal for new members of a 30-day free trial, two free audiobooks, and two free Audible Originals for free. If you don’t want to continue, you still get to keep your free audiobooks. This is an affiliate link, so please use my banner if you decide to try Audible, and you’ll be helping my blog. Here’s a link so you can see the deal if you want to!
Last item to take with you for listening to your Audiobooks:
For a long time, we would take our Bose Mini Soundlink speaker with us when we went out to pick. We’d slip a little cover over it to protect it from bumps, and we’d carry it along in our rolling cart. You just pair it with your phone, and listen! The reach for this speaker is really far, so no matter where you are in the berry patch, you can hear!
Now, though, we use our little iHome speaker. It’s more designed for outdoor use, and we don’t have to worry so much about bumps and jostles. This little speaker is waterproof, and bump-proof. We really have used this speaker a lot! You can set it in the grass, hang it from a tree, or put it on a rock. The reach is not quite as good as the Bose, nor the sound quality, but the price is much more affordable, and…you’re in the berry patch, not a concert! This one is also Bluetooth compatible, so you just pair it up with your phone or iPod, and listen! My boys actually found ours at Aldi, but they don’t have it anymore. Amazon sells this one, and it has great reviews!
I almost forgot: What NOT to Take with you for Berry Picking with Kids:
Leave these things at home:
- Sour attitude
All of these things just rub off and make everyone miserable. Leave them behind, and you’ll be sure to have a great day!
Berry Picking with Kids–A Sweet Experience with even Sweeter Rewards
The rewards of picking berries are also sweet. No matter how your experience in the berry patch went, EVERYONE gathers around when you serve the strawberry shortcake and blackberry cobbler!
I hope you get inspired to go berry picking with YOUR kids!
More on berry picking in the wild at this post.