It’s summer, and that makes it the perfect season to go berry picking with your kiddos! Here in SC, our strawberry picking season has sadly come to an end (our season usually lasts from April – early June); however, if you live north of the Mason Dixon line, you are likely still in luck for strawberry season! If you live down South though, blueberry season has just begun, so there’s still plenty of time to take the kids out for this fun summer activity!
Berry picking is one of our favorite activities to do with our kids and has become an annual tradition in our house. Before you set out to your favorite berry farm, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Keep the nice shoes at home. And whatever you do, try to avoid wearing white shoes, or else those new adorable white sandals you just bought for your toddler will come home a new shade of red (been there, done that). This is especially true the further you get into berry picking season, as there are soooo many berries that get dropped on the ground.
Pack snacks, water, wipes, sunscreen, etc… Berry picking usually takes awhile, and let’s face it, the fun of picking berries doesn’t always last more than 15-20 minutes with toddlers, so plan ahead, and pack some snacks and water in case they need a little break from the fun. Wipes are also great to have on hand, as berry picking will get messy with toddlers. Even my 3 year old still squishes the berries on accident as he tries to pick them. Lastly, don’t forget the sunscreen, as there is NO shade on the farms!
Consider the timing of your visit. My best advice is to either go berry picking on a weekday, if possible, OR go first thing in the morning if you plan to visit on a Saturday or Sunday. Farms can get very crowded during peak season, and our best visits have always been when the farms were nearly empty! Not only will you have more room to pick (and let the kids run around), but the lines to pay for your berries will be much more manageable as well.
Be realistic and have fun! Like I mentioned earlier, the fun of berry picking with toddlers might not last as long as you need it to if you’re planning on picking enough berries for all those delicious pies you want to make. Be realistic about what your own child can handle – especially in the heat of summer. Lastly, have fun, and use this experience as an opportunity to teach your child about how our food grows. And don’t forget the camera!
Happy berry picking!