Food tastes better outdoors!

montage of students preparing picnic food


Food Tastes Better Outdoors is designed to inspire people with learning disabilities to get more interested in the food they eat and to enjoy the outdoors. It is part of our focus on learning disability, using the outdoors to bring learning and health benefits. Students from special schools worked with us, creating their own recipes, exploring healthy eating options and testing ideas for low-cost, easily accessible outings and instructions for putting together healthy food to take along. It proved a great way of helping students develop their communication skills, build their confidence, be creative and work on something where they could see clear results from their input.

The result is a series of free downloadable activity packs. These use Widgit pictorial symbols with text (Widgit is a symbol-based language developed for people with learning disabilities and the main symbol set used in UK special schools). They are designed to accompany food preparation, cooking and outdoor eating.

Activity sheet for organising a picnic using Widgit symbolsActivity sheet in Widgit symbols shows cooking utensils


The project process

Boys eating sandwichesPhase 1: Consulting with students with learning disabilities from special schools to generate ideas. Followed by practical sessions to test recipes, try out packaging, and review suitability of venues for picnics.

Phase 2: Development of content for the activity packs and translation into Widgits.

Phase 3: Testing usability of the packs with students, using feedback to refine final content.

Phase 4: Production of the final version of the packs. Disseminated set up through our website, and the Symbol World website.

Phase 5: Launch event so the students could see how their work had contributed to the resources that are now available to everyone. We all went out to celebrate with a picnic on a nearby farm.



food tastes better in Widgit symbols

Activity sheets


  • Accessible information - why it matters, who benefits, links to more case studies
  • Widgit - how this pictorial symbol language helps people with learning difficulties
  • Guidance - find advice to help you plan and design accessible information

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund Awards for All